Skip to main content

Using Color in Home Design

Lesson 23 of 33

Floorings, Furnishings, Art & Lighting

Tobi Fairley

Using Color in Home Design

Tobi Fairley

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

23. Floorings, Furnishings, Art & Lighting


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:10:02
2 Color Models 101 Duration:26:47
3 Color Schemes 101 Duration:45:39
4 Debunking Color Fears Duration:44:02
5 Debunking Color Fears Pt. 2 Duration:25:23
8 To Trend or Not to Trend Duration:12:47

Lesson Info

Floorings, Furnishings, Art & Lighting

So what about flooring and rugs on dit? Is the foundation literally and figuratively of each room, so take it into account. A lot of people say the ceiling is the fifth wall, and so if that's the case, then the floor is really the sixth wall, because think of how much flooring space you have compared to walls in a room, a lot of it, so you can't ignore it and it's a perfect place to bring in color, texture and pattern together. So what is your flooring? Is a hard wood marble tile carpeting? Is it one of those things with eyes it marble or hardwood with a rug on top of it? Or something else? Is that cork is it would laid in a herringbone or chevron pattern, so it starts to become your subtle play of pattern and texture. There's so many things you can do with the flooring that can really add detail to the space. How about that? Any questions on you got you got all kinds of stuff way got a whole dialogue happening on the grass cloth, the walls we've got questions, color is wonders if you ...

