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Get the Look: Great Designer Color

Some of our favorite designers, including a number of New Trads, share colorful rooms they love

Produced by Julianne Hilmes Bartlett
  • Thinking about shaking up the color palette of your home? Whether you want to go big and bold or subtle and sophisticated, look no further than these fabulous designer spaces for inspiration. 

    Lake Shore Drive Living Room

    "My favorite color changes all the time, but recently I’ve been loving Farrow & Ball’s St. Giles," says designer Summer Thornton. "I recently used it in a Lake Shore Drive co-op apartment overlooking Lake Michigan in Chicago. I was inspired by a street-style fashion image of a woman in a similar-colored dress."  

    See more of this space on the next slide

  • Lake Shore Drive Living Room

    "Pairing this ethereal blue color with a white lacquer ceiling was a nod to the lake outside the windows, but it is almost like seeing the lake through a filter—more saturated, more intense, and more dreamlike," says the designer. "The reflection of the water off the lacquered ceiling and the color of the walls creates an otherworldly experience!"

    Interior design: Summer Thornton, Summer Thornton Design

  • Perfectly Pink Kitchen

    A story on Bette Midler's home, where guest room floors were painted pink, served as the inspiration for this pink kitchen by designer Chad James. "The kitchen is one of my favorite rooms in the home," he says. "It originally was outfitted with dark cherry cabinetry and a very dated linoleum floor; we all knew that it was time to brighten this space and push all of our limits." 

    To do that, James used Benjamin Moore Sailor's Delight on the floors and Ballet Slippers on the cabinetry. "It was my goal to say goodbye to the dark cabinets and island and hello to a tone of pink that was a cousin to the flooring color."  

    Interior design: Chad James, Chad James Group

  • Eric Piasecki

    Water Mill Library

    "We love that this room is a multipurpose space. It has places to work, to lounge, or to chat. It's a place where everyone in the family can do their own thing but still be together," says designer Gideon Mendelson.

    "A young family and grandparents were going to spend weekends and vacations together in the house, so we were inspired to create a casual, modern space where different generations would not just coexist but be relaxed and comfortable."

    See more of this space on the next slide 

  • Eric Piasecki

    Water Mill Library

    "The color palette in this room—and throughout the house—was inspired by my client's love of Lily Pulitzer, which she brought up during the planning phase. Blues and greens pair with driftwood-hued paneling in the room to make for a sophisticated and fun beach experience."

    Interior design: Gideon Mendelson, Mendelson Group

  • Marco Ricca

    Soft, Subtle Bedroom

    "We were inspired by a fantastic piece in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum," says designer Jamie Drake of this luxurious bedroom. "The State Bed from Melville House circa-1700 is lavishly fabric-covered in the gainage technique. We took this upholsterery masterwork and simplified it for today." 

    Prussian blue on the bed lining and a pair of channeled chaise longues punctuate the room's ethereal palette.

    Walls are upholstered and moldings wrapped in a fabric from Romo. The chaise longues are upholstered in a Rubelli fabric from Donghia.

    See more of this space on the next slide

  • Marco Ricca

    Soft, Subtle Bedroom

    "The color scheme was inspired by a modern painting by Friedel Dzubas, circa-1970, which was installed opposite the bed. This created a 'window' looking out to a landscape in the mind," says Drake.

    Interior design: Jamie Drake, Drake/Anderson

  • Warm Russet Library

    "This room is the place where the family is going to gather in a casual way, but it is right off the formal living room so we didn't want to lose the elegance," say Trellis Home designers Liza Sharp and Allison Mattison. "There is a fireplace in the room which adds to the cozy feel, and the greens, warm persimmon/russet walls, and the hint of yellow in the ceiling coffers provide an autumnal palette that invites warmth."

    When it came to selecting the cozy palette, the designers wanted to be sure the colors would stand the test of time in this antique home. "We stayed in the Historical colors collection of Benjamin Moore for the wall color choice and think the Audubon Russet creates the entire feel of the space."

    Interior design: Allison Mattison and Liza Sharp, Trellis Home

  • Amy Vischio

    Playful Patterns

    A floral GP&J Baker for Lee Jofa fabric was the jumping-off point for this feminine library designed by Liliane Hart. "I love the scale of the print and the contemporary colorway," she says. 

    Purple moss fringe on the seat cushion complements the pink and purple hues of the fabric. Hart then paired the wing chair with an ottoman upholstered in a rich blue-green strié velvet and finished with a natural linen fringe from Houlès.

    "We intentionally kept the carpets subdued by using a woven jute as a base and a less colorful Maimana kilim," the designer adds. 

    See more of this space on the next slide

  • Amy Vischio

    Playful Patterns

    Farrow and Ball wallpaper and a chair rail painted Farrow and Ball Green Smoke wrap the space in more color and pattern. A painting by Brooke Maples provides a finishing touch.

    "We thought a modern piece of art was a good juxtaposition to the more traditional furnishings and colors," says Hart.

    Interior design: Liliane Hart, Liliane Hart Interiors

  • Vibrant Bathroom

    "I love that my client wanted to use the color orange, which a lot of people stray away from," says designer Phara Queen. "It also happens to be my personal favorite color, so that's a win-win! Since [the bathroom is] a small space with only one window, my client wanted it to be bright and cheery." Queen created that cheer by applying a vibrant Thibaut wallpaper.   

    See more from this space on the next slide

  • Vibrant Bathroom

    "Using bold wallpaper in a small space adds visual interest, and the scale of this pattern makes the room seem larger," the designer says. "Plus, you can never go wrong with the best '70s rap song lyrics for a fun surprise. Go big or go home—and have fun!"

    Interior design: Phara Queen, Phara Queen Design

  • Lovely in Lilac

    "There is nothing like the texture, sheen, and depth that the grass-cloth wallcovering creates in this bedroom. It's stunning!" says designer Rachel Cannon, who wrapped bedroom walls in Phillip Jeffries Shoreline Grass in Wisteria

    "I think bedrooms should evoke a hushed, soft feeling—setting the tone for rest and recharging the minute you peek into the space," she adds. "Working with a limited color palette really helps achieve that, especially when you work with analogous color schemes, like the lavender and periwinkle in this room."

    Interior design: Rachel Cannon, Rachel Cannon Limited

  • Jane Beiles

    Bold in Blue

    Designer Rajni Alex loves working with color, and that love is on full display in her beautiful blue Bronxville, New York, studio. "When designing the office I wanted to create a space that would inspire me daily," she says. "Fortunately, my studio has big windows and 12-foot ceilings, so I wanted to capitalize on this natural light." 

    See more of this space on the next slide

  • Jane Beiles

    Bold in Blue

    The designer says, "By choosing bold colors—I used Benjamin Moore, Patriot Blue for the feature wall—to complement the light and airiness of the room and bringing in an eclectic mix of modern and vintage furnishings, the office exudes both glamour and sophistication." 

    Interior design: Rajni Alex, Rajni Alex Design

  • Werner Straube