add color

Yesterday, we showed you a sublimely neutral space.  Today we thought we’d go in the other direction and look at some of the most colorful spaces we’ve designed.  We’ve featured a few of these images before on our blog, but we’re presenting them all to you again today.

One of the most iconic rooms we’ve designed is from a home in our hometown of Rosemary Beach, Florida.  Paige took the opportunity to do something unexpected in the home’s laundry room and had the cabinets painted bright red!

To punch up the red paint, matching red subway tile brings the color up onto the wall.  Glossy black trim, windows and doors create more visual punch.  [photo by Michael Granberry]

Color doesn’t have to be bold to have an impact.  In the Kitchen of an Auburn, Alabama home, Paige and Anna Kay chose a fresh french green for the cabinets.

Pale countertops and a healthy dose of beautiful stained wood floors–repeated in the long grain butcherblock island countertop–balance out the green and create a warm and inviting space.  [photo by Colleen Duffley]

An otherwise neutral room can sometimes be transformed with just one element of bright color.  In this Rosemary Beach bathroom, Paige selected cobalt blue glazed tile for the wall behind the bathtub.

Blue and white is a time-honored scheme but here it’s presented in a fresh and unique way.  We love how the sleek lines of the bathtub are accented against the bright tiled wall.

In a Watersound, Florida home the color scheme throughout is decidedly neutral.  Pale leather chairs, chocolate brown accents and linen-colored walls create a serene space.  One bright piece of artwork though, placed over the fireplace, creates an exciting accent to the scheme.  In the foreground, a simple grouping of green apples freshens up the tablescape.

[photo by Michael Granberry]

We love an all white room for its crisp peacefulness — but add a bright accent and an all white space comes alive instantly.


In this Alys Beach, Florida home, Paige and Anna Kay added colorful quilts and shams from Anthropologie which instantly make the space fun and fresh.  A lime green silk shade tops a lamp by Stray Dog Designs, which is available through our shop.  [photo by Michael Granberry]

How do you add color to your home?  Are you brave enough to paint cabinets a bright color, or does a pillow, piece of artwork or colorful quilt at the foot of a bed add enough for your taste?  Tell us, we are having so much fun hearing from everyone this week as our Comment Contest continues!  Remember you can comment once per day to be entered to win.

25 thoughts on “add color

  1. I think I like to mix it up. In some rooms my fabrics are colorful, and my walls are neutral. In other rooms, my walls are a color, and fabrics are more toned down. I do love mixing some color in each room! I love the twin bedroom!!


  2. One thing I have learned – color on walls is the easiest way to change the whole feel of a room, and the easiest thing to update too (if it is paint). My dining room was a deep vermilion for years, and last year I had it painted a neutral – clunch by Farrow & Ball. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make such a dramatic change!

    Love the color of the kitchen cabinets in the 2nd photo.


  3. Doug- was this post for me? 🙂 Kidding. But color does scare me. I love the color of the kitchen cabinets— that’s enough color for me. And while I don’t like red— that laundry room is amazing!!!

    I love love the neutral scheme in the last photo w/ the punch of color in the shams and quilt. That’s something I can do without feeling tied down!


  4. While I love seeing bold color in other people’s homes, I must say I naturally gravitate towards a calm, neutral palette with just a pop of color on a pillow or artwork. However, I think the bold colors are more memorable/impressionable for most people.


  5. I am unsure my thoughts on the red laundry room. If I had many residences, yes I would go for it, probably at the beach. I spend so many waking moments in my laundry room at my primary residence that I am afraid I would get tired of the boldness of the red. Having said this, I love a pop of color in a room. I love the twin room. Both my daughters have different anthropology comforters and love them. One is this exact print. I have them thrown on the bed with a solid at the foot. After seeing this on an earlier post, I changed one of them to a solid and put the comforter at the end of the bed. My 11 year old came home from school and said, “Mom, what took you so long?” Thank you for the great idea. Our solid is purple and it still may be too busy. I love the contrast in the kitchen. The green cabinets with the light counters and the butcher block island seems peaceful. Finally, the blue above the bathtub adds just the punch that this room needed and makes it unique. Hats off to you guys, you always are edging, but elegant.


