So one of my favorite things to do, always has been, is go look at people's houses, and see how they decorate them. When I was younger, my mom, my sister and I used to drive around Carmel at night and look in the windows (from our cars people, not like peeping toms or anything) of people's places and see what they did to them. So I still to this day notice what people do to their places when I go visit, and I only have one real issue...I am so tired of tan! It's tan-mania. I feel like there's a disconnect between design and real people, there's lots of color in magazines and none in our homes. Maybe it's a California thing cause we like to be "earthy," maybe it's fear, maybe I just have some crazy radar that notices it more than any other shade but seriously, we need some color in our lives people! Stop being so vanilla!
Tan couches, tan carpet, tan cupboards, tan walls, even tan tile...
I know it's a neutral so you can keep it around for a long time and it doesn't clash with everything, it's easy, but there are other neutral palates out there no? Ivory, Grey, even Brown for Gods sake.
Here's some images I've collected for a while that I love, and I'm going to use somewhat for a new place:
Grey is a good neutral, it's calming but still has more depth to it, and you can add any color you want to contrast!
Coral and Grey work great together, I like the cheery coral with the mod Grey tones, its pretty.
This Blue reminds me of Carrie's apartment re-do in the Sex and the City movie, it's grown up but with a twist. It's a fun color!
Not everything has to match either, those orange chairs stand out and make a statement. The chairs are like room jewelry.
This Green room by Amanda Nisbet Design is funky and fun, it's a lot of color but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. And it sure beats tan.
You can even add color with your accents, to cut it up a little
A woman I know painted every room in her new house a different color: chartreuse, coral, lavender, blue, she even had the kitchen done with lime green cabinets and plum colored walls, and believe me I remember that house over every tan house I have been to; and, I've seen some really fancy tan and ivory houses.
All that color was pretty fantastic, and I always felt good, like I knew I would have a fun time in that technicolor dream house; cause anyone who's willing to take bold risks with color is willing to take bold risks elsewhere, and that can lead to some serious adventures.
All Photos courtesy of Martha Stewart, Ikea and Amanda Nisbet Design.