As I’ve mentioned before, I am a bit of a home design nerd. I get really excited about picking out new paint, rugs, light fixtures, and then pulling all these items into a cohesive project. Like my entryway redesign that I did a few months back. Or my living room redesign which is still ongoing.
How do I get started on projects like these? It usually starts with a particular piece of furniture or maybe a paint color. And then I find items that compliment that inspiration piece. I basically build a color story around that item.
Wondering what a color story is? Don’t worry. You’re not alone.
I was talking to my friend and her boyfriend about my booth for the upcoming Minne-Mile NightMarket, and how excited I was about the color story I selected.
And her boyfriend was like, “Wait, what the heck is a color story?”
A color story is basically a set of colors you select to design a home, an event or even a tablescape. This group of colors, or color story, will guide the items you buy for that design project.
By selecting a color story, you are essentially eliminating some options and giving your project a focus. This is incredibly helpful if you are designing an entire home, or say planning how to display merchandise in a 10 X 10 tent.
Using a color story will also prevent your house from looking, like Elsie Larson from A Beautiful Mess quips, “a little bit like a crayon box, or different sets for a quirky girl television show.”
1. Check out Pinterest and your favorite stores for inspiration.
Pinterest is amazing for planning design projects. You can create a board specifically for the project you’re working on and then pin all your ideas to the board. If you’re using the Pinterest app, you can just pull up your inspiration while you’re out shopping too. Super convenient.
I am diehard Target fan, and if you’ve been paying attention over the last few years, the discount store has really stepped up its home décor game. The Target I frequent has also created an area where home décor is merchandised much like what you would see in a department store. And you better believe this area always has a color story going on.
2. Pick colors you love, not just what is trendy.
I love design trends just as much as the next gal, but I also know that just because a color is trendy doesn’t necessarily mean it’s for me.
Blush pink is really popular right now, and I admit I am a huge fan. But I’m not going to paint my entire living room blush pink.
I like blush pink, but I don’t like it THAT much.
When I repainted my living room, I painted it black and white. Not only is black and white a classic color palette, but I have also loved this combination since about the third grade. I think it’s pretty safe to say I won’t be changing my mind about black and white anytime soon.
3. Head to the paint store.
If you are designing a room or a home, I like to start with paint first. It really sets the tone. Plus if you’re buying new furniture it makes more sense to paint the room before you get all your new, beautiful pieces in there. I don’t know about you, but I am an incredibly messy painter.
4. Let’s go shopping!
As Elsie from A Beautiful Mess suggests, “I like to build my color story like a pyramid, placing the biggest priority (both money and time spent on decisions) on the more permanent ‘bones’of my design first.” In other words, after the room is painted, you should be looking for your sofa, dining room table or headboard, depending on your project.
So head back to your favorite stores and start shopping!
You want to buy the bigger items first and then fill in around those big statement pieces.
5. Embrace a little color story anarchy.
Not everything you buy has to fit in your color story. Say your color story consists of black, white, gray and blush, but you find these amazing turquoise pillows.
Buy those amazing turquoise pillows! (Especially if said pillows are on sale!)
Being too matchy-matchy can get boring. So don't be afraid to mix in small doses of other colors, especially in things like candles, pillows or other items that are cheap and easy to change out.
Maybe you'll decide down the road the turquoise pillows don't work at all, but then you're only out a few bucks.
But really, I think you'll be happy you bought the turquoise pillows. ;)