Category Archives: Color Schemes

Keepin’ It Fresh: How To Decorate With Green Accents

green and gray design by kelly porter

green and gray design by kelly porter

The best way to freshen up your space is with a new hue.  But that doesn’t mean you have to go through the hassle of painting.  Sometimes less is more.  And introducing a new accent color may be all you need to do.  It’s easier and less expensive than paining an entire room.  Not only that, but using an accent gives you the ability to safely add a more daring color that you would not want painted on the walls.  Or it just gives you the chance to try a new color that you haven’t used before.

fresh greens

Green is one of my favorite colors to use as an accent.  Not the deep emeralds or pine greens.  I like the slightly lighter, warmer greens.  Think of how the leaves look in early spring.  They haven’t fully developed so their color is lighter and not as pronounced as late-summer leaves.  Know what I mean?  This green can easily transform into a neutral, so it looks great with a variety of other background colors, such as a deep gray (shown above in my dining room).  Take a look at these other examples:

turquoise and green via

turquoise and green via

orange and green via hgtv

orange and green via hgtv

lavender and green via

lavender and green via

amber and green design by kelly porter

amber and green design by kelly porter

It’s very easy to add in green (or any other accent color for that matter) with throw pillows, chic lamps or side chairs:


via tumblr

kristen rivoli via

kristen rivoli via

via laurie gorelick interiors

via laurie gorelick interiors

Or create drama with long, luxurious curtains.

And don’t overlook the bathroom.  There is no shortage of pretty wallpapers and these days, many styles are removable.  Or you can just include a few accessories for around the sink.

Green represents nature, newness and wealth.  Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded with that?

The Colors of Love

While Valentine’s Day is all about love, flowers and candy (although maybe not necessarily in that order), the promotion that surrounds this day can be a great source of color inspiration.

via magnoliastyles blog

via magnoliastyles blog

Look beyond the usual red and you can find romantic, alluring and feminine color schemes that could be just what you’re looking for.

Think pink, blush, ivory, coral and orange.  All of these hues work well together and can bring a splash of glamour to your bedroom, living room or home office.

The ‘ombre’ cherries shown above were featured in a brochure that I just got in the mail from Shari’s Berries.  My immediate thought was how delicious they look.  Then I thought about how fattening they probably are…but then I thought how cool these colors would look in a room.  I’m talking horizontal stripes painted with yummy shades of calorie-free pink!  I just know some of you would love to do this, so I’ve listed my paint picks at the end of this post.

pink artwork

Other lovely ideas:  Add pinks, corals and reds in a statement art piece, an area rug or a great sofa.

For a playful look, combine contrasting candy-colors such as pink and black.  This. is. bold. But it’s a fun design with tons of energy.  This space really reminds me of an old school box of Good and Plenty…but I love that it has so much personality.

via - jamie hernandez, designer

via – jamie hernandez, designer

And if an entire room of pink and black is too much for you, just add in a few chic desktop accessories instead.

You can also find storage boxes in a variety of pretty colors {I love these}:

…And I heart this idea:

So, for my adventurous readers who want to try the pink ombre stripes, here are my suggested paint colors from Sherwin-Williams:  Heartfelt, Cheery, Loveable, Alyssum, and a great shade of ivory–Alabaster.

pink paint colors


Happy Valentine’s Day!

Foyers and Hallways and Stairs, Oh My!

photo via

photo via

The start of a new year is the perfect time to get a new look for your home.  I suggest you begin right inside the front door.  Your home’s entryway sets the tone for the rest of the house, so don’t overlook how important it is to create a good first impression.

I’ve had many clients who have really struggled with choosing a color for their foyers.  I understand why.  If you get it wrong nothing else seems to look and feel right, especially if your foyer is a large, open two-story behemoth, which is the case with many suburban homes these days. On top of that, you have to consider the stairway and/or adjoining hallway.

Even if your entryway is small, it’s still ‘introduces’ the rest of your home, and most likely, it connects most if not all of the other rooms together.  So, making the right color choice here is crucial.  I’m always asked my opinion on the best paint colors for foyers, so I’ve broken it down into four categories:


The photo at the top features a foyer using Berkshire Beige from This is a cool beige, or what I like to call greige which is a blend of gray and beige.  This is a good alternative if you don’t like the idea of using a pure gray, but if you do…

via {highmark buildiers}

via {highmark buildiers}

…Pavestone Gray from creates a clean, classic look especially when paired with dark wood tones.