would still use grass cloth if the high miners have allergy problems, and I might just combine with that pure design interiors had said that they don't use it because of the visible same a lot of people don't like the visible seams, I think that adds to the charm, because I happen to like grass cloth, but you just know your client or yourself and know if that's going to bother you so some people, it adds character to see that that's what's happening there and then there's other companies like I was just when I was at market there's, a great faux grass cloth, which would solve both of those problems it's made by tebow while covering. They also have an amazing foo would like a faux bois, but it's textured, it actually feels like almost just like the slow ring but it's a vinyl wall covering so both of those air vinyl, so the faux grass cloth actually has real texture to it, and what people love about it is it doesn't show the same because it's installed like a real vinyl wall covering, so there are people out there making all sorts of products that so cool. Tio tio, counter act and fix a lot of those problems. We've already looked at this today. This is the flip side. This is the breakfast room that's attached to that kitchen that we saw with the striped flooring, but think about unusual ways to do things and actually we ended up saving that client a lot of money it wasn't the initial goal but we painted the hardwood floors as opposed to putting in all new traver teen or marble or something it was a lot less expensive but it was especially more interesting right? It was much more fun and unique andi I've often then this was staying so if you don't want a painted floor if it's not your look if you don't want to be softer palette or cottage e or anything like that think about what you can accomplish with staining a floor and I recently did something kind of like your pattern on your pants, which is kind of like that david hicks hexagon or honey come sort of pattern I enlarged the scale of that pattern really big and I had hardwood floor stained in two tones so the pattern was staying in a dark wood and all the rest of the floor was a lighter brown. So was this amazing almost look like in les but it was really just done by popping lines and planning a pattern out onto a floor and then using two different colors of staying to achieve this really cool pattern so there's all sorts of things you can do to create your own patterns not just in fabrics but not just on the wall with paint but think about on the floor with pain or staying or other things and then just like in the room, with the wallpaper going in the two story entry, there was no need for art. If you do something really interesting like that on the floor. There's no need for a rug anymore. Another thing that's been really trendy lightly, and designers to paint those sorts of patterns like big hexagons and other things on the floor, and just like I did hear and say, black and white so almost mimics like a marble pattern, but it's really just done with paint and it's obviously a lot less expensive than and laying marble, or if in a home that's, maybe not your forever home that you don't want to it's all real stone, wouldn't it be fun to just achieve that by painting a pattern on a hardwood floor? One of my favorite things to do is just find carpets that are intended to be wall to wall carpeting and install them, have them bound into a room sized rug and it's a great way toe add pattern. So yesterday, sally was saying, who what's on the floor in your formal family ring with the black lines and that wes said it was a windowpane carpet pattern from caris stand that I had bound into a rub. The other thing that's so great about it is if you went out and made custom rugs for your space, they can be very expensive. I mean, a room size rug in a large room could be tens of thousands of dollars, and carpeting is much less expensive than that. So it's a fun way to bring that look to your home without the expense of installing it, too. Um, okay, so furnishings here's a perfect picture of what I was talking about earlier of the fretwork in the cabinet doors, and so I actually mimicked it in this instance in these chairs, but a lot of the rest of the room is really toned down because that becomes part of the pattern as opposed to having another fabric with pattern that is part of the pattern. See how interesting it is, and so the drapes or just a solid killer here and the rug has a little bit of pattern but it's a tone on town because there's a lot going on already. So when thinking about your furniture or even built ins that look like furniture, think about other ways to bring in pattern and color and texture with wood with meddle with glass, even with nail head detail ing you could take a very plain ottoman that has nothing interesting about it, even if it's covered in a solid fabric and create a little pattern like a little greek key design around the base of it or a little scalloped detail with nail head so there's all kinds of fun things you can do just to embellish pieces that you already have and they can become the pattern as opposed to picking out of fabric which sometimes gets a little boring because we all see the same fabrics and things like trellis another thing what if you make your own design by adding nail head trim two a piece that would be really fun ah and I love any any use of fretwork and carvings that can add that dimension just like in this space uh and then here's just a little bit more of thinking about metal and glass and wood it could even be part of your color palette it could be the accessories here's plates hanging on the wall there's a glass ah chandelier so there's a lot of things happening here that are adding texture that air layered in the space so that's kind of again when we were talking about how much fun it is to study a room because when you start seeing all of those little details that add the interest it's when you get a really unique look both for color and texture so accessories and art there's a better picture of that chest a said we couldn't see earlier in the lake house but see how the the pattern in the front of the chest becomes really one of the patterns and the room, even though it's stained and it's its tonal it's not contrast ing it still is a pattern so it's part of what's happening it's movement in the space so be mindful of all the colors and accessories of not only the furniture and the fabrics and the flooring, but even the accessories and as we know from our conversation yesterday, something is simple as the