Thursday, April 15, 2010

revisiting my study in red + a little help from my friends

You'll need a coffee (or a calming camomile tea) and your thinking caps on for this one bloggy peeps, but it is informative in places...well one small place anyway. A short time ago I gave you a little glimpse into my study and said that I'd surprised myself by decorating with red...not a colour I had previously bonded with...not even in the lipstick sense! Chillies, tomato soup, red onions though...yep, they get a good workout here.
One of my new blogging friends, Grace from Sense and Simplicity was a bit aghast when I suggested I needed to paint the walls of my study white...she was a bit concerned it'd all look like a candy cane or a barber's pole...actually I wouldn't mind one of those...

I'm so easily distracted...anyway, she got to thinking...and flung me some suggestions from the northern hemisphere about other possible colour combos.  Here are a few more views of the study so you know what we're dealing with...this is the wall opposite my desk and taken from the doorway
This is the desk area...lovely morning light but not so good for photos sorry...
Quite frankly (and no offence) I thought Grace was off her rocker with the pale blue/pale turquoise suggestion...which led us to... a collaboration!  Grace started gathering ideas of red + [insert relevant colour] schemes and is blogging about them today (but don't scoot off there just yet..I've got good stuff too!). Not to be outdone (competitive, me?), I've done my own forensic investigation of the colour red...Shannon Fricke's fabulous book Sense of Style: Colour and Space just happened to be on my bookshelf (I needed a snack...research is hungry work and by this stage the book had migrated to the desk)

and she says (this is the informative bit) works with:
  • other warm colours like orange and yellow [but I'm afraid that would make me feel like I was working in a fruit salad]
  • deep muted shades of plum apparently 'ground' it [I think I'm grounded enough, although some may disagree]
  • shades of blue such as aqua give it an extra kick [Grace I'm sending the book publisher to you right now!], and
  • neutrals like oatmeal or chocolate help to tame its feisty nature [rwoaar or however you spell that sound]
Here's some of the colour combos I found...I'm afraid my colour palette is restricted to neutrals and blues with a tiny bit of metallic..because I can't really imagine me wanting to live with anything else in this room where I spend so much time, but I know Grace has gone much wilder than that! Goody.

client image board by Amy at Varnish...pretty good huh?

So what say you blogsters. I know you'll help me....but before you decide, please head over to Grace's blog and have a look at what she's come up with for me...I'm off there now because she wouldn't let me see before she posted! I have to be the world's worst procrastinator...could you please help...I really would love to hear what you think I should do :)
At this point I'm thinking pale caramel or stone or pale turquoise...or perhaps I should be thinking wallpaper!!!
images taken or scanned by me from my books (so chuffed I know how to do that now) or house and garden, living etc via table tonic, house of turquoise, design sponge, varnish, fancy and folly


  1. ok. so. i am 100% loving the idea of a super light aqua in your office. i really think it will make the red pop and its such a popular color combo right now. take the risk it.
    i love what grace did for you. the very first pic on her post is my fave.

  2. I like the colours in Froggymonkey's photo on Grace's blog! You need to look at it all day... go back to the picture you keep being drawn too and have FUN :-)

  3. I really like the look of the pale aqua-ish grey-ish colour (if that makes sense!!!). Really nice... :)

  4. Ok, are you ready for some serious colour theory? I didn't think so, but you do need to think about whether you use the room during the day or night, and for how long. Red is a strong colour and very energising (great for studies) but can be overpowering when combined with some colours (give the orange, yellow and green a miss). So, if you use your study mainly at night, I'd go for a caramel/taupe, which is rich enough to compliment the red. If you use it mainly during the day, then a pale aqua would definitely be a bright counterpoint to the red. Wallpaper is a favourite of mine, so that would look amazing. But if you decide to paint, get a few large pieces of white cardboard and paint two coats of colour on, then place them around the room at different times of the day. You'll then get a good idea of how you feel about the colour.
    Now I've written a novel, you're probably none the wiser about which way to go!
    Your study looks great already so whatever you choose will be fab! Glad you're back chicky, have a great day. K xx

  5. I'm with you on the yellow.I like the light grey but light browns/beige also look great.In our study, we don't have the red accessories but have 2 red walls and the other two are a tan (lenox tan from Benjamin Moore paints - their website has paint chips that are fairly close to the colour). Our bookshelves and desks are the same colour as yours and they stand out great against the tan walls. So if you like more neutrals, the pale caramel will make the black furniture pop as well as all your red accessories. Your red chest will really stand out. Good luck - might actually be a room where you end up painting a few test squares!

  6. I agree with Ashlina, I'm loving the pale blue walls in the first image on Grace's blog.
    I had to hire a color consultant, do don't give too much credence to what I say. Getting color right can be challenging. I'm going to send my friend Kathysue from the "Good Life of Design" because she has the gift of color and I think she might have some great advice for you!!

