Fall has arrived in Boston. Each day the sun sets a little earlier and the evenings have become cooler. Last night someone sprinkled orange and crimson on the tall Maple tree on the road to the Arnold Arboretum.
The Maple on the road to the Arnold Arboretum.
Walking with my wife through the evergreens in the Arboretum I remarked how pleasing yellow, orange and red look in the fall. Just then a young girl in an orange T shirt and red jeans came into view strolling with her mother. My wife asked how did her turquoise blue and grey outfit look in the midst of so many yellow, gold and red leaves and berries. I answered her colors looked just as stunning as the blue October sky does when seen next to orange and red Maple leaves. We humans learn color composition from nature and a closer study of nature can reveal invaluable secrets on how to heighten drama by juxtaposing warm colors and cool colors.
Bonsai trees in the Arnold. The Gingko on the left and a Tupelo or Black Gum on the right were started in 1875 in Japan and brought to Boston by US Ambassador to Japan Larz Anderson in 1913.
Today’s post shows how leading interior designers follow the rules of nature when decorating with yellow, gold and red fabrics. They balance these warm colors with cool grey, blue and purple rugs. When interior designers introduce warm colors with gold, yellow and beige rugs, they always balance them with cool colored fabrics and accessories. Examples of both approaches are found in the 10 chic interiors in today’s post.
When warm and cool colors are composed artfully, the sun appears to shine year round- even when it is cold and cloudy outside.
1. Vibrant yellow drapes surround this living room with a sunny embrace. Interior designer Amanda Nisbet heightened the drama by juxtaposing cobalt blue velvet next to the yellow drapes. Additional layering is created with pale shades of blue-grey in the upholstered chairs and a grey-blue geometric rug. A 1940’s French chandelier with oak leaves in the color they turn in late fall brings more warmth. Image courtesy Amanda Nisbet’s book Dazzling Design as featured in 1st dibbs.com
1A. The above living is featured on the cover of Amanda Nisbet’s new book Dazzling Design. The living room has two seating areas on different levels anchored by blue-grey and white geometric rugs of the same pattern. Image courtesy Amanda Nisbet and 1st dibbs.
1B. A close-up view of Amanda Nisbet’s custom grey-blue and white geometric rug reveals a pattern reminiscent of a beaded curtain. The copper tubing table and green malachite fabric provide energetic contrasts. Image courtesy Amanda Nisbet and 1st dibbs.
2. A gold and yellow contemporary botanical painting brings the colors of sunshine into Architect Annabelle Selldorf designed living room in a London townhouse. The gold silk border of the grey contemporary rug shimmers against the black Indonesian sandstone tile floor and picks up the gold and yellows in the chairs and sofa. A red leather chair and and red pillows raise the temperature. Image courtesy 1stdibs.
3. Darryl Carter introduces the warmth of coral and the circular shape of the sun with Regency style chair. The circle motif is carried through to the armrests of the ivory sofa and to the chandelier. A faded 1920’s grey and taupe Oushak rug completes the warm and inviting look of this living room in a Tudor Revival Washington, DC home. Image courtesy Architectural Digest.
4. The irregular diamond pattern of the beige and white geometric rug adds an organic feeling to the drawign room of Sisley executive and heir Christine d’Ornano’s London townhouse. The modernist red chair brings warmth and connects to the red brick homes visible from the window. Grey walls and black framing add layering and make the white of the woodwork and ceiling feel crisp. Image courtesy Elle Decor.
5. Yellow leather chairs bring the sunshine into Christine d’Ornano’s London dining room. Red pillows add more warmth while the blue sofa and purple flowers bring the balance with cool colors. Image courtesy Elle Decor.
6. Elle Decor A-List Designer Alessandra Branca brings in sunny colors with pale yellow walls, yellow sofa and the gold in the leopard print covered Regency stools. Chinese red and tomato furniture and accessories raise the temperature while a grey and taupe geometric rug provides cooling balance. Image courtesy Elle Decor.
7. Elle Decor A-List Designer Katie Ridder introduced sunny yellows and golds with a beautiful Oushak rug and warm reds with a contemporary painting. Cooling balance is provided by the blue accents in the Oushak rug, the blue fabric on the Neoclassical armchair and the blue in the contemporary paintings. There is a wonderful mix of styles and textures in this Manhattan living room overlooking Central Park. Image courtesy Elle Decor.
8. David Easton’s living room mixes the pure shapes of Neoclassical chairs and tables with the comforting contours of Edwardian upholstery. A gold Oushak rug, red and gold chrysanthemum and the glow in the Regency fireplace bring in the warmth of the sun. Image courtesy Architectural Digest.
9. Hot pink and orange silk pillows, throws and photographs bring an irreverent liveliness to interior designer Linda Chase’s pool house guest bedroom in the 2011 Santa Barbara Designer Showhouse. A purple-grey contemporary rug provides cooling balance. Image courtesy 1stdibbs.
10. Haynes-Roberts Inc. warmed this dining room with a gold Oushak rug and wood dining table and chairs. Blue and purple vases and oil painting provide cooling balance. Image courtesy Haynes-Roberts.