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Using Color in Home Design

Lesson 22 of 33

Pairing Wall Color, Pattern & Texture

Tobi Fairley

Using Color in Home Design

Tobi Fairley

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Lesson Info

22. Pairing Wall Color, Pattern & Texture


  Class Trailer
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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

Pairing Wall Color, Pattern & Texture

So we've talked about choosing wall color, but let's recap a few of my rules before we move on to talking about texture and pattern on your walls because we can get all kinds of texture and pattern. We were looking yesterday at some rooms that I said, I have bolstered the walls and swayed, or maybe we've talked about wallpaper or even stenciled patterns or painted stripes are all sorts of things, so remember, we're choosing the wall color last, so you may have in mind that you're going to do horizontal stripes on the wall in two different tones, but you probably won't pick what they are as you're jumping off point a lot of times, you're gonna pick the other fabrics and things still first in the space, and then when you get all of that the way you want it, then you could say, well, I know the walls are going to be a pattern because that I've decided that's what they're going to be now, let's decide which two colors are going to support the whole room the best. Uh, and then you can alway...

s narrowed down to three to five choices if you need teo for wall paint, even particularly when we're going for solid walls on sleep on it for a little while because it's sometimes hard to decide what's going to make the most impact or what's going to support our goal so think about a fabric that has all sorts of colors and it's a like a full roll and it's got green and it's got oranges got yellow and blue which one do I pit don't want the walls to be yellow or do I want them to be like blue well what what are we going for our we want going for it you know and energizing space or a cool space ah and so sometimes you don't know yet and you want to live with it for a little while and that's okay the pros do that too we don't inherently no all the time exactly what the perfect wall color should be don't forget to study and those different lights that arena has different times a day so these air just um some re capping of our rules already and then I keep saying this but of course we return to those emotional goals in those task als and activity goals for a space on dh then what about the undertones be careful with that so we haven't really belabored this but let's make sure for a minute that we all know what we're talking about when we say color has is a warm undertone or yellow undertone as opposed to like a greener blue does that make sense to you so knowing that thinking of ah hole look selection and even white sir creams on one could be like a yellowy cream and one could be kind of pinkish uh one maybe is more soft like a blue or greenish color even though they're all essentially white okay so and peyton yeah so it's important to know um it's also the if the pain is like glossy or she'll finish out of the bin a show like eggshell versus semi gloss sources high gloss are flat yes and so a lot of painters and people that they're doing the work for you tradespeople are subcontractors I would love to use flat pain all the time because it shows a lot fewer imperfections and especially if they're the person that's also doing the sheet rock job they don't really want to call attention or make you frustrated that you can see bumps and imperfections which there often are in a wall right my preference is to use what some companies now call like a cynical also a satin are not not similar but a set and I call it often an egg shell finish and so the reason it's called that is think about an egg and it show them how it's really a matte finish but it just has a tiny little bit of a reflection right like a little bit of a sheen so it's not quite flat it's a little more interesting than that and also has a little bit of a a tougher finished so it's easier to clean on dwight down if you need to and then of course sometimes we want to achieve one of those emotional goals just through the finish of a paint like a high gloss a lacquer but even putting those own ceilings are putting those in you know little bitty space is like a powder room can be really, really fun and so the whole idea there to get that texture is just through deciding to take a really shiny version of a paint color which can be fun call it can it can change the way that it looks for sure because of the reflection cause remember color is not inherent in the object it's the way the light reflects through our eyes so you can imagine the shiny or the paint finish but more reflection you're going to get and the different that you know it's the more different it may look when it gets onto the wall. Yes, I was going to say what about things like mosaics on walls or murals on walls? Yeah, so it works the same way is a pattern just like a wall like it you can layer those in like you would a wallpaper or anything else because it is a pattern and then you have all the same decisions to make so say you're creating a mosaic on a wall that has a lot of color and intricate things happening it's just like taking a floral fabric with a whole lot of colors in an upholstering the whole wallet the same idea so if you were going to do that what you're you're gonna think about is toning down a lot of the other thing is right that becomes the focal point and the pattern and possibly the texture if it's shining and glass and sew it achieves the whole lot there and that's when everything else sort of needs to become like the supporting role and not the star actor not two people competing to be the most important thing in the space but yeah, the rules apply the same and that's that would be a creative fun way other than wallpaper to create interest on the wall um and then obviously for may I often let uh fat works um set the ten tell me before we get to what does work pear design interiors has has a great question about what mistakes have you made with color and pattern? I would say the two biggest color mistakes that come to mind one actually was when someone was working with me one of my team members and so