Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Turquoise is a Neutral

I know that for a lot of people, color can be a scary thing. Hours can be spent agonizing over a bold color choice for walls or upholstery (or even just a throw pillow): "Will this color work with the other colors in the room?" "What other colors could this work for in the future?" "Am I limiting myself to only working within a narrow range of colors and/or styles?" That sort of thing.

If you happen to fall into this color-cautious camp, then please allow me to make a suggestion: go with turquoise. Whether in accessories to give an otherwise neutral space some pop or as the dominant color in a space, turquoise (or turq-WAZ as Alison would say) is a surprisingly versatile color and should under no circumstances be relegated to the kids' room. In fact, I'd venture so far as to declare turquoise a neutral; it can work with just about any other color and in any style of decor.

Kim Coleman

Here, I love how the turquoise really plays off an otherwise black and white space to give it some serious sophistication (and a dose of fun). The bright turquoise border just under the crown molding and above the base boards is a brilliant (and easy) way to put some bold color on your walls without the commitment. This would also add some faux-architectural interest to an otherwise boxy room.

Christina Rottman

What's interesting about this turquoise kitchen is that it's the only colorful room in a very neutral (albeit lovely) house. I remember Rottman discussing in the accompanying article that she chose the kitchen for her bold color statement because it opened on to several rooms so the color could spill into the rest of the house.

Here again turquoise is used as an accent color, but this time in a very colorful room. I love the asymmetric placement of the art on just one side of the window, which balances off the small table and accent chair anchoring the opposite end of the long MCM sofa.

The pops of turquoise add some visual noise to an otherwise quiet palette in this sitting room designed by Ruthie Sommers. I particularly love the pale lavender walls that cast such a lovely glow on all the white furniture.

Admittedly Whittaker uses a softer version of turquoise in this dining room, but this is a quieter, more traditional take on the color that may be more palatable to folks looking for a more subtle statement.

I love the high contrast between the turquoise ocean prints on the wall and the bright orange curtains and pillow. The turquoise/orange combination is a very of the moment take on a traditional red and blue. This room is also a great example of how a neutral base can be easily punched up with colorful accessories (that could just as easily be switched out in a few years if your color tastes are running in a different direction).

This library was just about the only room I liked in the feature on this Houston home in a recent issue of House Beautiful (black vinyl walls, oh my!). That said, that deep turquoise (or peacock blue) paired with that gorgeous ikat print and stunning Persian rug make my heart skip a beat.

While turquoise does indeed deserve a place outside the realm of childrens' bedrooms, it is nevertheless a great choice for the under-18 set. This room designed by Jodi Macklin takes full advantage of turquoise's youthful, bold spirit by pairing it with hot pink and lime. The plaid bedskirt and floral curtains are also a great illustration of the golden rule (keep the palette the same, but vary the scale) on mixing patterns.

I love how Gambrel is able to successfully incorporate turquoise walls into a masculine interior. I never thought turquoise could ever read as "moody", but with the dark curtains, pendant and fireplace, it somehow does.

The turquoise lamp that launched a thousand posts. Still stunning after all this time.

Massucco Warner Miller Designs

Another gorgeous example of a turquoise chandelier, this time courtesy of Massucco Warner Miller out in California. I love this paired with the very traditional, very orate ceiling medallion.

And, of course, what would this post be without a roundup of my favorite turquoise items?

Sourcelist (clockwise from top left): 1. Christina Table Lamp by Bungalow 5 from Clayton Gray Home ($450) 2. Blue Beaded Globe from Pieces ($695) 3. Vintage French Glass chandelier from Revival Home & Garden ($1,200) 4. Mira sofa from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams ($) 5. Vince and Vincent Lamp from Stray Dog Designs ($425) 6. Zebra Waste Basket and Tissue Set from Clayton Gray Home ($160) 7. Lacquer Umbrella Stand from Jonathan Adler ($295) 8. iittala mug from AllModern ($14.40) 9. Turquoise Glass Jars from Grace Home Furnishings ($35-$55).

