A lesson in color

Written by contributors Lauren & Josiah Lowe of The Burlap Bag

Ah, do we have a special treat for you! For the next FIVE weeks, Josiah and I are going to do a mini series on the basics of design! It’s going to be called “Strategies for Designing Your Life”. In this series, we will discuss some basic design elements and give examples of how to utilize them. The series will help to add interest, harmony, and unity to your life. Be sure to check back every Thursday for the next design element!

Today’s design element is COLOR.

We present you with: A lesson in color.

We’re going to discuss 4 thoughts on color and show you some color examples that we found in our life:

1. Variation in color is fun!

 When we got married 4 years ago, we registered for FiestaWare place settings in all the colors of the rainbow. We chose all the vibrant primary and secondary colors – no pastels or neons here! Not to say that we don’t like those – but we knew that too much variation can cause chaos. We also chose grey and black placemats to balance out the madness of colors. I love all the different colored place settings and make it a personal goal to never have a matching cup and plate.

 Having a few different colored pieces can make each piece stand out on it’s own. Imagine those chairs and table a solid black…. Not as exciting! Each piece is important and they are tied together with our colorful rug.

2. Pops of color can draw your eyes to a subject.

 We didn’t have to look very far for this one! In fact, Josiah just had to open his eyes. Literally. Josiah’s dorky green glasses (he’ll write our next post and I’ll let him defend himself then) are an amazing pop of color. He chose green because he wanted something that made him look different from the crowd. Pops of color can draw your eyes to a subject. (in this case, Josiah’s face!)

 Paint your front door a fun color! Or your back door. Or your kids’ bedroom doors! This creates a fun color pop that brings your eyes to the entrance. It’s especially good for telling someone directions “we’re the house with the sea foam green door!”

3. Color can evoke a feeling/emotion/mood.

We redid this sink piece that we found second-hand. It was black with crackle paint and it was hard to see the potential in the piece. We painted it yellow to show off its fun and quirky features. This piece actually sits in our retail shop here in Austin – and everyone who comes in says that the piece fits well in our shop. Some pieces may need to be painted dark colors to fit the mood of the room. The yellow was perfect for our shop.

Yep world, this is me. And my current stage of hair. It’s an ombre-ish effect of brown to purple to hot pink to baby pink. It makes me happy whenever I look at it – what it makes everyone else think, I’m not too worried about! Ha. But looking down and seeing it puts me in a good mood.

4. Color can create interest in a space.

Our friend Sunee has this super sweet and easy-to-make canvas in her living room. Just buy a canvas and paint it a solid color! It instantly creates interest and finishes the space up. You could even go crazy and paint a pattern if it won’t compete with what’s already in the room. Using leftover paint is a great idea too.

 Sunee also has an amazing green bed frame. It totally gives their bedroom life. They painted it in such a way that you still see the wood grain which makes it even more interesting to look at! Just the plain wood color wouldn’t have been too exciting… but the green rocks.

So let’s review:

Pops of color can draw your eyes to a subject.

Color can evoke a feeling/emotion/mood.

Variation in color is fun!

Color can create interest in a space.

The most important rule? Make the color fit you and your life. We tend to go for the exciting and invigorating colors… obvious by our glasses and hair choices! But we do try to do color in moderation. And mixing in neutrals is essential.

How do you use color? Leave comments with links for how you use color in your life – we would love to see!

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  1. I love pops of color. Sometimes I don’t feel brave enough to try it. I always think what if I go through all that work and then I don’t like it. Now don’t get me wrong. I have a yellow kitchen with pops of red. And my front door is red. So…pops of color. But, sometimes I want more…

  2. Arianne says:

    All the color in your world is so inspiring! I get into color themes in my wardrobe and home – right now green and yellow keep popping up at home, but I don’t do it intentionally. I have to remind myself to bring other pops of color in! Also now I want ombre hair… (so cute)

  3. I love shades of blue, and our house, and my wardrobe, is full of them. I think they can evoke a calming, relaxing atmosphere, but I do sometimes use bright royal blue to mix it up, which adds a pop of excitement. I’m excited for your five week series!

  4. Lisa – a yellow kitchen sounds lovely!
    Arianne – oh yeah, I’m always wearing green these days… such a nice color. Get you some ombre hair! 🙂
    Emily – Blue is totally calming! Thanks for reading and being excited!

  5. I loved this post, thanks!

  6. I’m loving all your colors, your personality definitely shines through!! I have a question about the orange table in the second pic…what do you know about it? We got a similar one at a thrift store and wondered about its origins.

  7. We really like having neutral walls so that we can have lots of color in the fun stuff–furniture, art, pillows, etc. Just got a new (to us) retro green couch. Our kids think we’re crazy, but we loved the color!

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