flowers only even fresh flowers that you only bring in for special occasions might be the only pop of color really in a space. But thinking about how you can use that as a powerful element to change your room is really fun. And I love and prefer more objects of art or collectibles as opposed to just going out and saying, going to a retail store and loading up the whole car full of all the things you're going to put on the coffee table and all the things you're going to put on the side table. How about thinking about when you travel and you pick out a gorgeous bowl from, you know, maybe one of your trips or thinking that way of more artwork and unique finds it doesn't have to be expense civ to be unique and one of a kind and have meaning and again that's when we start tailing our own purse personal style and color story that adding those things I also love tto have accessories that are functional, so if nothing else, a lot of times I think about how you're going to use the space and instead of covering up a table just with things I would think, well, we always walk in by that when we come in the back door and it's where we put our keys and our phones and our male, how about a great bowl or a box that actually is functional and holds all of our things so it's more and that could be a pop of color in the space or it could be a great texture or a wire ah bowl or something that adds interest, so thinking about that fewer less is more quality over quantity and even maybe that functional piece um and then don't forget the scale just like the scale of fabrics let's think about the scale of the element that air coming into the space for a while things got really out of scale with the human form. So think about even especially sort of that california modern style where, you know the arm of the sofa would be a rolled arm that was like twelve inches deep and entire person could be sitting there if you got something that was more human scale or or I would see people accessorizing with urns and bases and things that would be you know, four feet off the ground on dh so I'd prefer to think about things those things become dated a little bit more because they're not traditional and scale and human scale so think about things that are more appropriate for the size of the people using the space because if the arm of the self is bigger than your tour so it's a little bit at a scale probably for you in the room and also for the space itself unless you're living in a in a palace which most of his art um and then artwork people asked me a lot what about the art work is our work matched the house does the frame match the artwork doesn't frame match the wall? I'm so really framing artwork to enhance the the artwork and you have options you can either make your artwork match the space it might intentionally be your pop of color or it can just be the collectible that fits in the room and doesn't have to match because that's the personality and the goal that you're trying to achieve is amore collected look, you have both options and then so original artwork there you can see it doesn't have to match it but maybe it does in some instances this is pretty matchy but it's a it's an original piece of artwork but it's also a way to really kind of get a unique feel too not just by every piece of art decorator art and also don't forget about texture I was seeing lots of amazing things that market last week that would be like framed clothing and textiles and you know, global kind of inspiration and things made out of straw and baskets and really cool things that air textural that commit can become your artwork so as opposed to using fabric or pattern and a rain think about maybe hanging a collection of something that is art work and it doesn't even have to be expensive like heads projects we would literally go buy an entire group of baskets and hang them on the wall and they suddenly look like an art installation and bring the texture to the room or maybe even bring the color to the room so mixing it up different medium media it's boring if everything in the room is under glass or everything's a painting so you want some things with texture or sculpture or other ideas and they really start layering in and making your room or interesting and make it work um thinking about your light fixtures is part of your total designs so metal, ceramic, glass and even then if they have lampshades or trimmings or other details on them so they could be part of that whole picture we saw a minute ago the room with the strike flooring also had that great turquoise chandelier and then in their formal dining room with the mohair than we saw that beated boyd lighting fixture there was all the cascading crystals balls which was really fun so had of those pieces play into the color the texture and the pattern in your space because they're really important they could be everything from glamorous toe they could just go away they could be rustic that could be sexy you can achieve a lot with lighting andi and I think I said this yesterday but don't know I know I did but don't forget that you can change the color of things so you could totally buy that lantern or had I brought it with me to my new house I could take it from rustic brown to spray painting it right yellow or something else in the new space so don't be constrained by the way things come in there for current form open your eyes and mind two ways that you can change them or embellish them our add something to them uh and then just thinking about the little details can you add little custom detail in like a grow grain on a light fixture or doing something else unique to it and a lot of companies that you order lighting from these days will let you change things just like furniture I don't know if you've noticed on gets a little bit different from consumers view than a designer's because we know this but if you go into retail stores and ask, there are a lot of options that you can say even like the sofas can come longer or shorter or deeper or taller there's a lot of options with everything, so ask questions can this come with frosted glass or clear glass or colored glass? Or, you know, in your light fixture and just thinking creatively with the sources that you already work with? A lot of people are already doing things that you have no idea, it's even an option, so what's it about asking those questions. Um, someone take a quick drink real quick? Do we have any any burning questions? I'm just going to say before we bring it all together and round up the day let's, see if we have any final questions. Do