Spring Decorating: Whatever You Like

January 7, 2008 § 17 Comments


 Those of us in the decorating business are already studying the spring color schemes and it seems that almost anything goes. We’ve got Barbara Barry’s new soft green and beige palette, a very subtle sophisticated combination similar to the ice blue/chocolate combination we’ve enjoyed over the past few years.

Then there’s Pottery Barn’s red walls with white furniture and bright yellow, orange, and lime green accents, a flashback to the ’70s but with a twist.

Chocolate brown is still hot, and this year we’re adding bold patterned furniture and pillows in place of the textured neutrals of yesterday.

One color that’s making a comeback is dark teal. I’ve seen it paired with burnt orange this time in a strikingly rich paisley fabric from Calico Corners. The look is rich and perfect for a big upholstered chair in a study. I never thought I’d welcome back teal, but it’s looking good.

Ceilings are getting color in a big way this year. Check out the cover of HOME magazine (shown above). They’re showing bright lemon yellow walls and a robin’s egg blue ceiling. I think we’re coming out of our shell, so to speak…

Looking further into the magazine, we find REALLY brightly colored walls of grape, kelly green, classic royal blue, and canary yellow. What makes these colors work is their pairing with bright white. Very crisp and fresh.

White kitchens are back as are white living rooms, again paired with bright accents. There’s just nothing like white for a clean look — people seem to love it.

The organic neutrals are still in, though, especially for more traditional homes so don’t throw everything out. You can always update your look with new accessories like pillows and lamps. But once again, we’re seeing styles and colors for spring that can fit most everyone’s tastes and that’s a good thing.

More soon.

§ 17 Responses to Spring Decorating: Whatever You Like

  • bmeglis says:

    Thanks peter.

  • Speaking of blue ceilings… this is such a great idea… and I have the hardest time getting anyone to take me seriously.

    Even the lightest shade of blue can make the room seem taller. It’s a mystery why… except the mind sees the pale blue as sky.

    It’s not as if we would walk into a room and say “oh… they have a blue ceiling!”

    You would want to keep this very soft and natural… unless you want the LOOK of “Blue Ceiling… WOW!”

    Love your website… thanks for all you do!

  • bmeglis says:

    Thanks, Debra!

  • bmeglis says:


    I checked out your sites. Fantastic! I’ve added your name and link to my Favorites list. Thanks for visiting my blog.

    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Spudderbud says:

    I’m interested in the actual color names/numbers used in the Barbara Barry collection. Please let me know.

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Spudderbud,

    Here’s a link to Barbara Barry’s fabric collection at Kravet.


    Hope that helps.

    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Spudderbud says:

    Thanks for the link to the fabric. You wouldn’t happen to know any of the BM paint colors she would have used in the green/beige collection? At our Macy’s home store in her idea house they used bone white and a blue (don’t remember the name off hand), l like the rooms there well enough to move in! Then I’ve found on the net other paint colors she used (bashful, revere pewter, sandy hook gray along with the bone white). I’ve painted boards with all these colors and love them, but I’m still looking for a green I like with no success. I guess I like the soothing palette she uses.

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi again Spudderbud (that’s such a cute name!),

    Have you tried BM’s camouflage? It’s a very soft soothing green. I don’t know the specific paint colors Barbara Barry has used with her collection, but maybe you’ll like that one.

    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Spudderbud says:

    Camouflage might just work! I’ve just about painted all the sample pot greens BM sells and none are quite right, they’re all too green! I’ll have to paint a sample board and see how it looks with my other colors. I’m trying to find a green that will look good with both “Breakfast in Bed” by Mary Cassatt and Carl Larsson the Swedish painter. Carl’s colors are brighter and don’t want my walls that bright. I think it’s your blog that told to put a piece of white paper against a blue & gray blue, that really does work.

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi again Spudderbud,

    I suggest, since you are a sophisticated colorist, that you pick up a BM fandeck if you don’t have one already. They’re about $20. Then go to the gray section of the fandeck and move from the blues to the greens. Then do the same thing with those gray greens that you did with the gray blues. You’ll find a really soft, subdued green in there that’s probably perfect for your room. And certainly not too green. The historical colors won’t do it. They’re all too color-rich.

    Good luck.

    Your Home & Color Coach

  • 8athome says:

    What do you think about a copper ceiling?
    Not actual copper (I wish!) but a paint color. I finally chose drapes for the newly remodeled L.R. because I needed some inspiration for my color palette. I bought JC penney’s “silk-look” two-tone embroidered panels in copper & antique gold w/ embroidered sheers also in copper. I suppose you could look on jcp.com if you wanted to see a pic. Our ceiling’s fairly high, 10’3″ at it’s highest point and slopes to 8’3″ at the lowest. The room is 15′ X17′. I plan to use embossed paintable wallpaper on the walls and if I can figure out how, use a glaze technique paint finish on it. I think if I do use the copper on the ceiling I will stay light and neutrel on the walls. I’m open to suggestions on wall color too. We don’t get a lot of natural light in the room. Crown moulding will be in a medium oak and the floors are also oak with variations of light to dark.
    Thanks ,

  • bmeglis says:

    Hi 8athome,

    Sounds very dramatic. I’ve seen copper ceilings (metallic paint, actually) in the dining room but not in the living room. But I don’t see why not in there. Your ceiling is definitely high enough for a rich color. I would definitely stay light and neutral on the walls, though, to maximize the light because the darker eceiling will soak up a lot of what comes in the window and won’t reflect a whole lot back down.