they weren't they were helping me select paints and in a pinch we had to make a change to a paint selection and when it transition to the room next to it the undertones were completely different so it was to this what? We were just talking about knowing the undertones and I'm gonna explain to you what I mean by that so and some people have a harder time seeing undertones another so what we were working with were some rich greens and I would say I always think about the crate box of crayola colors you know the one hundred forty seven or whatever the ones with all the colors were and if you remember there's a color called hunter green in there and it's kind of a rich bluish green and there was a color called pine green and it was like a yellowy green but they were both really dark so in your mind you think others are almost the same but could you put them side by side in transition them not very well at all one has a whole lot of yellow and one has a whole lot of blue and so this was a commercial space we were doing and the color transition was really wrong and bad because the undertones were wrong were not consistent and the second mistake with that is the values were almost the same so it would have even helped a little bit if one had been a pail version and one had been rich but they were both really really strong so that was an undertone issue thie other one is the idea of using those saturated colors on the wall or even that remember yesterday we called it the chroma how light or dark something isn't that intensity? And a lot of times you could go really wrong with a really intense color on the wall because paint just doesn't allow for the nuances of uhm texture like we're talking about like a fabric does so you can imagine like I love the color you're wearing in blue and it looks great in your blouse but if it were to be the paint color and it was contrast id with really light trim it could get a little too strong it could maybe not look very expensive it could start toe toe look a little cheap so those I think or two of the biggest color mistakes is two darks too strong and saturated and also not getting the anderton's right for transitions here welcome um so let's see what else we have to say about about texture on in the wall so we just covered most of this you actually led me into this about the eggshell and the lacquer, which could be very, very chic, but it also could go really wrong that's another thing that we've had go really wrong in fact, we just you know, I told you yesterday I wish I could show you this injury, but I can't because it's not photographed yet in a pin house I just finished in the walls of this amazing cobalt blue in a wallpaper what we actually tried to do the walls cobalt lacquer first and they it didn't matter how many times we tried how many times we sanded it just it and work part of it was probably how strong the color wass and that combined with the finish on the walls that was a little not perfect ahead some imperfections and then that strong color so all three of those together sort of created the perfect storm for disaster and ultimately we cut our losses and we brought in a wall covering in that same color and it made all the difference in the world because it had a different sheens and other things happening with it that really made it work so be very careful with those shiny shiny paint colors they can have lots of room for error yesterday I pointed out these racing stripes on the wall which I think it really fun because ultimately this whole room in the whole wall is just a tan but this was an idea just to bring almost a geometric pattern to the space I mean, it is really the stripe uh just through the painting these three simple stripes on the wall anybody could do this with some painters take and create your own pattern it's also a great way to transition colors together as we were going to talk about that tomorrow but one of the tips it's a little a little preview of that, but I'll tell you one of my chips is that when you want to say bring together those three three colors of red, blue and yellow which your primary colors and maybe you can't find the perfect element that has all three of them together, why not create your own pattern? And it really becomes that sort of point of reference or tie that binds the whole space together so and then using paintings to the wallpaper khun certainly less the less expensive and easier to change on s o think about creative ways not even painted the racing stripes and borders and things on the ceiling are at the floor around a baseboard or right above the baseboard going up the stairwell so there's all kinds of fun and clever little places that you can create detail and effect just threw paint there's something really like sure is against keller was we were talking about the glazed walls all the finishes on the wall, so I was thinking actually before color was sprung up, I was thinking about the number of dining rooms of the grid lack of walls were everybody that read like a walls and they worked really, really well or they just looked really wobbly and strange, calloway's says it's just like if we wish on each eye pen every bump will catch the line exactly. And yet goodness for spanx wait no longer have bumpy thighs but don't put lacquer on a bumpy wall because it can look yeah where is the red leather looks right chloe there's a spanks understand? Like or under our mind. All right, so you have to be hit with a new product design exactly spanks for headboards who may we needed with? Uh ok, that is funny. Thank you. And then taking a wall treatment like maybe like you just said it was a perfect example of the red dining room and a lot of people were using that maybe not even in lacquer but like in a photo finish like a modeled sort of faux finish. Um a venetian plaster might be the same thing you may have seen it used over and over possibly and you get tired of it. So one of the ways that you could start thinking about giving it a timeless I mean a current appeal as opposed to something that's dated. I was thinking about bringing the color to it the lavender or something that's on trend that is just more fun and fresh so you could take the same old concept of the red dining room the red lacquer dining room and do it in purple lacquer instead and maybe it suddenly looks very interesting and