Posts Tagged ‘color’

Monday, April 18, 2011

color, color everywhere…which would you choose?

I am work­ing on a new mas­ter bed­room design, wherein the only given is the exist­ing tra­di­tional fur­ni­ture. The major­ity of those pieces are nat­ural cherry or black, so that reddish/orangey shade needs to be worked in/around. I've been see­ing a lot of gor­geous deep blue lac­quered walls lately, influ­enc­ing me to con­sider a blue-based scheme which might not have been a first con­sid­er­a­tion. But blue and orange are nat­ural com­ple­ments, as evi­denced here by Miles Redd:

miles redd room in hague blue

miles redd room in hague blue

This stun­ning room also incor­po­rates a vari­ety of greens and pat­terned neu­trals — an eclec­tic mix that is end­lessly engag­ing. For these clients who love color, I've also been delv­ing into some large scale prints, includ­ing Chi­ang Mai Dragon from Schu­macher. This peren­ni­ally pop­u­lar pat­tern is avail­able in a num­ber of intense col­or­ways — open­ing up a lot of avenues lead­ing toward an eclec­tic look.

chiang mai dragon in alabaster

chi­ang mai dragon in alabaster

I'm espe­cially par­tial to the alabaster col­or­way, with that juicy cit­ron accent and hints of black. Per­haps with these lovelies from Arte­ri­ors?

kaleigh from arteriors home

kaleigh from arte­ri­ors home

The lac­quer col­or­way is intense!

chiang mai dragon in lacquer

chi­ang mai dragon in lacquer

Maybe pull out the teal to cool off that red?

paddy from arteriors home

paddy from arte­ri­ors home

There are inter­est­ing shades of blue in each of these col­or­ways, along with enough choices in accent col­ors to make heads spin. But the china blue col­or­way is the most traditional:

chiang mai dragon in china blue

chi­ang mai dragon in china blue

And could develop a mono­chro­matic all-blues scheme for peace and serenity.

paulette from arteriors home

paulette from arte­ri­ors home

If you were tired of tra­di­tional, which direc­tion would you head? Shake it up with col­or­ful eclec­tic? Or wake it gen­tly with sooth­ing but mod­ern blues?

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Friday, April 1, 2011

fabric friday: robert kuo for s. harris

This lovely col­lec­tion by Robert Kuo for S. Har­ris is, I think, decep­tively sub­tle. The designer has trans­lated from his usual mate­ri­als of metal and wood, mar­ried his her­itage of ancient Chi­nese pat­tern and crafted some­thing com­pletely new. Serene but com­plex, these fab­rics delight the eye and the hand. In sev­eral not-quite-neutral col­ors, with a few rich reds thrown into the mix, here is a sampling:

dragonswirl in shale by robert kuo for s. harris

drag­on­swirl in shale by robert kuo for s. harris

fishscale in opal by robert kuo for s. harris

fish­scale in opal by robert kuo for s. harris

silkclouds in sun by robert kuo for s. harris

silk­clouds in sun by robert kuo for s. harris

cloisonne in dove by robert kuo for s. harris

cloi­sonné in dove by robert kuo for s. harris

wheat in garnet by robert kuo for s. harris

wheat in gar­net by robert kuo for s. harris

What do you think? The che­nille and silk are just beg­ging to be touched, right?

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Friday, March 4, 2011

fabric friday: inspiration, alan campbell and the met

On my recent visit to The Met­ro­pol­i­tan Museum in NYC, I was drawn into the ancient world. Actu­ally, I was dragged, as my 6 year old was intent on see­ing all the Egypt­ian mum­mies, tem­ples and tombs. Within the Egypt­ian col­lec­tion, I was arrested by the vibrant col­ors and pat­terns found in wall and ceil­ing frag­ments. How inspir­ing are these graphic pat­terns, that we often think of as mod­ern?

Ceiling Fragment, Tomb of Amenotep Surer

Ceil­ing Frag­ment, Tomb of Amenotep Surer

3,300 year old "mod­ern", meet today's interpretation:

alan campbell 'cap ferrat' fabric, room by elizabeth dinkel

alan camp­bell 'cap fer­rat' fab­ric, room by eliz­a­beth dinkel

The ever-popular zig zag motif? A river, of course.

Deceased Being Towed in a Boat, Tomb of Rekhmire

Deceased Being Towed in a Boat, Tomb of Rekhmire

And today:

alan campbell zig zag in brown

alan camp­bell zig zag in brown

alan campbell zig zag in french blue

alan camp­bell zig zag in french blue

Alan Campbell's fab­rics are not the only ones I "saw" when brows­ing the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Museum. This pre­cur­sor to the motif we refer to as Greek Key

ceiling fragment, tomb of Inyotef

ceil­ing frag­ment, tomb of Inyotef

is plainly vis­i­ble in this Schu­macher 'Greek Key':

schumacher fabrics 174502 in ruby

schu­macher fab­rics 174502 in ruby

Doubt­less there are many more con­tem­po­rary fab­rics with roots in the ancient past. Inspi­ra­tion for inte­rior design­ers, fab­ric design­ers and all types of artists is found in count­less places, but the world's great art muse­ums, like the Met, must surely be at the top of the list.