we have any in our studio audience? And if I have one, like I've been noticing the lamps, you using a lot of your work? And now that you've said different stores, customized things, do you have a go to lam person? And then do you choose a some of them you have on acrylic base? Some of them are on a wood base, and then you'll put a colored shade on them, yes, oh, that's a great start buying the lamp. Already with um um well, I'm doing some of all of those things that just depends, but I love that you noticed that because think about how that one piece a lamp could bring a whole lot of things that we were just talking about two to your room if it was a color the land base, it could be a color a sheen or lacquer or something and then making a decision on what the base it's sitting on is it would is it stained? Is it medal? Is it gold leaf? Visit acrylic on then a shade could be a paper shade and put like a fabric shade. Sometimes we get lamp since that we'll order something that already exists they maybe it's like an orange gord chinese lamp with an acrylic base, but I want the shade to be different, so I have the shade re upholstered locally at a lance shade store wilder add a fabric to the whole shader they'll just add a little trim to it sometimes it's just as much as changing the base and the pinnacle to something unique. So it was really boring and plain and then you go take it to a lamp shop and say, can you put this on a different color based or in acrylic base? Or maybe even you painted yourself on change it up so we're constantly customizing things like that so a lot of the companies that I love say like robert abby, who makes the gord lamp that has become so popular that's in a great price point, you know you can only use those so many times without him starting to look the same until s you start doing something to them, so are you painting them or just changing the base or changing the shade or all of the above? And I do some of each of that on different projects depending on that whole mix that we were just talking about of color, pattern, texture, uh and and the goal, the emotional toll don't want it to be really matches, so I want my lamp shade to match the pillows to match the drapes because that's the client that's really traditional are do I want it to all be completely mixed up and not matched and that's what's going to lead me to those decisions? Lots to think about a long answer to one little d should question, isn't it right? So this is a great question from steven perry, who asks light colors do certain patterns in a room or on the walls affect emotions or mood? Definitely so as we were saying in that bathroom that was sort of psychedelic and I said it can almost make you dizzy that could be very agitating or something that is yeah, something like grass cloth could just add warmth because it's just cozier or more arrested or think about the room that we saw yesterday sally where you said look at the wood paneling on the wall and I kind of like this flooring here like how much warmth it added teo interest and made you want to know what the story was behind that space was old barn that was reclaimed or did it come from a barn and they brought it to a new space or was it just something they purchased or was it already there was a denial on yeah final tebow while covering that looks like a barn with that comes in fifteen different colors but for sure it does totally effect pattern can affect you as much as color and when you come out and texture when you combine them all three it can even have an amplified effect yeah good question okay so you want to bring it up bring it home let's doing it all again because wow we talked about a lot today you are feeling and I've seen a little bit of glazing over I'm seeing a little bit of slumping I'm doing the same because it's exciting it's not that it's not all great information it just it's a lot to take in right so how do we sort of finish strong and bring some of these eyes together so number one create a primary focus for the room but I needs guidance to move about, but it also needs a place to wrists so you don't want pattern and color everywhere sometimes that's what becomes overwhelming so that's a good rule of thumb off where find a starting place and then sort of go from their first, second and so on select or create items so creating might be like the land uh that bring together various elements another way that you've seen me do that is even in my own family re message when I brought the orange back in the play, then I took a little ottoman and I went out and had spray painted the base orange and covered the fabric and green so suddenly I had one item that brought the green and orange together in one place and it became that sort of again tie that binds it all together so half a and using some elements and combining both color pattern texture all of it in one place as sort of those transitioning elements for the ring. That point of reference as I like to call it and then stay creative and clear on your vision so it's easy to get distracted we're all sort of distracted and suddenly start going in one direction and he forgot what your goals are, so stay very clear on what that vision is and if you even have it written down what some of your goals are then you can sort of use that as your litmus test every time. And it will allow you to think out of what standard are expected. But then checking that all the while. That making sure you're not falling away from what your initial set of goals were for the space. And that is the pattern. Color, texture, story.

Class Description

Brought to you by House Beautiful Magazine, award-winning interior designer Tobi Fairley comes to CreativeLive for a special course.


Are you afraid of picking the wrong color for your living room? Selecting the right hues for your home can be a daunting experience. Tobi is internationally-renowned for her signature bold style and fresh approach to interior design.

Using examples from her extensive portfolio, Tobi will give you no-fail tips and techniques to help you turn your home into a space that reflects your unique style. You’ll learn about the psychology of color, how to pick the right color for the right room, and find out all about the latest trends. You’ll also learn how to pair colors and textures and help freshen any room in your home.

By the end of this class, you’ll be equipped with the tools you need to embrace color in a big way.


1st Carpet Cleaning Ltd.

Very convenient and creative! Continue In that way!

a Creativelive Student

Fantastic Course!!