  6. The green cabinets and stained wood floor of the kitchen make it a comforting,welcoming room. I’d like to cook in that kitchen.
    Not sure about a red laundry room —- maybe a headache coming on 🙂


  7. since i’m currently renting, i’ve been adding life to the white walls with accessories. a bit brighter colored lamps and mirrors, etc in the living room than i might have otherwise done could i have painted the walls. i think i also feel a need to have more on the walls to add punch and vivacity than i otherwise would were i able to create a background pallette of my choosing.


  8. I love the green cabinets and the Watersound home! I’m never brave enough to do bright colors on walls or furniture…always want to be able to change my mind without a lot of work and expense. I use color in pillows and artwork usually.


  9. I love the blue tiled wall in the bathroom! What a statement!

    I tend to incorporate color using fun lamp bases with cool detail. And although I love patterned shades, I seem to keep mine neutral. They certainly aren’t the “wow” factor of my room but they are eye-catching.

    I love the chances you all take in your designs. So inspiring!


  10. Getting your color fix through fabric is definitely the way to go if you don’t want to commit to a dramatic hue on the walls (paint is somewhat easily changed, but tile is not).

    In my small-ish bedroom, I keep the walls neutral but I change the bed linens often — and by that I don’t mean just the sheets, but the bedskirt, shams, comforter cover, etc. And I get totally different looks this way. For example, through last fall I had a very calm and fresh looking red and white toile on the bed, while now I have a pop of color with a morning-glory floral print that features aqua, periwinkle, purple, and green. My tastes in color are rather broad and I like to change it up alot!


  11. Previously I restricted the palette of my home to hues of blues and green. This year, however, I painted 3 pieces of furniture yellow and added almost loud drapes to my living room. The punches of color just make me feel good!


  12. Beautiful turquoise silk drapes are on their way for our daughter’s room that’s otherwise layers of white on white – they’re not pink, but I know she’ll love them anyway! I think our bedrooms are the perfect place to add a splash of color that suits the sleeper – every room has a soothing creme/white/light grey or khaki base with neutral white, grey or black furniture so the accent can be switched out on a whim or for a season.


  13. I love to add color in unexpected places. A lampshade, colorful pillows on a white spread, funky art prints on a neutral wall. I’m in love with the all white room with the bright accents!! So fun!! I would love to have a guest bedroom decorated like this! Great inspiration!


  14. I used bold colors in my living room (raspberry w/ dk brown trim) and dining room (dk emerald green w/ dk brown trim) to complement my Mexican hacienda style furnishings/accessories. But now that I’m at the beach, I am seeking a very light/neutral space.


  15. Hello, I know I am chiming in here at the 11th hour! I have had one of the busiest days of my life, but the whole day I kept thinking, “I have to go home and comment on the Tracery Interiors blog!! I really want that candle.

    Thoughts on the post.

    I see a lot of laundry rooms… and from my observations, it’s a room where people feel free to “take a risk and be themselves.” I guess they think they will be the only ones in the Laundry room, so it’s ok to go a little wild. I have learned, especially if I am in a totally neutral house, to take a peek in the laundry room… sometimes it is completely surprising.

    Great shade of French Green. It does not seem to add as much of a “pop” of color, nut it seems to tie the room together nicely.

    As for the bathroom, I guess I have been trained to look at homes in terms of “re-sale-ability,” and so many of our clients hope for a neutral pallet when searching for a house, that blue tile, while the color combination is classic, seems a bit much to me. Unless of course the client plans to stay in the home for a long time.

    I went in a house recently where there was almost no color at all, except for three bright and happy paintings. I think it was a stellar design move. It added panache and personality, while still keeping with the neutral colors.

    As for me, I have just signed on for a huge risk. I have allowed my decorator to talk me into Hermes accents in my home, and I must tell you, I am totally thrilled! I can’t wait until it all comes together.

    I have to go to bed now!
    Until tomorrow,


  16. Great post. I adore color. It makes me happy. I also adore neutrals…they keep me calm. I can totally relate to the neutral space with the bright artwork. We recently moved into a new house and that’s the direction I’ve chosen. I had bright art in my previous house, but it was paired with other bright accents. It was a party…for sure! However, with creamy white woodwork and P&L lambswool walls, my bright art collection in its new space has taken on a sassy and sophisticated look. Our bedding is very neutral but to splash it up I did silk slate blue curtains and the result is serene.

    Keep the great posts coming!


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