for plaid? Gaga for geometrics? Nothing says you canít paint your
walls with a mix of hues that would have gotten you bounced out of a
traditional art class. It just takes a supportive designer and a
willingness to take a risk and go against the grain. So throw away the
color wheel, think outside the box and let your imagination ó and
paint choices ó run wild like the clients of these two designers.
Plaid inspired Kathleen Finch in her
color choices for a Delafield clientís lower level great room, bar
and media room. "I took the colors of an existing pair of
upholstered chairs and worked off what the clients had," the
owner of Kathleen Finch Interior Design in Wauwatosa explains. The
chairsí plaid fabric, in shades of wine, navy and gold, formed the
basis for a transformation that wasnít "garish or
Merging a lighter, fresher blue with
the navy, wine and gold and adding a camel color to the mix created a
large palette that on paper could have been over the top in intensity.
One way Finch made connections between the hues was to apply wallpaper
that incorporated all the colors to one wall. Camel was added to the
wainscoting. Navy rectangles against the lighter blue background
formed "frames" for two oil paintings. Even with no natural
light coming in, the deep colors arenít overpowering.
"Having different colors on the
wall made it feel so much bigger," says Finch. "Itís a
cohesive whole but it feels like separate spaces."
In an open concept floor plan in a
Franklin home with the kitchen, living room and dining room in full
view, Finch really pushed the color envelope. She painted the walls in
the kitchen a deep red. The dining room emphasized an olive tone and
pale yellow walls complemented the blue and yellow furniture in the
Heading down the hall, Finch painted
the master bedroom a pale green, a lighter shade than the olive found
in the dining room, and added a lavender ceiling and accents. The
bedroomís inspiration came from an heirloom quilt. "Fabrics on
the window treatments pulled everything together," she says.
"Itís very soothing and restful and at the same time very pale
Sherry Shinken, owner of the
Milwaukee-based Innovative Design Services, takes her color cues from
the clientís wardrobe or the homeís architecture. "When you
look at color, colors are cued by the architecture or personal design
style of the occupants of the house," she says. "I try to
get an overview of what my client is trying to accomplish."
When you think of a lodge, dark green,
copper, bronze and natural wood tones are indicative of that
particular style. But add orange and the lodge feeling suddenly
transforms from northwoods to contemporary. Shinken used that palette
to complete a sunroom in a Bayside home. "It was very
contemporary but had a softness to the space," she says.
So this year challenge your concept of
safe and color your walls with drama. M