In honor of the recent Fashion Weeks, we’re bringing you our latest installment of Runway to Home.
In perusing Fashion Week photos there were a few resounding themes, but one of our favorites was bright colors. We touched on this a couple weeks ago with our article on Mark and Ali Pincus’s house, but we had quite a few people say they were intimidated by “all that color,” so we thought we’d break it down for you.
Color scares a lot of people, particularly when it comes to the home. In clothing terms, if you infuse a bit of color into an outfit, what’s the worse that can happen? You have a fashion misstep but then rebound the next day by going back to your neutral Donna Karan’s and Hermes’s.
In the home, though, it’s a different story. What if you invest in that fifteen thousand dollar red Bo Concepts sofa and it looks terrible? Could that orange Schumacher drapery look as cool in my house as it does in in that boutique hotel I stayed at in Soho? (The answer, kids, is probably no.) How come Kelly Wearstler can meld green and purple in abundance but the same colors in my bedroom make it look like Sesame Street?
All that being said, color can definitely make a room feel less stodgy or old. So, how to do it?
Unless you are Kelly Wearstler or Van Gogh or have “that eye” that we don’t, we would suggest you use color sparingly, at least at first. Remember, it is often easier to addeth color than taketh away. The good news is that it’s really easy to infuse a little bit of color into a room, because there are so many elements that make up a room.
Pillows: Probably the easiest and least expensive way to infuse color, pop two or three brightly colored pillows on your sofa or side chair. The good news with pillows is the low commitment factor: If you don’t like them, you can get rid of them or recover them.
Art: Remember that Warhol Marilyn you bought at Sotheby’s last year? Well, put it in an all white room and watch it pop. If that Warhol slipped through your fingers (darn Peter Morton), then you can achieve the look far less expensively through less expensive modern art. We’re terrible artists, and we threw a bit of bright paint on a white canvas for our office and it looks cool. Trust us, it’s not hard.
Rugs: We have a great editor to discuss rugs in the next few weeks, but in the meantime colored rugs are one of our favorite cool trends. You can still keep your white and beiges but you’ll be amazed how different they look plopped on a bit of color.
One Colored Statement Piece: We pulled a photo of a house in Holmby Hills – one of our favorite houses on the market right now – with a great living room. Check out the red daybed: It makes the room feel lively and fresh without losing its sophistication.
Flowers: Are you the color commitment-phobe equivalent of the guy we met at that Hollywood club last week? Then start small with flowers. And no, we’re not talking white hydrangea. Pick one type of colored flower in one color – we hate multi-flower bouquets – and put them in a simple vase in the room. Once you get your toes wet, we guarantee it’ll be the start of a great relationship.
Take a look at the listings and photos we’ve chosen to illustrate how to use color. We’ve also plucked a few of our favorite street shots from Paris Fashion Week, because even though we’re not a fashion site, we love to see how color is used everywhere and anywhere.
And, a big “by the way”: We just launched Bungalux discussion, so feel free to comment below and let us know how you use color or send us links to other great photos. We always intended Bungalux to be about sharing how to make your house luxurious with our other readers (and us!).
Paris Fashion Week Photos Courtesy of Vogue.com. Photo credit Phil Oh.