Wednesday, May 12, 2010
For the last few summers, coral has come back into favor as an "it" color, both in fashion and in home decor. If you're looking for a new spin on the color of summer, why not try use it as a fresh accent color against cool blue-grays and aquas? Throw in some organic textures (i.e., grasscloth, rattan or sisal) to enhance the coastal vibe or use golds, brass and rich browns to up the sophistication, as Jeneration Interiors did in the dining room pictured above. Follow Jennifer's lead and keep the coral accents to just a few, stand-out items. Taken individually, both the color and shape of this hood chair are big statements, but together the "wow" factor is undeniable. To keep the chair from looking out of place in the room, Jennifer repeated the coral color (albeit subtly) on the coral pillows on the dining chairs.
This Nantucket living room is exactly the kind of colorful, laid back cool that I love in vacation homes (note to designers: please stop it with all the white on white-washed!). The mismatched blues, coral, rattan and modern furniture all combine for a lovely, put-your-feet-up kind of feeling that feels like a home rather than a hotel (another note to designers: please stop trying to make a room feel like a "boutique hotel"!).
This Florida home's living room/dining room by Courtney Coleman is a master's class on how to decorate adjoining rooms. In the living room, the predominate color is that cool slate blue, accented with coral pillows and small accessories. The dining room, on the other hand, is awash in coral, with panels of grass mats (actually yoga mats from Pearl River!) adding texture and architectural interest to the walls while sea glass sconces and thin moldings add just the palest hint of blue to the room. Other things I love about this room: (a) that Courtney used a big print on the sofa; the muted blues and browns make it feel like less of a risk, but they bring some much-need pattern in the room and (b) the Gothic four-light hanging lantern from Circa Lighting, which speaks for itself.
I absolutely adore the rug in this living room. The colors in it are so unusual, and it pairs so perfectly with the rich paisley print on the side chairs (which are also a wonderful shape). The ming coffee table is a great counterpoint to the contemporary sofa and lamps. I only wish Angie had painted the baseboards and crown molding a crisp white, which would have worked so well with the white painted chairs and given a crisper edge to the blue walls than that medium oak stain.
This room has been a favorite of mine for a long time. The subtle greek key pattern on the sea grass rug and the small, intricate floral pattern on the aqua wallpaper are nicely balanced with the solid aqua curtains and coral upholstered chairs. I also love a dark wood pedestal table surrounded by light colored chairs (unless you're working with a very light upholstery, dark wood chairs + dark table can be a very, very heavy look). The coral chandelier and pagoda wall lanterns don't match, but painted white they work beautifully as a "set".
Designers and decorators often recommend designing a room around a great print as an easy way to unify a room's color scheme. Any one of these eight fabrics would be a wonderful starting point for a total redesign -- or just a little face lift. Use a little or a lot; either way, these prints are sure to infuse your room with some serious style.
Source list (from top left): 1. Chiang Mai in Aquamarine from F. Schumacher (100% linen; trade only). 2. Jakarta in coral and turquoise from Thibaut (59% linen/41% cotton; see here for retailers). 3. Double cross in new shrimp with new blue from China Seas (100% linen; trade only). 4. Coco in aqua from Thibaut (51% linen/49% cotton). 5. Kiki Pinata from Robert Allen (100% cotton; $12.98/yard). 6. Sea Scallop Coral Reef from Waverly (100% polyester; $21.98/yard). 7. Ting Yuan in aqua from Thibaut (51% linen/49% cotton). 8. Kool Koi Coral Reef from Waverly (100% polyester; $21.98).