It was a huge honor and pleasure to be a part of this wonderful and inspiring luncheon with HGTV’s Erin & Ben Napier, hosted by United Way Women’s Leadership Council…Congratulations and thank yous go out to Amanda Burt, Andrea Ross, Dixie Kinnard, Lynn Whitworth, Brenda Knowles and all the other talented people involved in coordinating and planning the day! I am so proud of #MYHOMETOWN Dalton, Georgia.
United Way of Northwest Georgia’s Women’s Leadership Council held its sixth annual Spring Symposium on April 18 at Walnut Hill Farm. Erin and Ben Napier from HGTV’s “Home Town”
— Read on www.dailycitizen.news/content/tncms/live/
United Way of Northwest Georgia’s Women’s Leadership Council held its sixth annual Spring Symposium on April 18 at Walnut Hill Farm. Erin and Ben Napier from HGTV’s “Home Town” were the featured speakers.
United Way Board Member Emily Finkell of Emily Morrow Home facilitated the event with 250 in attendance. Patti Renz, United Way board member and realtor at Coldwell Banker Kinard Realty, and Marianne Murry, United Way Volunteer Center Council member and director of marketing at Engineered Floors, shared their journey to join United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council.
Erin and Ben Napier live and restore homes in small town Mississippi. When they aren’t renovating homes, the couple and four of their best friends sell heirloom wares and durable goods at their made in the USA shop, Laurel Mercantile Co. Erin and Ben reside in Laurel, Miss., believing quality of life is best in a small town.
United Way of Northwest Georgia’s Women’s Leadership Council invited the Napiers to share their passion for revitalizing small towns and products made in America. Their dedication to improving their home town is perfectly aligned with United Way’s commitment to building a better community and enhancing quality of life.
Erin and Ben’s journey to becoming stars of their HGTV show was a bit of an accident as they were discovered on Instagram. However, their commitment to making their hometown of Laurel a great place to live was very intentional. When they began sharing the story of Laurel, they realized that there were a lot of perceived problems that didn’t really exist. It was really all about perception, and perception can be changed. Erin stated, “I started painting this picture of Laurel the way I saw it, as a beautiful town to live and raise a family in.” She began sharing photos of the exciting things they were doing in Laurel, and people took notice. Eventually, the Napiers were approached about hosting a show on HGTV and the rest is history.
“The discussion led by Emily Finkell was perfect for our community as we look to the future and seek ways to make our community a better place and more appealing for both residents and prospective residents,” United Way President Amanda Burt said. “The Napiers shared many great truths that spoke to our community. Their home town of Laurel, Miss., evolved because of the industry, much like our own community. They are strong advocates of American manufacturing and shared that anyone who is serious about revitalizing small towns has to be serious about American manufacturing. ”
The Napiers made sure to explain that change doesn’t happen overnight. They shared that an overnight success takes 10 years. Part of that, they explained, is looking at where you want to be in three to four years and listening to and only saying yes to things that will get you there.
There is a role for everyone to play. The revitalization of their town took many people with very different backgrounds and talents working together to accomplish their shared goal of making their town great. It also takes boldness. Erin mentioned that one of her favorite quotes is “The ones who say it can’t be fixed are the ones who need to get out of the way.” Their entire message boils down to this: we are the ones who decide how our community looks. As Finkell said, “We are all ambassadors for our hometown.”
This year’s Spring Symposium would not have been possible without generous sponsors. United Way thanks the following sponsors:
It’s beginning to look and feel like “spring” here in Georgia…and with this beautiful sunshine, our thoughts turn to tackling home improvements and design projects, doesn’t everyone’s? We want to help you with inspiring and informing your customers and clients in meaningful ways, perfectly suited to your unique needs. Please let me know what you want and need.
In April, Emily Morrow Home and team will be hosting a Design Summit in Nashville, Tennessee for discussions and presentations of current design trends as well as presenting the coming mega-trends that I recently shared in Dallas, Texas at the CCA Global Carpet One National Convention. It was there that we launched the Emily Morrow Home 2018 Color of the Year, Matte Black. Stay tuned for more details on this Design Summit.
