We know that one of the most taxing and tricky commitments to make when decorating a room can be what colors to use in unison. The world of color is a vast one with endless options, so to help guide the decision-making process, we introduce this new series on flawless designer-approved palettes where we tapped 10 experts and asked them for their own go-to combinations. Up first: The lovely ladies from CLOTH & KIND.
A little background on the firm: CLOTH & KIND’s principals Krista Nye Nicholas and Tami Ramsay are renowned for their ability to create spaces with history and heart. Each of their projects is layered with a meticulous mix of one-of-a-kind finds and a heavy dose of unique and custom textiles, curated art and furnishings. With office locations in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Athens, Georgia, the pair’s design aesthetic is always classic with a modern vibe and a worldly influence.
Go-to color palette and why it works: “A combination of blue, purple and pink. Blue, in any shade, is just lovely. We dig nothing more than pairing it with hues of varying pastels ranging from blush pinks to rich plumy purples. It really creates a calm, relaxed yet sophisticated room.”
How does someone go about picking a color scheme that really speaks to them? “At our firm, we begin a design project with a specific artisanal textile, hand screen-printed wallpaper or vintage rug as the starting point for color in a room. Color inspiration is quite literally everywhere, and can come in any form. Allowing yourself to be free and open with color choices is ultimately so gratifying and your spaces will be all the more personal if you’re involved in selecting a palette that is meaningful to you. Being guided by the hues in something you already love will invariably lead you to an interesting color story in that space. Look to something personal for palette ideas, for example, an old painting of your grandmother’s that you’ve always adored or a piece of your children’s art, a vintage rug, the flowers blooming in your yard, or even a photograph that captured the essence of a recent trip you loved.”
What are some of your personal sources to get some color inspiration? “Nothing, we repeat, nothing, beats travel. We’ve visited Milan, Los Angeles, New York and Chicago (to name just a few) over the last couple of years and are heading to Morocco this fall. Seeing the world through the lens of a different culture or location inspires us to take color risks in ways we couldn’t possibly dream up on our own if we just sat in our home towns every day of our lives.”
What country has the best color takeaways? “India. Their use of color is nothing short of joyful and fearless. We love the Diana Vreeland quote that says ‘Pink is the navy blue of India.’ It says it all!”
Are there any color combos you are tired of seeing? “We are unbiased when it comes to color and so we wouldn’t say we get sick of seeing certain combos, especially when they are done in unusual and refreshing ways. What we do get sick of seeing is exact designs replicated to a T, for example, that same old staid white kitchen with the same fixtures over the island. Spice it up, people! Try something new, take risks, follow your gut. Be inspired by a room you love, but don’t aim to replicate it.”
Where have you used unexpected pops of color before? “You name it, we’ve painted it. There isn’t much that can’t be totally reimagined with a fresh coat of paint in a new color. We’re especially keen on painting all of the molding and trim in a room. It adds infinite depth and contrast, and makes the room so very much more interesting than plain old white trim. Many of our clients are initially nervous to take this trim-painting plunge, but every single one of them adores the choice and has zero regrets.”
Want to see more glorious examples of how luscious blue, purple and pink can be when used together in harmony? Scroll through, enjoy and let us know if you'd try this combination out in your own home!