Location: South San Francisco
Type: 3 br "Lilliputian Ranch" at 950 square foot (co-owned)
Why I use color:
I use color to quiet myself for sleep, brighten my mood for the day, or lift my spirits during San Francisco's infamous stretches of foggy weather. The bedroom is painted a pale yellow, the ceiling a soft blue, which sends a subtle signal that I'm waking to sunshine even on the foggiest days. I use selected "pops" of color to coordinate with favorite pieces of artwork and rugs both inherited and collected. The bed, chair seat, and window shade are the same bright blue microfiber (ideal with pets in the house). . .
. . .In the case of the blue window shade, besides blocking the view of a neighbor's two story home nearby, it helps suggest there may be a sunny sky beyond. The chair is a flea market find from Paris, the predominantly red and blue infinity-design rug inherited from my mother, the brightly colored artwork from a German artist (who happens to be my favorite uncle), the red/orange/purple silk shawl at the foot of the bed from a trip to India, and the red geraniums from the garden. My favorite place to read or write is sitting there with the garden colors perfectly framed by the window.
2 good color tips:
1. Choose colors based on the mood you want to inspire in yourself (pale yellow in a foggy climate, bright red to energize, watery blues and greens colors to soothe).
2. When sampling colors, buy pure white posterboard at an art supply shop, and paint the colors you're considering on pieces of artboard (preferably on individual boards but, if on the same board, ensure there's at least a 3" strip of white dividing your colors). Prop the boards against a wall, move them around every other day, looking at the proposed colors in all light conditions until you've found the one you like the most.
2 good color resources:
1. To explore color and color theory: Color Matters.
2. Studying art can often help you learn about color and, depending on the mood you want to inspire, your favorite piece of art may provide you with the perfect color palette for interior design. I suggest perusing museum collections like MOMA.