We are going to be hosting regular designer spotlights that we’ll share with you throughout the year. You’ll see and get to know both residential and commercial designers, all of whom share insights and details about their projects as well as their perspectives regarding hardwood flooring. In addition to meeting our own Emily Morrow Home Designers of Distinction, we invite you to submit your own “designers of distinction” for us to feature on our website and in our upcoming blog posts, some of the content is viewed and shared via publications with readership well over 1 million in print and even more digitally. We love making new friends and look forward to introducing our friends to you!
Our First Featured Designer Spotlight | Mollie Surratt Interiors
Today, we’re so excited to introduce you to our dear friend, Mollie. She is usually speeding in with an oversized Louis Vuitton bag full of pull ups, pink lip gloss and paint swatches—with a Starbucks in hand. She’s got a great eye for interiors that translates to, well, real life.
Born and raised in a suburb north of Atlanta, Mollie grew up in her family’s growing couture bridal business. Today, her family’s business, bridals by lori, is the stage of the hit TLC reality show Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta. You may sneak a peek of Mollie on the show from time to time alongside her mother, storeowner and star, Lori Allen.
While a love of fashion captured her heart from an early age, Mollie’s world collided with interior design during her teen years. A dear family friend, Lillian Tate, started a small interior design firm and invited Mollie to High Point market. During this trip, a passion for interior design was ignited as her hand ran along the curves of elegant furnishings and luxe fabrics. It was magic!
A journalism and mass communication major at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., Mollie joined her talents of writing and communications– and love of interiors- after college. Her first entrepreneurial adventure was beginning Cosmopolitan Events, an upscale event design firm. During this time, Mollie planned over 30 weddings and special events throughout the south. From intimate gatherings in the Savannah Room at the Four Seasons Hotel, to lavish weddings for 1,200 guests, her unique style and ability to listen to her clients created unforgettable soirees.
Upon meeting her husband and relocating to north Georgia in 2006, Mollie spent 12 years in a blazer and heels leading two of the world’s largest flooring and carpet manufacturers in public relations, communications and inbound marketing. Here, her teams won over 20 local and national marketing awards, and Mollie was named the national Digital Communications Leader of the Year by PR News in 2017. While exciting and full of new experiences, Mollie’s entrepreneurial spirit still burned bright in her heart.
In 2018, Mollie finally decided to take a long-awaited leap of faith. Feeling the pull to spend more time with her daughters and follow her dreams, Mollie left the corporate world to begin Mollie Surratt Interiors. But, with her, she’s bringing rich experiences in couture bridal fashion, worldwide travel and multiple interior projects she completed while in the flooring industry. Her perspective is eclectic, considerate and sophisticated- with a huge dash of fun and humor in the mix. After all, what is life without a little laughter.
We love Mollie’s style and know you will, too.
Emily had the pleasure of meeting Mollie during her first days at Shaw Floors. New to the area and full of questions, Emily took Mollie under her swing as a little sister, if you will. Emily mentored Mollie and, before long, their lives and families became intertwined and so dear. Emily was there for Mollie’s wedding 10 years ago as well as the birth of both of her daughters. Such a special friendship was formed, rooted in the love of family and design.
Like Emily, Mollie is crazy about black. And we just knew Mollie’s design inspirations would include a piece of her signature Mackenzie Child’s Courtly Check. Many of the pieces in Mollie’s vision board can be found in her personal home, like the legendary Artichoke Lamp from Stray Dog Designs. When asked about her pallet, Mollie explains what she loves about matte black. “Not only is it forgiving and durable for busy homes like mine, but it’s just so darn chic. It will never go out of style, and I love it with a pop of red or magenta. My favorite look is when a client is bold enough to do black walls and black trim. Now, we’re talking!”
Authentic Luxury is my favorite Emily Morrow Home hardwood floor. The sliced white oak plank is distressed by hand for a true craftsman’s finish. I’m a huge fan of wide plank floors and Authentic Luxury is 7” wide and up to 8’ long. The natural graining and detail of the floor is accentuated by the finish, and it fits with many different design styles. I’m completely in love!! (And don’t you adore those leopard Kate Spade Keds?)
for unmatched visuals and “saleable” styling, backed with over a century of manufacturing expertise making ours the best in the industry. 12 styles of easily-installed 8 ft long tongue and groove 7 inch wide gorgeous hardwood planks.
On behalf of the Emily Morrow HOME Team, we hope you enjoyed a wonderful holiday with your family and dear friends.
