January 17, 2011

Neutral with a side of Color

I'm mad for color. Crazed, I tell you! I have an overwhelming need for it. I can already tell our next house will have a different feel from our last. I dream of soft neutral walls, at least in the main living spaces, paired with a pale slip-covered sofa and love seat (definitely my first major purchase when we move into a house).

But after that? Let the color begin! Colorful pillows, throws and artwork. Colorful dishes, whatnots and the occasional brightly hued painted piece of furniture. I aim to be bold. I aim to be fearless about decorating and color. Because, in this year of Living Fearlessly, how can I not just go for it?


I want all the rooms in my house to make me as happy as my studio does. It is truly the only room that really feels like me. I don't want my house to look like a model home. I want you to walk in and immediately get a sense of it's personality.


I feel like I decorated my last house to impress other people. I'm no Freud, but I would imagine that is a result of growing up so poor. This time I'll listen to my heart and do it my way without concern about what others think. I want it to reflect how I feel inside: playful, happy, youthful and individual. I couldn't care less about rules and trends.

I am officially a design rebel. Wanna join me?

Pics: BHG,Tumblr, Canadian Home and Country, Coastal Living, Country Living.

46 comments:

  1. May the skies rain punchy color all over the new digs!

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  2. i love color too. love the blue wall in the bookcase. that is fun.

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  3. i paint the rooms neutral and then i have fun with pops of color....so nice to be able to switch things up whenever i get the desire! i love red!

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  4. hi jen,

    i see lots of red and aqua in your fearless decor because those colors are popping up in your inspiration pics. love those colors, too.

    xo
    elyse

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  5. Love it! That blue bookcase is wonderful. I feel the same way, neutral walls are the punch of fun and playful fabrics and posters and whatnot to show through. We are waiting to be out of the leaky sippy cup phase before we invest in new furniture. It is on the horizon though as our current mishmash is barely passable as "furniture".

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  6. I wrote a whole post recently about how I needed color around me. I'm already a design rebel, I guess.

    Go for it!

    xo
    Claudia

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  7. I like your thinking ! Whoo hoo !
    Go for it !
    Sharon

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  8. I think the only thing growing up poor has done for me is make me a shopaholic & a bit of a hoarder! But I'm working on it.

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  9. I agree totally! I love white walls with punches of color all over the place. So much fun!! I love my white walls and red, white, and blue dining chairs in the dining room. That's the beauty of neutral walls, you can go crazy with color in your furnishings and accesories. I love looking at all white rooms, but I need some color in my rooms to make me happy.
    Hope you get your new house soon. I can't wait to see what you do with it!!
    Hope you have a great day!
    Beth.

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  10. You go girl! I can't wait to see.

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  11. I love color as well. I'm known for throwing unusual color combinations together. Color just doesn't scare me.

    Several years ago I hosted a fund-raiser tea. As one of the "community leaders" left she made a point of looking around, then looking back at me she said, "Your house looks so-- well, homey". I have to admit I was slightly taken aback, but responded, "Thank you, that is what I am going for. I want you to feel like you are at home here". Our homes are our refuge. I love your style.

    Your studio is wonderful!

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  12. I have a bunch of furniture that needs painting ...some that I will keep and some that I will sell. Just this morning I was wondering if I should stick with a theme of just one color so when I have a sale everything looks unified and makes a statement. After reading your latest blog entry just now I realize how CRAZY that is. I have crazy ideas sometimes. My new thought is to "ask" each piece of furniture what color they would like to be...this will be so much more fun!!! Thanks for the inspiration!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  13. Jen, I love this post! I am always torn...I am totally a "white loving girl". I want all my walls white...but I love it paired with grays and tans...you know, "neutrals". But there is something that makes me so stinkin' happy about a bright aqua piece in the room, or something of the sort.

    So I am with you here. I want fun, and cheerfulness throughout my house. Not just in my studio where I have it now!

    It must be these long midwest winters...

    Mary

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  14. Great post Jen!!! And your preaching to the choir!! Building this house has been such a great experience for me because since it is the 3rd house I have had input on the building, this house is TRULY me! I never realized what a rustic queen I am! It makes my heart sing!! Rustic beams with stone and brick touches inside with black iron and crystal chandeliers. NEVER would I allow myself to do something so daring. I have learned that life is short and we need to just DO IT! And I'm SO glad you are!!!!! :)
    XOXO

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  15. ps- the basic PB sofa is on sale right now with an EXTRA 15% off the sale price!! I'll mail you the code (although I bet you get it already) I am ordering one I think for my keeping room! I have ALWAYS wanted a slipcovered sofa and it's coming true!! YAY! :)

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  16. Fearless-I love that thought! I've always been a decorating rebel. I love color and that hasn't always matched what trends are. I just do what I love and put out objects that I love and I feel liberated every time I walk in my house.

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  17. Home has got to make you happy! If color makes you happy then there must be color! I have tons of color! Even my bathroom is bright - green and white checkerboard floor, bright floral wallpaper, and bright red towels. That probably sounds horrible, but really, it is just so stinkin' cheery that no one can be grumpy in the morning! I look forward to seeing what colors you choose.

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  18. I feel exactly the same way!! I often say that I don't like it when some of my favorite blogs tell me what's in and what's out. Really who cares, I want to do my own thing not jump on a band wagon.

