Monday, October 22, 2012

Living Room Color Schemes and an Epiphany

Let's first refresh our memories on the colors I have to work with for my living/office/dining/relaxation space.

Here they are:

I am determined to repaint the (textured, bleh) accent wall in the living room. Did I mention the longest wall in the whole space is also textured and painted in a white glaze? Can't do anything about that, but I will address this red wall no matter what it takes.

Here's one color palette that doesn't make me want to gouge my eyes out.


Let's try again.

Am I trying too hard to incorporate colors I like versus colors that work?

What "works" with burnt orange and grey? I am kind of at a loss. According to google, burnt orange goes well with gold (agreed), chocolate brown (sorry, but I am simply not a fan), and maybe a light blue or grass green (no). I do like light blue.

Sigh. None of this makes me happy. I want this room to be happy! I think my first task is tackling the hideous red wall. So, paint color. This room is pretty dark, and according to the internet, bright mid-tone paint colors are best for dark rooms. I want this place to pop and make me smile in the morning. Strangely, I think a lighter orange might do the trick (never what I would have thought). It would have to be the perfect shade, otherwise I will probably hate it. Let me think of some other options. Back to the palettes....

OR MAYBE CORAL!!! That would make me truly happy. With a wall hanging that pulls in greys and blues? Maybe!?!?!?? Hmmmm.... But before I'm considered crazy, I think the burnt orange and coral will actually look good together in person. Mainly because these chairs are kind of versatile and the color is hard to pin-point. I think the coral might make them more attractive.

Here is a palette that I think I actually like!!!!!!!!!!

Paint the wall coral, and put some large art or hanging or gallery wall to tone down the pink, then accent with blues and purply/pinky/jewel colors à la Morocco. And the burnt orange will just have to go along with it.

And then I get to use these :)

Back in my happy place. Plus deeper purples and blues also.

Yay, I'm feeling positive. I also want to go to the market and look for some textiles that incorporate these colors for cushions, pillows, and reupholstering the dining room seat cushions! Yay, yay, yay:)

Time to drool over coral walls....


Coral and grey and white. Yes.

This is truly beautiful.

Coral and grey accents. I'm convinced.
Apparently coral walls, and coral and grey specifically, are so much a thing I could just post pictures all night. I will stop now. Let me just say, I am finally EXCITED ABOUT SOMETHING IN THIS HOUSE!!! This is a huge victory. :)

Let me also say, why this wasn't a more obvious choice is unclear because I have literally been known for my love of coral since high school. My prom dress was coral, and the majority of my shirts are coral. I guess I just thought it was too feminine a color to paint a living room wall, but my boyfriend just expressed approval so maybe I'm crazy! (I also listed coral as the first color I'm drawn to in my last post... this decision was literally staring me in the face.)

Yup. Coral prom dress.
Coral & Grey... get ready for updates.

Ciao, ciao

PS. Let's hope we can find coral paint in Dakar. Fingers crossed!
PPS. I know its strange I love coral and I hate orange, but its the truth.

We have to start somewhere.

Well, I haven't had much inspiration to date. This "finicky" villa is a doozy, and I am so busy with work that the seemingly insurmountable task of actually making this place livable has seemed like too much to tackle. As I mentioned in my About Me section, I was, ahem, "gifted," a furnished villa... but really this means I now own a bunch of furniture, bedding, curtains, appliances, and so forth that I would have never picked myself. Not to mention I never would have picked this villa myself either!

So, its been hard to motivate myself to imagine, tackle, and execute some projects to make this place feel more like home. The truth is, a big part of me has been fantasizing about finding a new place in the next year and just starting fresh--finding a home in the same price range with new and more modern appliances, better light, a more sensible layout, and a more pleasing aesthetic overall (which is definitely possible, trust me). Not to mention, I don't love the location... so why invest?

Well, I still have to live here for at least a year. So while I might not want to invest as much money in making the home more to my taste if I am thinking about leaving relatively soon... I can still find some ways to make it more conducive to positive work and positive living. Another side note is that my boyfriend is looking for a small apartment nearby and I'm hoping to design a small but relaxing and chic refuge for when I need time away from this mammoth pile of eye sores and inefficiencies.

Let's look on the bright side. Or, the realistic side of things. I spend the vast majority of my time in the living room/home office/dining room space. I didn't choose the furniture or the color scheme based on the upholstery, woodwork, paint job or lack of natural light, but I am determined to make this space work. I might not be able or want to tackle the whole house, but I can make this space flow, and I can make this space pop. So that is my goal. And maybe add a vanity to my bedroom to cheer me up in the mornings :)

Let me preface the next section with this information. Colors I am naturally drawn to include coral, teal, yellow, some oranges, most Moroccan color themes, deep and rich pinks, many shades of blue, and sophisticated purples. I do not like orange and green (unless paired with other colors I like), and I'm not really a fan of neutral or earth tones. I like pastels and I like bright colors. I am absolutely not afraid of color. I do not like the colors I have to work with in my living room, but the goal is to stay POSITIVE!

Here are some rooms I really love, for reference:

What can we gather from these photos? I love sea blue and teal and shades of red-ish pink and coral. I love bright white walls with many pops of color. I love clean lines and I do not love clutter. I actually hate clutter, but I love detailed design and I love treasured pieces. I absolutely love intricate and vivid textiles (rugs, pillows, throws, upholstery). I like white and natural wood furniture. I love beautiful tiles as much as I love hardwood floors. I don't really like modern furniture, but some will do if it is simple. I love pillows! Ok, enough about what I love, now on to what I have to work with.

Color Scheme

So, here are the main colors I have to work with. Brace yourselves.

Grey curtains that are in every room in this house. I know some people like grey, but I am not a fan. I am drawn to well-lit rooms with bright white walls and (very) colorful accent pieces from all over the world. Grey, industrial, sterile curtains do not fit into my natural aesthetic. That being said, I will admit that the curtains have grown on me over the past month and they are useful in actually blocking light when closed. I will learn to live with them, and maybe open my mind to grey's potential (ps. they are linen so at least they aren't some cheap, hideous fabric). 

Um. Well, the futon is actually really comfortable. And the flash makes the color less attractive then it really is (and you notice the color variation way more in this picture then in reality). I'm actually fine with the futon. It's a suede material that looks like dark brown/burgundy/eggplant. The red pillows.... do not like. And I profoundly hate the red wall. I am devoted to repainting this wall no matter the price. The color hurts my spirit each and every day. The real reason it is so terrible is because the wall is textured (which you can't see in the picture) and the paint job is uneven and splotchy. And I don't like red in this bright, fire engine shade (I do like some more "pink" and rich shades of red). So I also don't like the pillows, obviously.

I think these lamps may just have to be thrown away. The recycled art idea is ok, but here it just looks cheap because they are old and rusted. And red.

This picture does not capture these chairs accurately, but its the best I can do. They've actually grown on me a lot also, but I do not generally like orange. Here they look very red... they are more burnt orange in real life. They're ok. But burnt orange, grey, and red (which really, I want to get rid of) are not colors I love. I love teal. Teal does not go with orange (in my book). I love coral, and coral does not go with red in my book.

What to do?

The one thing I will say is that these colors do kind of fall into the color scheme of the fourth picture I posted that I like, so maybe that is somewhere to start. I am going to make some potential color palettes and go from there. Thank you for listening to me whine, and wish me luck!
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