Design Lessons
We love everything about design but are especially interested in color. We enjoy collecting images of color - inspiring color palettes, unexpected color uses, color schemes as they develop on our projects, color in fashion, color in art, color in nature - anything that encourages creative thought. We post these images and thoughts on our blog - The Color Journal. Explore the world of color with us and see if what inspired us might inspire you!

TOUCHSTONES: Fantastic Color from NeoCon

I was in Chicago a couple of weeks ago attending the annual contract furnishings trade show, NeoCon. I always look forward to seeing the latest in contract furniture and fabrics and the clever ways manufacturers exhibit their products each year. The look of NeoCon, the showrooms, the displays and the events,… read more


CONTRIBUTED BY S.W.M. Art historians use the term “local color” to refer to the color of an object as it appears in nature–the yellow of a banana or the green of a leaf. When color is depicted, it’s something else entirely. Sometimes very surprising combinations of hues are required to… read more

TOUCHSTONES: Travel – Azuelos in Portugal

This is my favorite pousada in Portugal – Pousada de Arraiolos, Nossa Senhora da Assuncao, part of a government run-program created to promote tourism by preserving and adapting buildings of historic and architectural significance into hotels. These properties let you sleep and dine in manor houses, convents, monasteries, and palaces… read more

THE ART OF COLOR: Color and Transparency

CONTRIBUTED BY S.W.M. Depiction with oil paint is a magical process, and color is perhaps the most significant part of that magic. By studying digital photographs of paintings–sites such as Closer to Van Eyck or Google’s Cultural Institute–we can see how an artist creates an illusion, down to the very… read more

HOMETOWN: New Orleans – Porch No. 1

CONTRIBUTED BY Revati Alice Locke A unique porch in New Orleans is almost a cliché. However, an unexpected encounter with one so covered in touch is still charming to me. I find this one particularly intriguing because it feels so private, studied, and showy all at the same time. What… read more

HOMETOWN: New Orleans – The Chromatics of Mardi Gras

New Orleans has its own cuisine, its own music, and its own seasons.  Over the past ten days houses all over town have taken on raiments of purple, green, and gold and are just as generously and imaginatively decked out as they are at Christmas time.  While most U.S. cities… read more

THE ART OF COLOR: Mannerist Color

CONTRIBUTED BY S.W.M. I saw two works of art last week that–although painted 300 years apart–were united by an amazing DNA of color. Thomas Hart Benton’s “People of Chilmark” and Gerrit van Honthorst’s “The Concert” share the attributes of Mannerism: energetic, churning compositions that seem to thumb their nose at… read more

IN THE STUDIO: Patterned Tiles with Up-to-Date Style

The UK tile company, Original Style, has a beautiful line of unglazed, patterned ceramic tiles called Odyssey. We are considering two of these patterns, Romanesque and Quatrefoil, for the floor of a butler pantry and rear entry hall in a client’s historic Victorian house. While our design for the interior is… read more

EYE CATCHES: Travel – Blue in Peru

Every place has a color identity derived from its natural and built environments.  Be conscious of this when you reach your next destination, as I believe that it’s easiest to perceive and discern color identity in the first moments of arrival when the surroundings are newest to the eyes and… read more

TOUCHSTONES: Works of Art – Sean Scully

Artists–particularly painters–have a visceral connection to color that informs their work, their observations, and even their world view.  I often look to paintings for ideas about color palettes and always find something intriguing, even transformative, that enables me to rethink combinations and contrasts.  We react emotionally to color in painting,… read more