As a former makeup artist for 30 years, I simply adore color. Years before obtaining real training, in my eager-to-look-grown-up-in-high-school years, I used practically every shade on my face—at one time. Clowns came to me for tips.
Tempering my hue addiction taught me a vital lesson: color, like power, can corrupt absolutely if not used wisely. Now I am all grown up, respectfully using and appreciating shades of my fancy to warm a room, add some pop to a meal or to me.
Colors can evoke an emotion, memory or they can inspire, soothe and ignite a soul. They can scream passion, opulence or tranquillity. I wanted to learn from an interior designer’s perspective how they perceive various shades, how it transforms a room and perhaps the people in it.
Lyn Williams, of Lyn’s Design Style in Boise, and I chatted a bit about her work, the skinny on shade selection and what it means to be the Pantone color of the year.
Boise Lifestyle (BL): As a designer, what colors do you find people gravitate toward?
Lyn Williams (LW): Very few people are willing to say they want red in their rooms. Most are comfy with a neutral palette. When you point out a shade in their shirts or pillows, then they realize yes, we do want color.
BL: Are there any colors which you discourage your clients from using?
LW: No. I named my company Lyn’s Design Style because, in the end, I want my clients to feel as if they designed the room with their own style.
BL: Every year Pantone comes out with their pick for what color is on-trend.
LW: Pantone is the company that created the color matching system. This year’s color is a kind of leafy green. I am not sure how they select it, but if you don’t want to do a lot one can always update a room with trendy accessories, or paint a wall in that color. As a designer, I know the trends, but I don’t tend to follow them.
BL: What colors excite you?
LW: I love black and white, grays and neutrals. I bring in pieces with texture to add balance. Soothing colors like blues and greens I use for individual rooms. In kid’s playrooms, I select fun, vibrant colors which stimulate and encourage.
BL: Have you ever encountered a place where it seemed color happened to be grossly overused?
LW: Personally, I have not, but I did see a picture of the master bedroom in a house which was entirely done in yellow. Everything. There was a time 20 years ago, you had all white walls in your house, and you couldn’t wait to paint them. Now, there is a lot you can do with a clean white background.
One can get all caught up in trying to keep up with the “must-have” colors, but if you have trepidation, the key seems to be to pepper in the shade in question with accessories and let them blend into the area. If the color doesn’t mesh with your decorative groove, you can go back to your original color choices or choose something else. The cool thing about color is you can experiment with pillows, jars, candles, etc. and not be tied down to your choice.