The photo below features another cool neutral (Virtual Taupe from SW) that works well if you’re looking for a darker, cozier greige.

via adeeni design group

via adeeni design group

Sherwin-Williams’ Viva Gold (a color I’ve used many times) was used in this warm and cheery foyer. I love this yellow because it has rich undertones that give a room a sophisticated feel and its not too bright.  Below, is another of my favorite colors for foyers, SW’s Interactive Cream.  This color is light and airy but it still has tons of warmth, and it goes with everything!

interactive cream

SW Accessible Beige (below) is also a great neutral.  I like this color because it has a beachy feel that works well for casual foyers.

via regan baker design

via regan baker design

via decorpad

via decorpad

A black and white foyer is always elegant and will never go out of style.  But these days, black and white is trending in more casual, laid-back spaces, too.

via karen b. wolf

via karen b. wolf

You can achieve a classic, crisp black and white combo using Graphite and Super White, both by Benjamin Moore.


Lastly, if you have a creative personality…show it off!  Sometimes the best way to welcome guests into your home is with a color that reflects who you are and what you’re about. In this foyer/stairwell, I used SW’s Copper Harbor and Jacaranda for a gentlemen who was inspired by his travels to the Caribbean.

But is it OK to paint your foyer fuchsia or turquoise?  Sure!


via (color is Razzle Dazzle by Benjamin Moore)

via decorpad (color is SW's Drizzle)

via HGTV (color is SW’s Drizzle)

And I love this purple foyer.  This color reminds me of a similar color I used for a client’s foyer — she was newly divorced and with her ex-husband gone, she wanted to re-paint her home with colors that made her happy and would help her to move on.  Never underestimate the power of color!

Super Chic Christmas Colors

red and turquoise colors

Well, it’s that wonderful time of the year, and it seems like the holiday season got here pretty fast!  At least for me.  But that’s a good thing because I truly love Christmastime, and I had so much fun creating this year’s Christmas Color palettes.  As always, I included a mix of traditional and unconventional colors, which I think are all super chic choices for decorating and entertaining….starting with the retro-modern red and turquoise combo shown above {my living room}.  I hope these color ideas help to make your holiday planning a little more jolly!


Christmas green_white

Create a simple and chic display by arranging sprigs of holly, pine and boxwood in milk vases. I have a huge collection of milk vases and I love how versatile they are! I found all of them at local thrift stores!


vintage gold Christmas

For an antique look, mix yellow gold with rose gold and tones of parched ivory & natural wood.


dare to be different {and whimsical} with an ornament display in tones of warm orange

Dare to be different {and whimsical} with a fiery orange ornament display that would make Heat Miser proud!


keep it simple and easy with classic silver accessories -- they are always on trend during the holidays {and easy to find}

…Or keep it simple and easy with classic silver accessories — they’re always on trend during the holidays {and easy to find}.


pinecones have a natural warmth -- these beautiful browns contrast perfectly against frosty white

Pinecones have a natural warmth, so display them all over your home in bowls and jars. These brown beauties look especially great in a frosty white setting. Let it snow!

All photos and styling by Kelly Porter.

Design Concept: A Dazzling Dressing Room

dressing room 2

One of my many projects in the past year involved working with an Online Design client who lives in Brooklyn, NY.  Asha contacted me because she needed help turning a small bedroom into a vintage-glam dressing room filled with her favorite colors — fuchsia and red.  The initial color she selected (shown below) just wasn’t right so she halted everything  in hopes that I could get her back on track.

before - too red!

before – too red!

Aside from choosing paint colors, one of the biggest challenges for Asha was editing down the furniture she wanted in the space.  She already had a few beautiful pieces with dark wood finishes, including a vanity she found at an antiques store.  Asha also wanted shelves, and she was considering a sleeper-chair for the space.  But with the room being only about 7 feet wide (the longest wall is 11 feet), something just wouldn’t make the cut.

dressing room design board

I began with the color scheme, I selected Razzle Dazzle by Benjamin Moore for the main wall color.  It’s a happy, bold shade of fuchsia.  I also suggested painting the closet a lighter, coordinating hue —  Pure Pink.

dressing room 5

Then, because of the room’s small size, my concept included small, open shelves (which provided a pop of red) and a slipper chair–instead of a bulky sleeper-chair.  I also included a few fun, girly things such as the crystal beaded curtain and the damask stencil design.  This is a boudoir, after all.

dressing room design

dressing room 4

When I last heard from Asha, she was very happy with the design and appreciated the editing process.  It can be hard to ‘leave out’ special items that you want to see in your space, but in small room, less is more.

NOTE:  Using bold hues in a small space can be tricky!  The color will get amped up because the walls are closer together and they will reflect the color more intensely.  But with the right color tones, the results can be strikingly beautiful.

desigin and computer renderings by Kelly Porter