not over you is right so a new twist on an old old texture or old design here's the ninety of mosaic on the wall one of the things that's interesting now that I think about your question though is that do you think you should be a little bit careful about what kinds of rooms use mosaics and because I think they can start to look a little odd like they don't make sense so maybe you don't want to do an entire mosaic wall in a bedroom if it makes it feel a little bit kind of like it should be in the bathroom or I mean there are places like entry halls or hallways or things that could really have more of a palatial effect and sort of feel more like a hotel or you know, some hospitality sort of space that it makes a lot of sense I think just being mindful of does this feel weird and at a place in an application in a particular room so just like a certain color could make a difference in a certain room so could a material seemed like it was at a place possibly for certain rooms is that does that make sense? See sometime um so one of the things the second part is even an idea that I've used many times where maybe you have you know, a little while yeah, I showed you a shower that I had the little blue horizontal stripes in the tile. Wouldn't it be fun if you then extended those onto the wall and all the way around the room with the paint? So it it followed the whole room and even into the shower. So you could use this m a t a different material. Tohave that application follow an entire space. You know what I think is interesting about the comment you just made about those stripes? I had seen a different photo, I believe, of that same room, and there used a band on the flora's. Well, of that aqua glass. I'll read it, and it made me think nobody ever wants to put a glass tile on the floor, but just that little insert, right? So kind of like that idea of the application to sew the glass tile for the leopard print that we all eat. A nod over in the powder room is one thing, but having a glass tile over your entire master bath floor could be slippery could be dangerous, it could crack. It could have all kinds of reasons why you might not want to use it, but as an instead or a detail is a little pop of color and a pop of a different texture, being glass just around the border of a room could be so. So interesting, and that, again, is like those little bitty details that makes the space go from, as we said this morning, ordinary to not ordinary to designer looking are clever, unique or different, I think that's a great observation on and then wallcoverings, which I adore like even grass cloth, should be included as part of that total fabric and texture scheme so it can be a big pattern walls but paper, like we've been looking at all day and all yesterday, but it could be something as subtle as just needing the texture not to be for a flat paint, but having some death. We looked at the one yesterday in the show house with the crazy coral stripes on the wall, and I said I didn't want the walls than to just become a neutral. I needed them to have texture too, so to support everything else that was going on in that space, but not really fall flat. So added the color in a textured wall covering, and it was a pale, pale peach. The same thing here, it just really makes it a little more warm, a little more interesting tow have that as a grass cloth, as opposed to a flat wall paint on the wall. So think out of the box when it comes to all kinds of wall covering from handpainted even flocked, which was used a lot of times, also back in the fifties and sixties, but I have in my last home just had flocked wallpaper in the guest bath to grass cloth to even bring fabric to the walls. A lot of times you can't find a pattern are color that you want for the walls, and that might be the reason. Like we said this morning, that challenge could be your inspiration for a space, so that might be a reason to upholster a wall, but there's a couple of options there, too. You don't just a typical traditional form of upholstered walls would be where you had batting or like a kind of ah, uh, you know, squishy texture to the surface, so you have that padding behind the fabric, but you can also have fabric paper backed just like a wall covering and hang it on the wall flat, so it still gets the texture of the fabric, but it doesn't have that soft and squishy texture like it would have if you put batting behind it. So I don't know if you've ever seen that, but I love to do that in the same company that does cos you confined him online. That do the vinyl coding are also the same companies that will put paper backing on the back of a fabric and allow youto hang it like a wallpaper so it's a fun just a fun tip s o I absolutely loved while covering another question that I get all the time which is interesting to me too, because as a designer and as I said yesterday we jump on the trans first and so when someone said I see and design magazines people starting to use brass again but on say, tv shows like I see tv they're using nickel and they're using bronze still well the same with wall covering I have people asked me almost every week of my life oh no are wallpapers really coming back? Because they have this horror stories and memories of like trying to take down off that terrible vinyl wall covering and had that little tool that perforated and steamers and it was just a nightmare but the interesting thing to me is the designers I felt like wallpapers have been back for ten years now so that's another thing that shows the difference between what designers air doing as opposed to how long it takes for it to trickle down sort of tio everybody in society so what do y'all think about about wall coverings are have you been using him for a while? Does it feel like it's better back in style teo funny because mad lizzie had said wallpaper to me has a really dated connotations because of my parents house do you think that it's coming back into fashion so mad lizzie you're about ten years but not really because the public is because that is exactly the sentiment that I would say I get from most people so she's exactly where everybody else is but I guess we just forget as designers and one of the things that makes a difference is the quality of papers these days. And so as a designer we see everything from amazing hand painted dee gordon