Saturday, October 22, 2011

Picking color

“If you are drawn to certain colors and objects, chances are
that a compatibility of spirit will bind them together.”
~ Alexandra Stoddard

All the senses are involved in eating. How a room looks has the power to enhance or detract from the great binder of the family home sacrament- the formal dinner. Helping my mother-in-law update her formal dining room required capturing both her grandmotherly warmth and Christian dignity.

My mother-in-law wanted drama dropped into her home's interior. Previously, she had light floors, white walls and white ceilings. Conservative and traditional, she was afraid of stepping out with a bolder color scheme.
 The room we chose to start with was her dining room. We found inspiration  for change in the colorway of her beloved Franciscan Desert Rose pottery.

Voila! Benjamin Moore's Aura paint in Norwich Brown matched the color in the pottery trim. Holding the paint chip against the oil portrait revealed the moss-tinted brown also resides in the background of the oil portrait. The depth of color enhances the richness of the cherry wood dining set and old gold "pops" against the foresty backdrop. 


In decorating, forget the label. The table runner tag suggested  the printed fabric is a shawl. A Christmas gift from grandchild Kenny and his bride, Shannon, it is a fabulous table runner.

Rooms should be dressed like the people, reflective  of personality.  
Light and color uplift the room's personality through the mirrored china cabinet backdrop, crystal candlesticks and frosted lemons.  

Closer to the holidays, bright brass accessories will be moved front and center. A change of wardrobe for the seasons, if you will.

If you have ever used an accessory to choose wall color, I would love you to share!

Linking to Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home


  1. Lydia,

    Love love love it!!! The color looks like sage green which I love. Earlier this year I tried to be brave and use some "color" but the bravest I could get was beige! Of course it's tissue paper paint with irrediscent color over it which makes a beautiful result.
    A couple of years ago I got brave in my bedroom! I picked a green shade for the walls from the large scroll of wallpaper over the bed and matching trim around the room. OMG! I HATE IT!! I was going to the lightest possible shade of green but I detest it! So I am having to live with it! I should have left the walls in there ivory! I always love ivory! Anyway, kudos to you and mom in law for being brave and bold and having it turn out beautifully!

    XOXO Trisha

  2. Beautiful and rich color--It looks very serene yet elegant and cozy, too!
    You and your Mother-In-Law Did GOOD!!!

  3. Oh, this is just so my taste. Unfortunately, I've been trying to sell my beautifuly Duncan Phyffe table w/the 4 leaves and custom pads and 6 matching chairs that include a captains chair because, dang it, I don't have room for it in my tiny condo. I sure hate to part with it. I even have a smaller china cabinet that 'goes with it' sort of, but I'm keeping that as it also goes with the same style coffee table and mirror, etc. Anyway, you've created a masterpiece for your lucky mother in-law.


  4. How wonderful faithful readers!

    Trisha- The most important room of the house is the bedroom. You simply must change the color you wake up and go to sleep to something you love.

    Thank you, Sue.

    Naomi- I'm lucky to have a mother-in-law that while she may not be brave, she has exquisite taste.

    Judy- Rather than sell your table- why not find a carpenter to cown size the table top to fit your smaller quarters? If you can't find a home for all 6 chairs- just go to 4?

    I'm planning to do something similar with my formal dining set so we will use it more.

  5. Wonderful infusion of color and texture and pattern. I think starting out with one favorite item is a great idea! I'm fairly bad at color coordination and lean towards minimalism as a result (it's either that or mishmash). But this dining room looks very cozy and sophisticated. That shawl really pulls it all together.


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