Bright Spots in the Dead of Winter

Feb, 2009
In This Issue
3 Ways to Decorate in the Dead of Winter
Color Wheel 101 - 3 Things to Know and Live By
Quick Link

Embellishments Masthead

Dear Jane-Marie,
As I write this, it is finally over 30 degrees - but we have definitely entered the "dead of winter".  The holiday decorations have been stored, no Hallmark holidays of decorating interest are approaching.  The world is filled with dirty snow and slush.  However, look on the bright side - that is, look at your home!  Infuse your nest with the appropriate colors this winter and get ready for the transition into Spring.  Read on . . .

3 Ways to Decorate in the Dead of Winter
  • Public Spaces - Decide on a color story:  Remove the red and green and look to whites, grays and browns as your base.  Then, add one bright pop of color that works with your decor to tie the look together. 
Dining Room Centerpiece Idea:  If your walls are dark to light brown or beige, arrange a bed of imitation or real evergreen boughs on a silver serving tray, layer with pinecones and top it with hickory nuts and bright yellow accents, such as forsythia or faux lemons.  If your walls are red, like many dining rooms, try to resist the urge to use red as your accent.  Instead, use a light, bright blue as a great cool-toned compliment to the warm red (see below for more help on creating color stories).   Look for items that have less sheen than typical holiday accessories.
  • Private Spaces - Tie flower arrangements to the season:  In my bedroom, I use a bright orangy-pink tulip flower arrangement in the warm months to brighten up my neutral bedroom.  In the winter months, I switch it to a dark aubergine, dark plum grouping of hydrangeas.  I still get a pop of color, but the color reflects the tranquility of the winter season.

  • Repaint a room:  Since we are in the shortest days of the year, take a good look at your lighting conditions.  Do you need more artificial light, or do your too?  Your ceiling color may be affecting how much light your room gets as well.  More and more of my clients are looking for lighter colored walls to help their homes attract as much reflection from the sun as possible, due to our long winter season.  Light colors can range from pale blues and light grays to barely-there beige and soft yellows.     
living area
Color Wheel 101 - 3 Things to Know and Live By
  • Know Your Complementary Colors - 2 colors which are opposite on color wheel.  Let's assume you have a medium blue bedroom.  You are wondering how to accessorize it, but you just aren't sure where to start.  Check out medium blue's complementary color - orange.  A pop of orange in an accessory, artwork or floral arrangement will bring a cohesive color story to your decor. color wheel
  • Know Your Analogous Colors - 3 colors which are side by side.  If you are looking to add interest beyond a single color, look at the two colors that flank either side of a particular color.  For example, mixing a floral arrangement with pale orange, bright orange and red will provide a harmonious color story rather than a jarring one if you used too many colors from all over the wheel.
  • Know How Intense You Want to Be.  High intensity colors are bright, pure, and brilliant. Low intensity colors are dull, serious and quiet.  A pure hue, such as red, is high in intensity.  A color gets duller the more gray it has in it.  Colors go together well when the quality of brightness is nearly the same. Brighter color combinations look cheerful, and duller ones are soft and restful. Some of the dull color combinations may appear even somber or drab. A small amount of bright color used with subdued color can improve a color scheme. Combine a bright accent color for a floral arrangement with dull-colored furniture pieces (note the bright orange throw and accessories with the dusty plum armchairs). But be careful - if too much bright color is used, dull colors look even duller. 
living room

Contact me at 612-251-6512 or
for help with your color stories.

Embellishments Design Studio provides interior decorating, space planning and color consultations, as well as custom window treatment designs and staging services so that you can transform the house you live in into the home you love!

Jane-Marie Bloomberg
Embellishments Design Studio