Believe it or not, Surfaces 2018 is just around the corner. Things are bustling around here as we put the final preparations on our beautiful new luxury hardwood products that are sure to wow and inspire. We would like to personally invite you to visit our space, located within the American OEM/Hearthwood Booth #665, to view our new products.
This year, Emily Morrow HOME is nominated for the Floor Covering Weekly Dealers Choice Awards in the Merchandising and Hardwood categories. We humbly ask that you vote for Emily Morrow HOME by visiting the Floor Covering Weekly booth #813. Your vote means the world to us and our growing brand.
The live link to our fun Instagram #VoteEmily selfie #IVOTED contest is
Emily Morrow Home began with a love story…a life-long love for design that grew into a profession. After almost thirty years of practicing interior design, thirteen of which was directing Shaw Industries’ color, style and design development, I have recently entered a new chapter of life and launched a new enterprise, Emily Morrow Home, a collection of products inspired by my life and love.
I am most passionate about designing unique products that are not found in commodity retailers…inspired by travels to the most beautiful and amazing places on earth. The Emily Morrow Home Collection is not only about making our lives and homes more beautiful, it’s also about making the process of designing the home a pleasure while avoiding the usual pitfalls. That is why I sell through professionals, people with proven ability and craftsmanship who stand behind their work, as do I. Each product within the initial hardwood collection is inspired and designed to bring the world’s most beautiful visuals home to you, whether it’s Napa Valley or the Pacific Coast highway. As with any well-executed design project, one should always begin with the floors…the most beautiful “canvas” from which a home filled with personal expressions of style can emerge.
Emily Morrow Home invites you to get inspired. Combining a love of travel and art, Emily Morrow has transformed her passions into unique and charming home interior design. You’ll find collections influenced by the most beautiful aesthetics the world has to offer. Add a pop of culture to your home or reinvent it entirely. The Emily Morrow Home Collection can help you do both.
Q: How do I know how much hardwood flooring to order?
A: First have a professional installer measure your space for the square footage requirements as well as the recommended percentage of extra material for making any unusual cuts, typically that is around 8%-10% extra.
Q: Why is Emily Morrow Home Hardwood better than all the others?
A: The wood is “premium,” and not just in name. Overall you get more wood, seven cross-plies of hardwood make it incredibly versatile and more dimensionally stable; thicker than the others at 5/8 inch thickness as compared to lesser 1/2 inch engineered products. Design is anything but ordinary; it is carefully researched to resemble looks that are timeless and yet contemporary; and did I mention it is sourced from 100 percent US responsibly forested hardwood? When you walk across these floors, they sound as if they’ve been there forever, making them authentic and luxurious…and they add lifelong value and charm to your home. Most importantly, we have the best manufacturer in the USA and arguable in the world, steeped in a long and proven history of manufacturing excellence as well as forestry and environmental stewardship, American OEM which is located just west of Nashville, Tennessee.
Q: Why American made?
A: When you buy our American-made hardwood, you can be sure that you’re buying the best flooring possible at a value unmatched in the industry. You’re also investing in an American industry, and an all-American legacy.
That’s because buying American means more than simply buying hardwood products finished in the USA. It means buying exceptional value, precision quality products that were grown, harvested, designed and constructed in America, by skilled American laborers with pride for their craft. Today, American-made hardwood flooring is making a comeback for those very reasons – people, tradition and quality you can rely on.
Q: Why Engineered Hardwood?
A: At Emily Morrow Home, we believe in eliminating the traditional waste associated with solid wood floor production of slow growth species, while still finding a way to showcase their incredible beauty. To do this, we use a mixture of woods to create a much more advanced flooring option – the engineered floor. Unlike a solid wood floor, an engineered (multi-ply) floor consists of at least two types of different wood products adhered together. This means that the top layer (what you see when installed) can be a highly desired species of wood, like oak, while the bottom substrate layer (what you don’t see when installed) can be those fast-growing tree species. Manufacturing floors in this way allows us to more sustainably harvest trees and produce more high quality floors with the same robust and luxurious feeling of solid wood flooring within the thickness of that top layer. When installed properly, an engineered floor is virtually indistinguishable from a solid floor – the very same look and feel with the added stability in a far more environmentally-conscious way.
Q: Do the Currey & Company chandeliers come with a canopy (ceiling plate)?
A: All Currey & Company chandeliers come with a canopy and chain that is finished to match the chandelier.
Q: Can I get extra chain for a Currey & Company chandelier?
