I moved over the Summer. WOW- I am literally still recovering. If you have ever moved you know what I am talking about: boxes…everywhere…for way too long. Despite being just about the happiest and most laid back person on the planet, I am a complete neat freak. So….moving threw me into a tailspin. INSTEAD of burying my head in bottle of veuve cliquot and ignoring the boxes, I decorated. AHHHHH, my sweet release- it is so so so fun to decorate that it made up for all of the packing tape wrestling I’d been doing.
LUCKY FOR ME, my best friend is a decorator. This worked to my advantage for a couple of reasons…A) I have no self control and want e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g plus more, more and more B) SOURCES. Interior decorators know every trick in the book and everyone in the book. So Wendy, please don’t be mad, I am sharing some of your insanely awesome words of wisdom.
First thing you have to think about is who you’re decorating for. So who’s my audience? Living in my little stone cottage are Sabrina (age 9), Tiki (age 7), Honey Bunny, (age unknown but she’s one adorable bunny) and me (age being withheld for obvious reasons). I can speak for all of us when I say, our favorite color is o-b-v-i-o-u-s-l-y pink. And orange. And bright. And anything happy really. I promise I will give some normal ‘tips’ on how to decorate with color if you have a man in your life but let’s just pause for a moment to smile FOR ME that I can finally have a completely pink house. YAY! I am so lucky I work in a pink office building and live in a pink house. I recognize this is not normal but who else would you want choosing the colors and prints for Lilly Pulitzer?!?!?! Here are some fun ways YOU can use color as you decorate…
1. OK, believe it or not…choosing the right pink can be SO HARD! Let’s tackle light pink first. You don’t want it to be too baby pink and it gets purple really quickly. I have found that soft, soft pinks make you look like you are glowing- make you look prettier (than you already are). So light pink is a winner. I did my dining room in a super soft conch pink. During the day you can barely tell it’s pink – it’s that light, but during a candle-lit dinner party, it is a soft glow…
HOT PINK is just as hard…it also gets purple quickly. I think the idea is to just GO FOR IT – if you try and do a medium pink it ends-up pretty ‘bubble gummy’ and that’s FINE for a little girls room…but if we are talking foyer or bathroom or kitchen – hotter is better! I used a Phillip Jeffries hot pink seagrass wallpaper and the color plus the texture of the seagrass really is incredibly chic. That leads me to…
2. I LOVE WALLPAPER! Love love love. Not in every room, but sprinkling it throughout the house adds some print to break up the solid painted walls or a solid furniture. I love the surprise of a wallpapered powder room or the *POW* of a chic wallpaper in the foyer – it sets the mood, because you don’t have a ton of upholstered furniture in these rooms- the wallpaper can really take center stage. I also think wallpaper expresses a lot of personality….I have bright green birds in my powder room and orange with touches of pink in my kitchen. So wallpaper is FUN…not eeeeverywhere so pick your spots.
3. ART is a great way to add some color to your walls without painting or wallpapering the whole room. IN FACT, if you are having a hard time finding what you want to hang, you can FRAME wallpaper for a touch of print and color. I have painted most of the things in my house – art work can not only be colorful, it can be mischievous! (notice the ‘right kind of wrong’ I did for the dining room). It’s an excellent way to add a little (or a lot) of personality. In the kitchen, I use plates hung on the wallpaper to break up the print. You can hang anything as art! My plates say “clueless” which clearly I am not but – it makes you smile
4. If you read House Beautiful and every decorating blog you MUST KNOW BY NOW that the number-one-low-hanging-fruit-tip for decorating with color is….PILLOWS. Easy, easy, easy. I almost feel badly using it as a tip because, come on people – keep up with me here. IF you have a neutral couch, please zip it up with some fun pillows. Of course I take this as another excuse to express a cheeky personality. There are so many fun printed pillows and needlepoint (Jonathan Adler!). My favorite part is that you can flirt with pillows…spend a little and get all new pillows for your living room for a new ‘look’. LOW COMMITMENT and a cheap thrill.
5. If color is just a big scary world to you…let’s take a step back. Start with ACCENTS. Lamps. Throws. Ottomans. Small furniture pieces. If you choose ONE COLOR to accent the room it makes it easier for you to stick to the game plan. You know it will always look cohesive if you have a neutral base and have all orange accents – pillows, throws, lamps and…cheese-its in a big bowl on the table. LOVE the uniformity of sticking to one color per room. A blue and white theme running through your bedroom, the navy carried through to the living room but popped with orange. Orange wallpaper sneaking into the bathroom. The color kind of leads from one room to the next. This can be done with wallpaper, paint and even fabric. Lee Jofa has some AH-MAZING fabrics we all obsess over. I’d need a bigger house to fit in every gorgeous printed yard of Lilly fabric we’ve created with them!
Having been to Lilly’s home, I have to say what struck me the most is…anything goes. My best tip would be to always be yourself – when you are yourself, you’ll always feel the most comfortable- and that’s exactly what you want for your home. Lilly’s style is incredibly eclectic and has taught me that when nothing goes together – somehow it does. Isn’t that the best news?!?!? SO PLEASE, break all the rules, be yourself and HAVE FUN. Aren’t we lucky to be so…colorful?!?