a asian inspired you know panels that we and I just hung some of those recently in the house tio all sorts of things like that large scale dynamics damage that you saw in my entry hall and that was installed probably about seven or eight years ago s o that shows how long that's been in style yes, I wonder too, though if it's regional because I spent a great majority of my life on the in the southwest or you never saw wallpaper but then when we moved to memphis I thought holy buckets thes people wallpaper every room yes and literally you can walk into a house and every room just about as well after get probably is somewhat regional but yes, if you think well paper is dated it's not and designers have been embracing it for years and as you can see right here in bold print, I love wall covering that's may I love it and for at here's some tips for maximum impact did you have another site? Chat room is loving and hiding well piper and equal man we have as you know they're pretty much loving it. Bethany no first pure designing interior says that quality is now way better than that. What she's using a lot of wallpapers right now she lost. I was born in little exactly meteo, she says she's using the master bath bit of a jewel box thing happening there obviously onda quality is great shay's me says the favorite memory of the bedroom is a kid is the wallpaper but then bethany says it's way too expensive because of bolt easily runs a two hundred dollars, which means that the room can cost thousands with good is actually true and again remember how said yesterday we were talking about trends that a lot of times on the front end of a trend it's when it's the most expensive and so probably even if we're just thinking back. Historically, what happened is by the time the last time wallpaper trickled all the way down to sort of like the watered down version of it and you lose the quality that's why that stuff wouldn't come off of the wall with a nuclear blast, you know, because again, it was the quality of it and that's what really turned people off. And so now, yes, the quality of wall coverings are amazing, but you don't get that without an investment, so but the good news is, if you think about it, fabrics can also be very expensive. A lot of things could be very expensive, so if you strategically use wall covering to make the most impact, like I said in that one entry that I wanted to have the sort of makes the two story entry much more interesting without having to decorate and hang other things there think of all the money I saved by not hanging stuff all over the walls, but just choosing to put the wallpaper everywhere, so it really balanced out in the budget. So the same thing that happened you don't need a lot of artwork, you don't need a lot of other things happening if you're embracing a really amazing pattern in a wall covering, so yes, it's a splurge, but other things then can be cut out of the budget. Um, so for maximum interest, interesting. Otherwise why bother will not necessarily that I'm kind of a little tongue in cheek because we just showed you some grass, kloss where, you know they're very subtle, but it was still part of the whole layering effect, but more along the lines of the chat rooms of what they're saying. If you're going to spend a whole lot of money when she gets a major bang for your butt and get something that's bold or exciting or unique or different, so that is one way to go about it is really go for it. Go for commit to it on dh definitely have it installed professionally, which was another reason that all of those other old papers were a problem, because people would just slap it up on the law, not even take down what was underneath it or not prepped the wall in a lot of even the new wallpapers that are really high quality. I need a wallpaper lining installed on the wall before they go up. So if you use all the proper installation techniques or have a professional, do it and it's not going to be a problem, if you need to take it down later or as we said yesterday, used the temporary papers, which are really fun. So they air the solutions to the people that need the less expensive or more quick fix or for a rental property kind of space, then just use the ones that are like, contact paper and go up and come back down when he leaves. Um, and then quality product we just talked about it makes a huge difference and then think about the details so you can spend a fortune and there's, let me also mention this for backsplash application to in a moment that you could spend a fortune buying really gorgeous wall covering and then every oh, six feet on the wall, see almost like a little interruption or a polka dot of your outlets, interrupting the pattern all the way around. So think about wrapping those switch plates, or there's, a really cool company called forbes and lomax that makes acrylic wall plates for your light switches, and so you can see the wallpaper behind it. The same thing happens with your backs west, so if you're going to invest in expensive black backsplash, tile in the kitchen or some other place, but particularly in the kitchen, and you really want to make an impact with it, say it's got a pattern like a mosaic or something? You don't want your outlets interrupting it all the way around the backsplash, so plan ahead and move those outlets up into the bottom of the cabinet tree or used those electrical strips where they're mounted underneath, you could put an actual entire junction box in the cabinet if you've left a space for them, if they're new custom chemistry, or you could just use those outlets that allow it to be attached underneath. But do not invest a lot of money because it's expensive for an interesting backsplash. Er wallpaper and then ruin the whole thing with all the outlets that are happening. And I've seen it done many, many times. I've had many people in my classes go if I'd only come a week ago, because I just installed my backsplash, and now it has all these outlets all the way around. So an important caveat. And we were just talking a little bit about that. I did not. A flooring, but backsplash and there's. A perfect example of how you don't see a single outlet in that space because they're underneath the cabinet.

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.

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