I was thinking about home decorating today (something I think about more often than you might think), and about how people do this thing called “picking colors” for the different rooms in their house. I’m not totally clear on this, but I’m pretty sure that it’s supposed to help you know if some new item will go with the rest of the room without having to actually put the item in the room. Also, maybe it’s supposed to help other people know what to get you if they want to get you a gift for your house. Like if I know that someone else’s bathroom is decorated with sunflowers, then I might be able to get them a picture of sunflowers that would fit in.

So I was looking around the house today and wondering, if someone wanted to get us something for our house, how would I describe what would fit in? Colors are so hard to describe. One wall in our living room and kitchen is sort of a coral/sand/pink/orange color that looks different in every different light and time of day. How would you know if you had found something the same color? And then there are issues of style. Even if you did manage to find a painting that incorporated just the right shade of pink, but it was an impressionist painting of a lighthouse…not working with the current scheme.

So I started wondering if it would be possible to take pictures that would somehow start to capture both the colors and the style of what we’re going for. Here are some more or less successful attempts:

Living Room

In the living room, the colors are mostly really warm-lots of shades off red/orange and rich wood tones. We’re trying to offset all that heaviness with light blue and silver. The sheer curtains are a light grey-blue as is one wall in the room. We need more silver to balance out mostly dark furniture. The lines we are looking for are clean and sleek, but with a bit of graceful curve to them. Nothing overstuffed, but nothing severe either.


Our kitchen is so small that we are trying for sleek clean lines here. The counters are white, the cupboard doors are white, and the floor is white tile. One small wall is that same coral color as the living room wall, which is similiar in color to the flowers on this recipe holder. There are a few accents, mostly in red and blue, and some woodtone stuff that ties in with the living room (the kitchen is open to the living room). On the list is a set of nice silver hardware for the cupboards.


I’m actually a little lost with the decorating in the bathroom. The walls are blue. The ceiling is white. The floor is white tile. That’s all just fine, but the only thing in the bathroom that actually makes me smile is this arrangement of pale yellow towels against the blue wall on the gold towel bar. A little bit of the warm reddish wood tone from the picture frame makes this the perfect vignette. I haven’t figured out how to create that feeling in the rest of the bathroom.

My Room

My room has that same coral wall color (which usually looks richer than it does in this picture) and a lot of warm earth tones and textures. It’s definitely on the brown/red side of the scale, and I’m not too worried about lightening that up, since it’s supposed to be a cozy retreat sort of space.

Preston’s Room

If you can picture a combination of Hawaiian surfer culture and Australian aboriginal art, you can picture Preston’s style. I still don’t have it all figured out myself. His floor is this geometric diamond pattern. Decorations include Hawaiian-print sarongs and a hanging surfboard as well as these lovely curtains (if I do say so myself). I think the key is to use Hawaiian themes very judiciously, and use lots and lots of white space and geometric designs to balance out all those flowers and shit. Of course, he can’t resist a little red, orange, and yellow too. Such a conflicted personality he has 😉

So now you know all I know about how to create cohesive designs. Small insights here and there, but mostly I’m totally winging it. Do you feel like these pictures give you some sense of what we’re trying to do with our space?