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Monday, February 7, 2011

in the atelier…with Kathe Fraga

In the ate­lier this week is the lovely Kathe Fraga. I 'met' her on Twit­ter and was stuck by the rich col­ors and Old World feel of her amaz­ing paint­ings. To me, each one evokes a small piece of a big­ger pic­ture, as if a larger story is loom­ing in the back­ground. And because art is so per­sonal, every per­son who sees (or is lucky enough to own) one of these paint­ings can imag­ine their own story. Kathe leaves room for a per­sonal expe­ri­ence — what more can you ask from an artist?

"Love Song" will be fea­tured in the March 2011 issue of Seat­tle Magazine

In her own words, I present Kathe Fraga:

1)   What path led you to your life as an artist?

There were two paths in my life…I love to write and I love to draw. I was doing both at a very young age—little illus­trated books, jour­nals with draw­ings, art projects with poetry.  I thought I would be an author as a “grown up” but as time went on, I became enchanted with the wild and very col­or­ful world of adver­tis­ing. That was my career path for a long time—I worked in Seat­tle, Hon­olulu and L.A., and I think that being able to write while being a visual per­son helped me enor­mously. I really got back into my art side when my chil­dren were born—homemade Valen­tines (never store bought), papier mache projects, vol­un­teer­ing in the class­room for any­thing arty—I real­ized how much I missed cre­at­ing art. I’ve never given up writing—mostly “humor writ­ing” (I need to send you my very help­ful arti­cle enti­tled “Kathe Fraga’s Top Ten or Eleven House Clean­ing Tips That Work For Her”) but paint­ing is a pas­sion and my fam­ily puts up with the splat­ters and spills all over the house—mostly pink hues.

"Sakura Kisses" is part of the per­ma­nent col­lec­tion at Seattle's Swedish Hospital

2)   Please describe three sources of inspi­ra­tion for your art.

I spent “grow­ing up” years in South Amer­ica, Europe and both coasts—my father was in the Navy. I think the absolute over-the-top grandeur of the gilded and stained glass win­dows of the churches of Quito made a huge impres­sion.  Liv­ing in France and expe­ri­enc­ing  Europe and its beauty—old, decay­ing, historic—this mem­ory guides me every day in my color choices and how I like my paint­ings to appear worn and with a story—like they were plas­tered pan­els in an old French man­sion and had been cut away and pre­served just before the wreck­ing ball hit. My pinks, oranges and pur­ples, these are the pig­ments of the ancient times and sto­ries. Not just for princesses and fairy tales—although there’s noth­ing wrong with that. Lastly, I grew up with par­ents who just embraced color in their lives, from the way they dressed to the way they dec­o­rated their home. (Even though Dad’s lime green and bright yel­low sports coats could be embarrassing.)

"Paris Sun­set"

3)   What was the last item you brought home from a trip? Where did you go, and why that item?

Whid­bey Island, Wash­ing­ton is one of our favorite “close-by” des­ti­na­tions that we love. A cou­ple of fer­ries from Bain­bridge Island and there’s the tiny sea­side town of Lan­g­ley. I’ll tell you a secret—one of the best thrift shops is in Lan­g­ley! “Good Cheer” is a trea­sure trove of won­drous fab­u­lous­ness. One of the last lucky finds we just had to have is a clock that is held on both sides by two white and light blue cir­cus ele­phants. Pink shades are also involved. It works! We have it above our bed and we call it “Remem­ber the Happy Times.” (We also have a taxi­dermy cat named “Mort” from Dey­rolle in Paris, but that’s another story.)

"Chez Nous"

4)   Please fill in the blank: If I was not an artist, I’d be:

A writer—trying to get pub­lished in the “Shouts and Mur­murs” sec­tion of The New Yorker. I sub­mit­ted a piece called “Fly Strips and Cham­pagne” recently and they  rejected it  “despite its obvi­ous merit”.

"La Belle Saison

5)   What advice do you have for peo­ple who are afraid to buy art?

If you love it, buy it. You’ll never regret it—and the couch you were try­ing to match it to will be headed for the Good­will in a few years anyway.

brand new — "When Love Blooms"

I hope you enjoyed learn­ing more about Kathe and her work. Fol­low her on Twit­ter @kathefraga or see more at

Kathe will also be hav­ing a solo show at Pacini Lubel Gallery in Seat­tle in June, a great oppor­tu­nity to meet this tal­ented artist!

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