A: Extra chains are available for chandeliers and comes packaged in 3′ or 8′ lengths. These lengths match the standard length of the chain provided with the chandelier.
Q: How do I know the correct size of a chandelier for a dining table?
A: A general guideline is to choose a chandelier that has a diameter equal to one-half the width of the table. The general appearance of the chandelier must be taken into account, too; that is, if it is a light airy piece it may be slightly larger than the standard.
Q: How low should a chandelier be hung over a dining table?
A: Generally there should be 30″ between the bottom of the chandelier and the top of the table in a room with an 8′ ceiling. If the ceiling is higher, the distance between the bottom of the fixture and the table should increase slightly. Remember that the chandelier should provide light for the table, but not be so low as to block anyone’s line of vision when they are sitting at the table.
Q: What guidelines should I follow in choosing a chandelier for a foyer or other room?
A: Add the room dimensions together. If the room is 14′ by 16′, add 14 + 16. The answer is 30, which means that your chandelier should be approximately 30″ in diameter. Again, remember that other factors such as the height of the ceiling may influence the proper size.
Q: How high should I hang a wall sconce?
A: Generally, sconces should be placed on a wall 60″ from the floor.
As I’m preparing to
celebrate my 11th year anniversary of surviving Breast Cancer by
going on a photo safari, I find myself poring over images and
articles on Eastern Africa. This travel has been at the top of my
bucket list for ages and finally I’m finding the time to make the
trip. My expectations are great and I’m certain that I’ll return
with rich impressions from the wild-ness and beauty of the animals,
the land and the warmth of the people. Thinking over history and my
limited view of what “Africa” is, I can’t help but think of one of
my favorite movies, “Out of Africa”, favrorite stores, Banana
Republic. Consider today all of the styles that have borrowed
elements straight from actual “safari attire” as well as other
iconic fashion and interior designers who infused their look with
“safari campsite” looks, but done so on a very luxurious scale. I’m
sharing some images from the things that have caught my eye and
look forward to sharing my travel photos in my next blog. One thing
that is for certain, I will return permanently changed and my
outlook on the world improved from this time out of the office.
It’s going to be a great source of product ideas, color stories as
well as interior design concepts that, like safari living, have to
be versatile, durable, comfortable and unwavering in style. Check
out my Pinterest board, “SAFARI AWAY” for my
visuals. http://www.pinterest.com/emilykmorrow/safari-away/ Be well and stay tuned! Hugs, Emily
This past week I had the pleasure of serving on a panel with the best and brightest minds in color and design known as Global ColorMix. As to be expected, the panelists had diverse backgrounds from paper, window coverings, paint, color communications and cabinets…not to mention my own floor covering and interior design point of view. What I’ve walked away with is the confirmation that as different as we all are, our creative minds and eye for color and design are keenly watching the same things.
Oftentimes I’m asked “How do you know???…How do you know that a color or a design trend is coming…or that it will last?”…(they’re probably imagining us holding a sealed envelope to our heads like Johnny Carson did as the “Amazing Karnak” with all of the answers inside).
I can best summarize it as “innate and informed intuition”…if you read Malcolm Gladwell’s’ book “Blink”, you’ll understand what I’m referring to when I suggest that anyone who’s been “practicing” something for over 10,000 hours ‘just knows’ without overthinking the subject and ultimately outperforms their peers consistently. Read these excerpts from the book and you’ll better understand what I’m saying.
+“When we become expert in something, our tastes grow more esoteric and complex.” …
“our world requires that decisions be sourced and footnoted, and if we say how we feel, we must also be prepared to elaborate on why we feel that way…+We need to respect the fact that it is possible to know without knowing why we know and accept that – sometimes – we’re better off that way.” …+“Did they know why they knew? Not at all. But they Knew!”
