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Category: Color, Color, Color

11 Jun

The Beauty of Ombre

Ombre is a French term which means “shaded” and it speaks of a color gradating from one tone to the next. We see it a lot in the fashion world:

Fashion 1 Fashion 2 Monique Lhuillier 17189545
From clothing…

aspen handbag alexis hudson

…to handbags…

Ombre Hair Photo by Tommy Ton jakandjildotcom

…and even hairstyles… (Regina Note: LOVE! I’d be all over this if I could pull it off.)

It’s also a look perfect for Interior Design. A more sophisticated technique will use shades from the same color family but you can also mix playful colors to create a more striking look. When using this finish, I like to go to my reference file (some images below) for good color combinations or color placement. (BTW, how beautiful are those green-ish doors in the 4th pic? Mother Nature created those in Rome. She’s the best artist.)

Verona 3 Reference

Reference 2 Rome

Here’s a kitchen our studio did with a subtle fading of color…I’d love to something with neutral grays in a modern loft as well…

Ombre 2

I recently found a DIY finish (pic below) called Paint a Faux Venetian Plaster in the Better Homes and Gardens website. The instructions are on creating a Venetian Plaster look with just paints but it actually showcases an Ombre finish. Whod’ve thunk? Hope you’ve enjoyed this post — have yourself a wonderful weekend, dear Reader. I’m off to DC and hope to find some beauties to share! :)

BHG Image

Image and Fashion Credits & Appreciations: Alexis Hudson, Givenchy, Monique Lhuillier, Luxist, Jak and Jil. Please contact me if you see a credit I have inadvertently missed. Thank you!

02 Jun

Colorstrology by Pantone

Since 10 out of 10 people have birthdays, I thought I’d do the right thing by that stat and point you towards an astrology chart dreamed up by Pantone, a worldwide authority on color. They confidently state that everyone has a personal color determined by your birthdate. I think it’s fun and interesting, so without further ado, we present Colorstrology.


There is a visually pleasing intro and once you get past that, just click on the month and further click into your specific birthday. You’ll then be privy to your personal color and personality chart. Pantone even has an iPhone app and a Colorstrology book written by Michele Bernhardt. My color ended up being Geranium (a happy hot pink – check!) and it says “You have a talent for sales, communication and writing. You are creative and dynamic and want to express your ideas and aspirations. Travel and publishing are two areas that can offer you growth and good fortune.” Hmm. On that note, I leave you with my grammatically correct personal reaction: Me likey. :) Let me know if yours was right on!

26 Apr

Life with Color

Gather round, dear Readers, because I’m going to tell you An Embarrassing Story. It was 1997, about a year before I started Garay Artisans. My family moved into a beautiful house and despite being up North, the house had features of a typical Southern “shotgun house” — which means that it had several rooms right after the other with no hallways. I have always loved it when you can see the color of the next room from the room you are standing in and so I thought “Here’s my chance!”. Today, I know this works best with spaces that have enfilades and are not so open to one another, but that was not something I knew then.

I convinced my family I knew what I was doing, went to Home Depot and picked

a bright red, an electric yellow, a cobalt blue and a strong purple color.

There was no “testing” – I just lived La Vida Loca and bought multiple gallons.

[I know, I know -- cringe.]

I planned each room to have a different color and the result was a train wreck jaw-droppingly awful HORRIFIC. My brother, sister and I had worked so hard painting the walls that we were too exhausted to even contemplate changing the colors back to white. So, they lived with it and it became known to family and friends as The Crayola House. [I'd like to take this opportunity yet again to apologize profusely to my family for what I put them through.] That epic failure is what prompted me to take a Color Theory course immediately from Dean Sickler — my first class ever — and thankfully, I’ve become waaaay more savvy at working with colors. There is no need to close your wallets, prospective clients, I promise.

I still love the idea of multiple colors and spied these next pics on Tricia Guild Pattern, Windows, Momoy, the Furniture Store blog and Marie Claire Maison. Multiple colors in design — had to share.

Marie Claire Maison

(above) The dated floral pattern on the fabric and the polka dots are the only elements to give me pause but other than that…carry on!

Calle del Antiguo San Juan, Puerto Rico (Street scene in Old San


(above) Busy, yes. But I still like it.

Escaleras Coloridas, San Miguel de Allende, M?xico (Colorful ste

(above) If I had to start my day by skipping down these steps and out my front door, I believe it would put me in the mood to accomplish anything!


(above) This all works for me. You? The super high ceilings help, definitely.

I do believe it takes a wonderful professional to incorporate multiple colors well — it’s why I enjoy working with designers and helping to put it all together. Hope you’ve enjoyed this post…and my Story of Shame. I also hope I’m not alone…

19 Apr

Media Nibblers

For those new to Fauxology, I call the posts with little bits of info “nibblers”. This one just happens to be about things I’ve seen in the media:

1) Martha Stewart Show – Wanted to alert you that her show tomorrow (Tuesday, 4/20) is called “The Color Show” and that listed in her daily breakdown it says “Painting Techniques”. So, I don’t know if it’s something new in the decorative arts or just base painting techniques, but either way, thought I’d share. (She even talked a bit about it on her blog today.) It also lists “rainbow layer cake” — so, basically we have three of the basic four food groups: “color”, “painting” and “cake”. What could go wrong?

2) Architectural Digest – The May 2010 issue profiles the New York loft of actor Gerard Butler. It’s certainly garnered some extreme opinions (some love it, others not so much) but it does have some nice faux work including plaster walls, lime paint and a ceiling fresco. The interiors were overseen by production designer Elvis Restaino — a man whom Mr. Butler chose after meeting with several interior designers who had “very typical, unexciting” ideas. Here are some of the images (photographed beautifully by Durston Saylor). If you want to read a teaser of the article, click here, and if you want to see a teaser slideshow, by all means. I hope you do have a chance to pick up the magazine and see the profile in its entirety.



Have a color-faux day! (I know, I know — big groan…)

24 Feb

Graphically Delicious

I spied this pic on KWID – Kelly Wearstler’s design site. I stopped and stared. I mean, the colors, the boldness, the strokes…it’s playful and yet grounded by serious design sense. I believe that what I like most is that it shows uber-creative thinking — it didn’t need a grand gesture of talent to make a startling impact…and yet, you know this artist has talent to spare. Oh, yes. Not for everyone but totally out of the box and beyond left field. I wonder who came up with this concept — Ms. Wearstler or was it an imagining by her decorative artisan? [I think it was painted since if you look at the upper right hand side, the coral design flows outside the wall line a bit. Wallpaper seams would make that overstep unseemly.] You can find another pic of the area and more beautiful imagery in her book, Hue. Let me know your opinion, I’m very curious…


03 Feb

2010 Color Trends


It’s that time of year again — finding out what the major color associations are predicting will be the biggest colors of the year in home merchandising and design!? This year, I reported on the 2010 Color Trends for the Home Workshop blog.? This past December, I did quickly post about Pantone’s choice but make sure you click on over to Home Workshop for the full report, which includes additional color predictions by the Paint Quality Institute and the Color Marketing Group.? BTW, how did last year’s Color Trends prove for you?? Mimosa, the beautiful bright yellow, was supposed to be a big color…

09 Dec

Turquoise Takes It!

Yesterday, Pantone released it’s 2010 Color of the Year: Turquoise.? Pantone is one of the leading color authority experts in the world and provides color standards for all design industries.? Here is the swatch in person:


To read more about Turquoise and the reasons for it’s selection, read the Pantone press release here.? Until next time!

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