How to Make Magic Happen with a Color You Don’t Like
As a certified color strategist, I get excited when the major paint brands announce their colors of the year, and dream about how I can use the colors in a design, various global styles, or create color palettes for you to use the new colors.
When I first saw Benjamin Moore’s color of the year for 2020, “First Light”, I thought “meh”.
I am not a pink/blush person, and generally love working with rich saturated colors over pastel colors. I also love global style Interior Design, and most global styles have a richer color palette. If I use pink, I like to go bold or go home such as with a deep rich fuchsia! I thought “First Light” was boring. Even for home staging, where I usually select more neutral colors to help sell homes, this color has enough chroma to look “too pink” for most buyers.
Benjamin Moore describes it as a “soft, rosy hue blooming with potential”, and they say “a refreshing wash of pink, First Light 2102-70 uplifts”.
According to the color data, “First Light” is a warm Red hue bordering on yellow/red, that is very light and that has low color saturation or chroma. Notice I said nothing about “undertones” (just put that meaningless term out of your mind). The way it will look on your wall is based on the hue family (red), the light, surrounding colors and your own vision. Here is the magic tool I use to measure color.
I decided to challenge myself to come up with a design I love using “First Light” as the wall color. Soon after, I heard of a design contest for Edesigners of the Edesign Tribe of which I am a proud member, to provide a design for a master bedroom. I thought, OK First Light, Bring It On! How can I use you to create a beautiful global style bedroom that is interesting, unique and still colorful?
For the contest, we were provided some empty room photos and measurements. We could do whatever style we wanted and could choose who our ideal client was.
My “ideal client” is a single professional woman who prefers a more neutral palette, wants a serene space for her bedroom and of course, likes pink. She likes mixing modern and vintage pieces with a touch of glam and global style elements.
Here is the concept board showing the floor plan and the elements I chose for the design. The door on the left goes to the master bath, center door is the closet and right hand door is the entry to the bedroom. Because this south wall is mainly a travel corridor, there is no furniture. Only a ” The Frame TV” that can display art when not in use near the bathroom door, and my unique fractal art clock on the wall between the entry and the closet.
I searched for inspiration by looking for two key pieces, a global style rug and a beautiful bed.
I found this gorgeous handwoven wool area rug from India in tones of blush, olive, cream and black which provided a global style focal point and set the color palette for the rest of the room.
The gorgeous bed has beautiful curves to contrast with the straight lines of the rug, it’s dark metal worked nicely with the black in the rug and it has old world charm and a vintage feel.
To work with the wrought iron and vintage look of the bed, I chose other metal accents such as the dresser and end tables made with aluminum sheets pressed with a delicate pattern, an iron and crystal chandelier for a touch of glam, and an antique hammered metal lamp. I thought the metals would provide a little masculine energy to balance out the feminine energy of the pink walls.
I added a variety of global style and natural elements in pink, blush and various shades similar to “First Light”.
To pull in the olive color from the rug and other harmonious shades of green, I selected a soft side chair, green end table lamps, art and plants. The greens and green/blues work perfectly with First Light as they are complimentary colors on the opposite side of the color wheel.
To provide depth and highlight the other colors, I added black and white accents.
Here is the final design, created as a 3D computer render, and several close up views.
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Vote in the Contest!
I hope you love this design as much as I do, and you will stop by and vote for my design in the contest! Contest voting will be December 13-15. I will post the link to vote HERE on December 13.
Do I like First Light Now?
You might be wondering if I like the color now that the design is done. Not really. I do love the design though! I love the color combinations, the mix of masculine and feminine, softness and hardness, the mix of straight lines and curves, the feeling of serenity the room evokes. It seems like a wonderful place to wake up at “first light” in a gorgeous bed, and then snuggle up on the soft chair with bare feet on the sheepskin rug and a great cup of coffee while watching the sun comes up.
It just goes to show that you can create something beautiful by putting the right design elements together, even if you don’t have everything you want. This is great thing to remember as you develop your design plan, or if you choose to do Redesign, working with what you already have. I hope it also re-assures you that a good designer can design to create something you love, even if it is not something they love. It is all about you, after all!
Are You Inspired?
The design above is an example of full service Edesign, where you would get a floor plan, a concept board, a 3D render and a complete shopping list with set up instructions. Check out my Full Service Edesign package. Learn more.
Above, I mentioned Redesign, where we work with what you already have. Here is my Interior ReDesign consultation package. Learn More.
You can see all my other online and Edesign services here, as well as my color consultation packages if you need help with your own colors. I offer science based color consulting, using both the art and science of color together to get your colors right the first time!.
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