Sourcelist (clockwise, from top left): 1. Lush square pillow by Unison from ($36) 2. Turquoise Vases from Jayson Home & Garden ($80-$98) 3. Large lucite frame from Dabney Lee at Home ($120) 4. Azure pillow from John Robshaw ($98) 5. Writing Desk from Russell and McKenna ($2100) 6. Amanda Blue quilt by Roberta Roller Rabbit ($125) 7. Turquoise Pill Carafe from Jonathan Adler ($48) 8. Cyan pillow from John Robshaw ($105) 9. Ginny Shower Curtain from India Rose ($95) 10. Turquoise Moroccan pouf from John Derian ($265) 11. Turquoise Art Deco lamp from Target ($59.99).


Christy said...

Averill - this is my favorite post of yours yet! (except my guest room makeover, of course!) I love it - I love all your inspiration pieces and all of your favorite pieces.

Uh oh - those lamps from target in turquoise? I ordered them in lime green already for my guest room. Now I want them in turquoise for another room in my house! haha!

And that chandelier that you said launched a thousand posts? I LOVE that you include things like that - because I, for one, had never seen it before!

Fantastic post. I've said it before and I'll say it again. You could make your living doing this for people's homes. If I lived in Houston and was moving, I'd hire you in an instant!!!

Anonymous said...

Such beautiful turquoise inspiration... Great post!

Things That Inspire said...

Great post - I enjoyed looking at every image, and reading your commentary. I am sure you are aware of the blogger who only writes about turquoise - which proves your theory that turquoise is somehow a universal color, a neutral that appeals to just about everyone.

There is a home in Atlanta that was designed by Miles Redd (on the interiors) that is reportedly done in mostly turquoise...I am dying to see it!

Liz @ It's Great To Be Home said...

Love it! I think the turquoise and yellow Jamie Drake room is my favorite. Happiness embodied. :)

Cristin // Simplified Bee said...

Love every word and image!!! My favorite color.


alison giese Interiors said...

I couldn't agree more! And yes, you know I love me some Turq-WAZ!!! ;)

Yes, the turquoise-bead chandy that launched a thousand blog posts - and the MWM update will run a close second, in my book - and rightly so {swoon}

Great post!

Sarah said...

I LOVE the second bedroom pic with those zebra stools! Also, love the pics with turq mixed with coral!!

Unknown said...

Great post! I love turquoise and have added some to my home over the last year.

Sanity Fair said...

Your post title made me laugh. Yet again, big fan of the Ashley Whittaker, and I heart the turquoise zebra!!!

Janell @ House of Fifty said...

Oh...can I quote you?! I adore Turquoise like no other color and to hear it referred to as a neutral is pure music to my ears!!

Beth Connolly said...

Some lovely examples-that Ashley Whittaker room is a favorite.

Laura@JourneyChic said...

Wow, I'd never thought of it as a neutral before but you're so right! The first room made my jaw drop, and I also love the Rob Southern (I love Persian rugs). Lovely!

Couture Carrie said...

Gorgeous post, darling A!
I just adore turquoise, especially as it is used in that Rob Southern space.
And the antique chest in the first photo is exquisite!


P.S. That Matthew Williamson clutch was my favorite of the bunch as well :)

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Averill - your terrific post has sent me into a turquoise tail-spin. So much joy. Steven Gambrels bedroom design is incredible & you are right, very (unpredictably) moody. All your examples are great. I am a huge fan of this blue hue!
Thanks for your kind comments today (& always. Strange enough I do have a Mac, but I wore out the battery. I relied on my laptop I use for work to get me buy until a new battery arrived. It actually took me 6 days to finish that lonely post. Never again! Hope all is well with you & Dave?!

Maureen Stevens said...

Averill, your posts are always amazing! Such great finds. I'm not a really big fan of turquoise but these images is making me fall in love with the color.

Gannet Girl said...

Portia, would you please just fill up a large truck with various shades of turquoise paint and other goodies and come to my house and take care of everything? We could plaster in the holes in the bathroom and living room before you get here...

This post is wonderful.

Tracy Watier said...

Love the Sean Scherer space best... great peacock colors. But then I love the pale curtains in the dining room with coral chairs too! Great images.

dsi r4 said...

Awesome photos! You decorated your home so beautifully! I am dieing for such decorations in home. Thanks for these pictures. I got some good interior design ideas for my new home.

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