Your life is like the perfect summer day: sunny, fresh, open to possibilities. That direct approach shines through in this clear, crisp palette accented with ripe greens and coral. To balance the bright tones, add off-whites with paint trim and fabrics.
This palette worked beautifully in a newer home remodel we affectionately named “Mango and Spice“. Tons of natural light allow our colors to really shine and create the perfect room for some rich, dark furniture to add some drama. Sage green cushions, and a chocolate brown sofa work in harmony with these sunny colors and help the room feel grounded. To check out the rest of the house, head over to our Photo Gallery. Or click the photo below.
Many people start their decorating with a piece of furniture, a theme, or a personal collection. While all of these things are important, I always start the design process by choosing a color palette. Our palettes consist of four complementary colors that will be used throughout the house, creating consistency. This is the foundation for the whole project.
If you’re like most of my clients, you have probably stared at the big white wall in your living room and felt lost. Then, when you try to choose a color, the abundance of options is simply overwhelming. To help me choose color palettes for my clients, I use a unique process that takes into account not only the style of their home, but also their preferences and personal coloring.
From this technique, I have developed Allison Smith Color Seasons: 16 exclusive four-color palettes, inspired by nature’s complementary colors. You may know which colors you want to design around simply by how you respond to the different palettes. However, I suggest you complete the following five steps before you select your personal Color Seasons palette.
Step One: Take the personal Color Seasons quiz
To help determine which colors are right for you, I’ve created a quiz that mimics the process I use with clients. Your answers should lead you to the Color Seasons palette that’s your natural fit. And besides, it’s kind of fun! For each question, check the box next to the answer that best decries you. your perfect choice might not be listed, so go with the option that most closely resembles your preference.
Step Two: Find your personal season
First, check your answers and add up how many A, B, C and D selections you have. Now, find the season that best matches your personal features and personality:
Mostly As: Your color season is Winter. The strength of black, white, and rich, bold colors tends to appeal to you.
Mostly Bs: Your color season is Spring. These palettes feature clear pigments common to spring-flowering bulbs.
Mostly Cs: Your color season is Summer. Colors from the beach, such as sand, coral and ocean blue complement this season.
Mostly Ds: Your color season is Fall. Shades from nature, such as greens, burnt reds and oranges, as well as golden hues, predominate in fall palettes.
Step Three: Choose bold, bright, subtle or soft
Once you’ve narrowed your Color Seasons palette into Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, it’s time to match your personal style within each season. All seasons are broken down into Bold, Bright, Subtle, and Soft, for a total of 16 personal palettes. Consider both your style preferences and the mood you would like to create as you select the intensity of your Color Seasons palette. The palette descriptions can help you make this decision.
Though you may think your choices are limited, I have specifically designed only four palettes per season to help you make confident choices. Each is thoughtfully chosen and designed to be used as a group. Too many choices are overwhelming, and our goal is to get you the Color Seasons Palette that works for you.
Step Four: Be free to experiment
If you feel like experimenting on your own with color, try staying within one overall season to keep your look consistent. Use my formula to help with this process: Start by choosing your predominant color, then follow through with your accent colors. For example, your predominant color is Spring Subtle, but you use accent colors from the Spring Bold and Spring Bright palettes.
Allison Smith Color Seasons paint is available in sample jars to help you make these decisions. Be sure to use a white board to test the color. If you sample a color over an already painted wall, you compromise the true color of the paint. I’ll give you more details about Allison Smith Color Seasons paint and ideas for using the colors in your home in an upcoming blog on Palettes.
Step Five: Think fabric, accessories and more
Your Color Seasons palette is much more than a choice of paint colors. You’ll use it throughout your home for coordinating upholstery fabric, pillows, window coverings, area rugs and accessories. In the next few blogs we will go over each palate and show you some examples of it’s implementation. For now, check out some success stories in our Decorate With What You Own section.
What season did you end up with? Do you like your results, or do you prefer another palette?