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  19. Great use of color--some combinations quite unusual--love that aqua--I have the very same color in a large corner cabinet makes everything lood wonderful--Sherron

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  20. Jen- You have accomplished much by just realizing that you can be you without HAVING to impress anyone. It took me years (many years) to find that I needn't decorate to impress anyone. I grew up in a home with the basics. Mother never cared much about the house-she was a farm wife..although her floors and windows were always clean...there was not much in the way of personality in the house. So, I understand how you grew up...as it sounds much like my own upbringing.

    I can't wait to see the house you find and the way you decorate it. Hugs- Diana

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  21. You got it sister! Color is the way to go. I used to feel funny about my house, it is very colorful inside and out and has alot of whimsy to it AND alot of items to looks at. Some folks hate it and some love it. But it doesn't matter, cause I love it! Enjoy. Kit

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  22. I love all of the pops of color in your photos! Are these your house or someone else's? I didn't see any sources tagged...

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  23. Yes! Yes! Yes!

    I am loving the idea of decorating our next house with only thrift purchases. We shall see~!

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  24. I do, I do! Sounds like fun!

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  25. i'm so with you! i think that's why i love so much white ... you can then go crazy with color on accessories and art and linens and whimsical touches that make you happy! you want to look around and see things that bring you joy and inspire you, not things that make you say, "yes ... that's lovely." i can't wait to see where your house-hunting journey takes you!!

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  26. Atta girl....Sounds like you have my design taste....do what YOU like....what makes YOUR heart smile. :)

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  27. I decorate for me and no one else because I live here. Go for it and who cares if anyone else understands your decisions or likes them! That's my motto!!

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  28. I love it! The white walls with pops of color...so fun! I can't wait to see what you do...

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  29. That studio shot is yummy. Love the color pops against the white. Can't wait to see you in your new nest, JJ! It will be gorgeous, that's for sure.

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  30. Jen,
    Wonderful post, wonderful style, wonderful studio. You have just got it right, girl!
    Hugs,
    Suz

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  31. Love the pictures you've posted today. I've been away from blogging for over a year really and just catching up on all my old favourite blogs. Just thought I'd say hi and I look forward to seeing what colours you choose for your new home.

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  32. I am a color fanatic too! I think that your home should reflect your personality and I think we get to an age (it's probably different for different people but probably about 40 give or take a few yrs) where we realize who we really are and what our personality is -truly and we're not afraid to live it.

    I have a friend who has a beautiful home but it was decorated entirely by our local furniture store and it's so obvious and so lacking in her family's personality. I find it kind of sad really. Maybe she just hasn't reached 'that age' yet...

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  33. I love this post!! It is how I have been feeling lately, too. I've always been a neutral girl, but sometimes I just need some color amongst all the white and cream which is the foundation for my place! I really think it's easy to get caught up in the "trends" on some of the blogs. Lately I have been loving green, red, yellow.....tints of fun blue! Especially when it's on vintage decor!
    ~michelle~

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  34. I love my 'neutral' walls(the color is Pale Sunshine) for the simple reason everything else pops with it in the background and it is so easy to change my mind about the colors I'm using.
    I am sooo with you on making my house for me, not other people. What good does it do others who don't even live here?

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  35. I am in the same mindset. I tried to do the "in" thing with all the other neutral houses. It isn't me and I am finished with it! Color is the new neutral around here.

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  36. Create what you dream of not what others say you should dream of. That's what we did a year ago when we build a new house to look like an old farmhouse. It reflects who we are. It wasn't easy, mind you. Now we are adding little touches to make it home.

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  37. My house is full of color....as soon as i left rental land, I got out my paintbrush and roller....we go for the color on the walls--definitely not as easily changed but it makes me happy and warms up the house...our walls are bright yellow, bright pink (girls bedroom), pine green, bright blue with colorful artwork, rugs, light fixtures (those vintage fixtures come in lots of great colors!) and quilts all around...in my house, blue is considered a neutral, as it is in almost every room. Come on in and join the party--you can't beat getting happy by just looking at the walls! LIve for yourself, not for the design rule-makers! If your house reflects you, it will shine and give love to everyone who enters, just like you do. Start getting ready by collecting those inspiration pics....

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  38. I LOVE my color too, come on over
    (http://antiquesanduniques.blogspot.com) and check out my last post...Making it Mine. It links to a article/pictures I did on color in my home and how I use it. I bet you'll enjoy reading it.
    Carol in GA

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  39. I'm in! Love it. Every word.

    Seriously, I love it when a home reflects the character of its' residents. So cool.
    -FringeGirl

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  40. oh! i'm LOVING these!!
    perfection... i think the "neutral" part
    make my clutter feel less cluttered!

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  41. I agree. I love the look of magazines and show homes...they are perfectly done..but it never seems like home to me...I just want to do what makes me feel good when I walk into a room and if I do then so will my visitors....I get more ideas from blogs..than I do from pictures in a magazine...love you blog keep up the good work frances

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  42. I'm with ya! I am starved for color! Red is my love again!

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  43. Jen, I just love all these pictures. I love your studio too and I have no doubt your new home will have tons of personality and pops of fun color galore. I can’t wait to see it :) You have a great eye gal.
    Amy at Verde Farm

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  44. I decorate for me. What I like and makes me feel good. I love vintage things, I love the simpleness of the past. Love your post!!

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Thank you for taking the time to say hello today! I always love to hear what you have to say.