    You’ll want to optimize lighting in the room as well with either up-lit sconces or torchieres to show off your ceiling and move the light around the room. Also bring some of the copper down into the room and spread it around (accessories).

    I might exchange the medium oak crown moulding with white/cream to contrast with the ceiling more and really call attention to both moulding and ceiling.

    You should end up with quite an elegant living room.

    Have fun putting it all together!

    Your Home & Color Coach

  • Jane Brown says:

    I have been lurking around your site and have found it very helpful. We are about to have our house professionally painted and I am sick knowing what to do with it. I thought I knew, but now have a little knowledge thanks to your site and am a deer in the headlights.

    We have a beige brick (kind of a latte color) house with pink and blue/green undertones. When we bought it , I thought it looked like a yellow brick milk house. (I have always considered it a yellow brick which is incorrect and has lead me down the wrong path.) It has been trimmed in white and I hated it (that is when it looked like the milk house.) I threw some color on last time and it helped, but it is not right…I think I put the color in the wrong places and we allowed the white spouting to remain…

    We are painting the ridge pole and the spouting this time. The roof is a natural slate indicative of Ohio. We have a white picket fence around the perimeter. I have worked feveriously landscaping the yard and it is coming into it’s own. With the right color combination, I think the house could be darling. I am knocking on the door, but need help going through.

    The home is a Cap Cod Cottage…around 1000sq ft living space with attached garage. I currently have the windows and some trim painted a Riesling VM10 a grayed pale yellow. I am considering painting the clap board Kauai NA57 which is a gray sage color. I don’t know if I should use a a darker auburn, or return the mauve/pink…or where.
    The brick are a funny color…every time I think I have something that will work, it is rejected by the birck. Black does look great with it. No shutters. Am considering painting the window shash black or the auburn. (any thing with too much yellow doesn’t work.

    I have pictures ready to send. Please tell me where to send them and how I pay you. Please help me. Thanks for reading

  • Monica Sanchez says:

    Hi Barbara, I found your site by doing a google search for the colors in my living room! My dilemma is that I can’t choose a color for the baseboard & window trim, and would like your opinion.

    My walls are an aqua spray color (link below) which is similar to a baby teal. My couches are a caramel color. My curtains and the lamps in my room are red (indian red). The flooring is a maple laminate (similar to bleached oak). I have lots of chocolate brown objects in this room like mirrors, sconces, wall art, etc.

    I hesitate to use a white baseboard, only because I LOVE COLOR (can’t you tell?)!

    The overall theme or feel that I want in this room is a tropical living room, and I chose the colors for the walls based on a photo of hotels on Miami beach.

    My first thought was to do a navy blue baseboard/window trim. My 2nd thought was a chocolate brown trim. I guess I’m nervous about adding a 4th color to this room, but really hesitate to go with white or even off white. I just love color!

    Do you have any thoughts about this? The baseboard and window trims are currently white, which doesn’t kill me, and they look fine – but do not make the room look extraordinary. However, everyone who has seen my room so far (with the teal wall, brown furniture and red curtains) loves the color scheme. Should I let those three colors do the talking and accept white into the mix?

    Thanks a bunch!


  • bmeglis says:

    Hi Monica (#14),

    Yes. Without hesitation, white is the best color to make all those OTHER colors you have in your spectacular room pop (as we say in the “biz”).

    Any other color for trim will muddy the colors and since you’re going for a tropical feel, white is going to make those other colors clear and clean and fresh-looking. Perhaps the white you have on the trim currently is not white enough for you to really see the effect. If your current white is looking a little gray, punch it up to a clearer white (there are TONS of whites, of course). But get a couple of swatches from the paint store, and you’ll be able to tell. For a tropical feel, choose a bright white.

    Hope that convinces you. Great room!

    Your Home & Color Coach


    I need HELP selecting a paint color in my newly renovated kitchen. The cabinets are natural maple w/ mocha glaze, the island cabinets are antique white w/ mocha glaze, countertops are soft black granite (espresso and laurentian green) and floors are dark brown hardwood.

    I’m looking for a fun, colorful feel. Most of the house is painted some form of beige and I’m beyond ready for color. I have access to 2 suitcases of samples for BM’s Classic and Color Preview lines – which has wound up overwhelming.

    I feel stuck! Can you point me in a color direction?


  • bmeglis says:

    Hi WISHING4COLOR (#16),

    Have a look at some of the Ben Moore Pottery Barn shades like Sweet daphne (529), a fresh limey green. Also there’s one of my all-time favorites, baked terra cotta (1202) — as long as it goes with your maple cabinets okay, it’s a wonderfully warm kitchen color.

    See what you think.

    Your Home & Color Coach

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