  7. I love your post Kerry - you are such a hoot. We did really well to only have one picture overlap. You found some great photos - I'm especially loving that image board.

    Thanks for showing the other side of your study. It is always reassuring to me, when there are actual books in someone's study. Having seen your study and all the photos - my vote would be for a pale turquoise colour.

  8. Haven't visited Grace's blog yet, though I love the pallete in pic 5 of yours. That red ottoman with the pale walls and denim-toned lounge seems calming for an office space.

  9. I havent seen alot of RED lately...:)
    I like the color combos....and I say go for it, why not?

    Jen Ramos --

  10. I'd cut sick with the colour Kerry.

    If you want to stay a little safe, go for grey.

    But personally i would go with either plum or deep turquoise. Turquoise works best with raspberry type reds, so if you reds are a bit more on the orange end of the scale - not so good.

    look forward to seeing it!! julesx

  11. Wow, after reading everyone's suggestions I don't envy you making a choice. They are all great suggestions and Grace had some fantastic images! I am drawn to neutrals so I would prefer to see a brown/grey or ivory but I did like the pale blue with the red (Grace's first image) you could always incorporate three colours of pale blue, oatmeal and the red. Good luck and I can't wait to see what you decide on! xx

  12. I would like to vote for the red and blue. I really like the way the soft blue looks with the vibrant calms it down a bit but still makes a strong statement. Just stumbled on your blog and I am glad that I did :)

  13. Oh so much to choose from. I was rather drawn to the Sarah Richardson designs with combos of red and white. Can't wait to hear what happens next.

  14. I like red with beige, or khaki (did I spell that right?!) Anyway, I also like the red with light blue, like the first and 8th pictures over on Grace's blog. I would not . . . I repeat . . . would NOT use red and yellow. I know people do it and it always makes me think of McDonalds! Yuck. Please don't. (I'll still love you if you do . . . but I'm begging you not to!)

  15. Well done. I love red but I can't concentrate in a study that is too busy. I assume you can't either. I would vote for neutral coloured walls and red accents that can be moved or removed as your tranquility dictates. Good luck.

  16. Dear Kerry, If your study were a drawing room, and an eighteenth century one at that, then I should suggest the well tried and very successful formula of Chinese Yellow teamed with a lipstick red. I have worked with this all my life, and so I KNOW!! As it is, your study is not an eighteenth century drawing room so I have absolutely no idea.

  17. Hi Kerry
    if you're feeling daring you should go with turquoise -awesome combination !
    But if that study was for me I'd go for muted tones like cream or caramel.. my middle name must be Prudence !

  18. Turquoise would be my choice but not too pale, a bit punchy and if it turns out too punchy for you one can so easily repaint. Get some nice turquoise nick nacks as well. Little vase, pencilcase, frame....Shall I hop over to help :))

  19. Ok Kerry...I have pondered. Colour is tricky and I think you first need to look at your colouring and the clothes you wear. You will either gravitate towards warm or cool. I think it comes down to that and the colours you live tend to follow suit. Think of your favourite room in the house, a room you like at a friends house or it could simply be that all the pages you are tearing from the magazine are telling you the same thing. I see warmth in the photos above. Your reds will have a bit of yellow in them rather than blue as will your yellows,
    greens and blues. I am a warm red/yellow girl so I am biased. I visited Grace's blog. She has lovely images with more cool tones of red etc....

    I have warm beiges throughout our home but that is more a lifestyle thing (buying/selling homes in short spurts of time) than anything else.

    How about going off to a interior design shop and picking up a few fabric books that have the colours you are contemplating. You can then look at them throughout the day and see if something 'speaks' to you.

    I have not read the other comments so apologies if others have said the same thing.

    I look forward to hearing about your progress!!!


  20. PS...sorry, long winded post but my thought on colour is that you have to live with it and you have to love it! Go with your is always a pretty good indicator in my books :)

  21. A color palette is something so so personal. I do think the aqua will be great {on one wall}. Good Luck with your choices, I'm sure it will become a beautiful beautiful space!

  22. A color palette is so so personal. I do think one aqua wall will be awesome. Good Luck on your choices. I'm sure it will became a gorgeous, beautiful beautiful space, Kerry!

  23. You had me at Turquoise and red! Love it!!!
    Be brave, go bright

  24. I really like the use of red in the image with the red floral ottoman but I think aqua could work well with it too. Am off to see Grace's post. Can't wait to see what you do! x

  25. The red on the wall of your study is quite lovely. I am a red gal, too, though right now I've entered an apple green, periwinkle blue, and clear yellow phase. The red is getting worked in with pinks, which looks beautiful with the blues and greens.

    I love pink with red, also. Do you follow Teesha Moore's work. She does a lot of artwork with red and pink and it just reminds me of a garden parasol.

    You have a beautiful blog and I so appreciate you taking the time to leave me a note on mine!

  26. i have gone through this blog. i found it really interesting fot my job and my future career

    study and earn


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