more color talk: room transitions and balancing brights with neutrals

Currently, the walls in my “real” home are white. They just sit there and don’t call attention to themselves, unlike the time they were dark purple; deep, earthy red; marine blue; periwinkle blue; baby blue; toasty beige; sage green; yellow ochre; or brown with gold glitter. Occasionally, I would head to the hardware store with a specific color in mind; other times, I hit the local hazardous waste dump and grabbed a can or two of whichever paint was available that day free for the taking.

As in my real house, I don’t play favorites with the colors in my mini homes. The Beachside Bungalow was light and zen, blues and greens and natural tones. The Westville farmhouse was sober and moody, dark blues and browns and blacks. And then came the Rye Craftsman bungalow. Oh, the Rye, a riot of hot pink flamingos, purple Matisse dancers, and pink/orange/white Japanese flowers.

The latter designs came from Etsy’s Katrina Ward NZ. I came across Ms. Ward as I worked on the Westville. Her vibrant patterns didn’t suit the conservative farmhouse, but her work was always in the back of my mind waiting for the right project. That opportunity came with the Rye.

I had so much fun in her Etsy shop mixing and matching pieces to find four wallpapers that were fun, while at the same time, harmonious enough to create unity between the rooms. Some crafters might buy papers that they love and not worry about coordination, but because everything is visible at once in mini homes, I like at least some transition between rooms and floors.

I’ve seen photo spreads in magazines, particularly featuring the homes of designers, where there is pattern upon pattern between the wallpaper and upholstery and drapes and artwork and rugs and pillows and accessories and it all works beautifully. That kind of coordination is not part of my skillset, so I rely on “peacemaker” colors and patterns for balance. That’s why I went with white cabinets and tile in the kitchen, one full white wall in the living room, plain ceilings, and a black and white Japanese wave pattern upstairs. White might seem a little timid, but I chose it because the starkness and simplicity calmed the busyness of my four extravagant wallpapers.

There are so many colors and wallpapers out there, so many fun interiors to try… But, alas, my creativity is about to hit an immovable object: the wall of a condo that won’t budge in my desire to fit another “mini” home.

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