I mentioned in my first post that I went through a yellow phase. Well, I want to share just how extensive it was. I wanted my house to feel warm and inviting. And I thought that if my house was to feel warm, it needed to look warm. So I only used colors on the warm side of the color wheel. I put those colors everywhere, but especially on my walls. Over the past two years, I’ve been cooling the hues in my house, and I haven’t noticed a chilly vibe.
When I first picked out my warm colors, I chose my favorites—yellow and red—and paired them with orange, rust, and brown. My older house already had a lot of warm finishes in the woodwork, wood blinds, red-orange brick, and oak floors, and my color scheme made my house feel like it was forever autumn. It was great when the leaves were falling, not so great when the tulips were blooming.
My over-saturated colors felt like the equivalent to the volume on a radio permanently turned to loud or a fan fixed on full blast. Here’s another photo of our dining room when it was bright gold.
I mixed my warm colors with large, bold patterns. I made my golden-yellow curtains, covered the yellow-y bamboo chair with that large-pattern fabric, and mixed it with our green-gold rug. I put a lot of work into this mishmash. (That chair, a Goodwill find, has since been spray painted espresso and the cushions recovered in unbleached canvas. It’s been moved to our room.)
So, yeah, I get it wrong the first time, or two. But I still love playing with this stuff. I could have gone with subtler warm shades less busy patterns, but I didn’t. Is it any wonder I’ve embraced neutrals?
I can be finicky with colors, and a neutral backdrop accommodates small-scale changes the best. There’s also a good bit of trend influencing me too—I know Country Living published two issues on whites and neutrals last year to keep pace with the trend—but I finally figured out my original premiss was flawed. Warm colors—The warmer the better!—didn’t translate to incredibly inviting rooms.
Our great room felt better after I toned down the colors in there too. It’s not perfect, but it feels peaceful. And that’s welcoming.
I’m currently working on sewing slipcovers for the yellow chairs below, not so much because they’re yellow, but because they’re ripped and stained. You can see the first one in the second picture below. I’ve chosen to go with white denim. Am I overcorrecting? Maybe. I hope not. But if I am, finding throws and blankets to pair with white should be easy enough.
What do you think? Have you ever put a lot of work into a project or a room only to step back and decide you don’t like it? I’d love to know I’m not the only one. (Also, read about my adventures in slip covers and staining our yellowed oak banister a deep espresso.