Andrew's "Calm Contemporary" Living Room
Location:San Francisco, California
Paint colors: Martha Stewart Calabash (Green on walls) Martha Stewart Flagstone (Gray trim) Martha Stewart Yellow Magnolia (walls of entryway alcove and ceiling of vestibule hallway off of living room) Yellow echoed in throw pillow, orchid, and details on artwork. Dark turquoise in tile on buffet and accessories.
When picking colors for this room, for the first time I used an "inspiration piece" instead of pulling paint samples at random at Home Depot. The green and gray were taken from a postcard purchased at the Des Moines Airport, the contrast of storm clouds and cornfields having been a favorite combination since the midwestern summers of my childhood. Now that the paint is actually on the walls, the colors are (probably thankfully) more subtle than their inspirations--I think the whole effect suggests Martha Stewart, about which I couldn't be happier. The yellow/gold color was suggested by my sister, and I love what it does with the gray trim, which continues into both areas that contain the yellow. The dark turquoise came about because it was a part of pieces I already owned that ended up in that room--and I think it's a great foil to the yellow accents.
In terms of placement, go big or go home. I don't believe in accent walls--I think a bold color is less jarring to see on all four walls than just on one. If you have a favorite piece or idea from which you can draw inspiration (as I did from the postcard that pictured a Proustian conceit of mine), the extra layer of meaning will help make the effect a success.
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