…aka Apron front. Whatever you call it, we love it. Considered by some to be the original sink, these large, utilitarian, rectangular basins were designed to do it all: chores, prepping food, washing all of the dishes, and sometimes washing children too. Recent trends are heading towards a utilitarian look: exposed brick and hardwood, pendants with exposed bulbs, metal pipes as shelving, the list goes on and on. Of the items on this list of trends, the farmhouse sink might be the most useful. Who doesn’t want a sink that can fit both a saucepan and a baby?
This sink is amazing because it instantly creates ambiance in the kitchen. When you walk in and see a farmhouse sink, you know immediately that this homeowner appreciates a classic, country look, but wants to keep up with a great, long-lasting trend. While they can fit right in with a modern, eclectic style, these sinks are especially appropriate for our older Portland home remodels. Homes in Portland don’t get much older than the 1920’s and 30’s, which is the perfect era for this look. (Side note: here is an awesome map showing the age of Portland homes) Whether your home is a country cottage, or newer construction with a post-industrial design, this sink will last a lifetime and somehow always feel fresh.
This kitchen sink doesn’t have the bib, but still has plenty of farmhouse charm. We used black subway tile, soft blue walls, and a silver tin ceiling. Cup pulls help tie the look together and keep it true to the home’s classic architecture.
The classic black and white kitchen. Always a charmer, and so easily livened up with some pops of color from flowers, towels, and dishes. The best thing about a black and white kitchen is you can really go wild with your accessories and completely update the look on a whim.
A more subdued, country kitchen also works well with this style of sink. Use the colors you would find on a farm: the buttery cream of fresh milk, rustic bronze from rich soil, and cornflower blue.
And last, but certainly not least, our newest remodel of a home in Carlton, Oregon. This kitchen received the star treatment remodel with all new appliances, flooring, countertops, and a mosaic tile backsplash that goes all the way to the ceiling(!). This eclectic design combines new trends with lasting traditions. Let us know what you think.
What do you think of this style? Will it last? Would you use this sink in conjunction with a modern home?
We just received some progress photos from a project near Seattle; the crew is finishing up a Rec Center for this large apartment complex. So exciting to see a plan come to life and we’ll be sure to post some sparkling after pictures as soon as it’s done. For now, here is a teaser showing the wall color, some flooring, and a feature wall designed by us.
This feature wall is a custom design by Allison Smith. We used varying widths of wood and stained them in Banyan Brown from Sherwin Williams to match the moulding and trim. Once this room is put together, it’s going to be amazing.
The feature wall is continued into a prep-kitchen. Those cabinets will be painted a soft olive green from Benjamin Moore, Olive Branch.
Above is a little peek into our design process. All of the materials for the Rec Center are displayed to make sure everything works together. The mosaic tile in the bottom right corner will be the backsplash for the kitchen. The countertops are a beautiful, creamy CaesarStone Quartz. With brushed nickel finishes, stainless steel appliances, and wood and stone accents, this kitchen is sophisticated and rugged.
Moving into the main lounge area, carpet tile is the perfect solution for a commercial space that is going to get a lot of foot traffic. We found this great tile that reminds me of elevation lines on a map. Adding to our rugged appeal, this room will feature a fireplace surround made of pebble mosaic.
The fireplace in progress:
From the floor to the mantle, and for the mantle itself, we’re using a natural pebble from OTM’s Bali Stone Collection. Above the mantle is this very unique wood tile. It’s cross cut white oak in two inch squares arranged in a mosaic. So pretty.
Furniture and lighting have been carefully selected to bring the space together. I especially love this coffee table with a pull-out tray in the center:
Stay tuned for the big reveal of this rustic space.
This week the highlight is on a bathroom remodel in an old Portland home (could be haunted!). This bathroom was scary, and not in a good way. For this total remodel we used a palate of jade, smokey marble, chrome, and a rich cherry finish for the cabinets. Small round penny tile on the floor and a claw foot tub help to keep the early 1900’s feeling alive. As the less less popular relative of hex tile, penny tile is a refreshing alternative that still provides an era-appropriate look. Sparkling chrome for the faucet and mirrors is the perfect finishing touch for this jewel box of a bathroom. No longer spooky, this bathroom is refined and charming.