― Malcolm Gladwell, Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking
Now to the more fun part…what’s the summary of my current research as we near the last quarter of 2013, after having traveled through Italy, Germany, France, England, Canada and China? For starters, plan on having the “Gray Trend” around for quite some time…it’s being shown and featured in many “major commitment” pieces at all of the best furniture and design shows around the world, it’s still being featured in Runway Fashion, although paired with bright pops of color. Gray is in every product segment and is the frequent topic of conversation among interior designers, architects and product designers…”When is the gray trend going away?…” Beyond the subject of “gray”, we’re going to continue to see animal prints although they’ve become “toned down” to the taupe side of animal prints. See my image of the Cole Haan shoes which I purchased at Macy’s in NYC last week. According to the super helpful shoe associate, the style on the left, the taupe-black print (my pair) is selling faster than they can inventory them while the pair on the right, an orange-rust color, isn’t moving at all. The shoe salesman didn’t understand “why?” …but fortunately for him, I was able to tell him… the cooler (taupe and black) leopard print will go with everything found in ladies’ fashion today, black, brown, midnight blue, gray and taupe…while the warmer (rust and black) will probably be perfect in a year or two. Fashion is usually a step or two ahead of interiors but not by a big step. I love watching for the changes in the market place just as a meteorologist watches the doppler radar and barometers.
Obviously this is one of my favorite subjects and could go on and on, but I won’t…but please know there’s more to come next week. Meanwhile, let me know what you’re seeing in your part of the world!
Big Hugs!! Emily
What is it that we all love about “English” design? Is it their “English way” of making “clutter” look elegant? Layered rugs, stacked books, plump down pillows and decadently rich leathers…all of these details are what I associate with “classic” english interiors. Not to say that we aren’t fascinated with the arrival of Prince George Alexander Louis or what The Duchess of Cambridge will be wearing…we are…but who doesn’t appreciate the look and feel of “English” homes. They feel curated…in the best sense of the word.
English interiors, in my mind, are typically full of natural light and soothing woolish neutrals, not the dark and dreary interiors that one associates with Harry Potter movies. Comfort is key…where bespoke materials are lavishly used. Wood floors and furniture are lovingly cared and have “perfectly patinaed” surfaces. “Reclaimed” wood is a given…although the materials are not dredged out of a tobacco mill or from the bottom of a river, but rather exist exactly as the craftsman intended, in its original location. “Aging in place” has an entirely different meaning when it comes to wood millwork…it’s cared for and respected for generations upon generations.
Do we “romaticize” about what we imagine “English” families have in their homes, yes of course. That’s for certain ~ but I do love the “idea” of what we all think and feel “english design” represents.
Stay tuned for more thoughts on English Design as my family and I report back from our trek to England. We plan to squeeze as much beauty and history as we possibly can and bring the memories back to cherish for a lifetime.
If you have a chance to go to the link for Michael Green’s talk about building skyscrapers of wood at TED 2013, you’ll be rewarded. It’s a brief and inspiring talk that will leave you with a renewed love and appreciation for the beauty of wood as a building material.
We’ve talked a lot about the warmth, character and quality that wood brings to interiors, but what we haven’t considered enough is the fact that its’s truly good to use wood..good, as in good for us. In his TED talk, Michael Green says “Wood gives Mother Nature fingerprints in our buildings…and makes our buildings connect with us through nature”…”that it’s the only building material that is grown by the sun…and has an amazing capacity to store carbon.”
Last year I was invited to judge the senior interior design students’ final projects, many of whom were directed to use materials that were “sustainable”. One student in particular was reprimanded by her professor for specifying “new” not “reclaimed” North American hardwood floors. Once it was the jury’s turn to provide feedback, I congratulated the student for choosing wood floors since they were domestically grown, and made in the USA. The professor actually deducted points off of the student’s grade for the final project because she argued that wood is not in plentiful supply…not true here in USA. I hope many will find gratification in knowing that our North American forests are responsibly forested, are providing jobs and building materials that are not only beautiful but are “good” in infinite ways. It’s no wonder we see consumers and designers drawn to all things wood or wood-inspired. Wood, it does us all good!
These days I’m loving the evolution from “overtly rustic” wood and metallic finishes to the more sophisticated and subtle side of things. Walnut and steel blend beautifully in this Ralph Lauren Home “Parquet Ancien” Coffee Table. The table is a great example of what you get when you combine the right elements in just the right way. We have been seeing so much of the drastically scraped and distressed wood surfaces for quite some time and home owners hoping to update their spaces are looking for something that represents the future without being too “nichey”. Smoother surfaces with more grain, subtle face-sawn details, domestically grown and harvested white oaks, clean walnuts, and hickory are the “current” wood species. Zinc or chrome detailing is reminiscent of mid century “automotive or aeronautic” chrome details. Tune in to MadMen on the AMC Network and find yourself carried back in time to the interiors and fashions of the late 60’s. Today we are blending elements from the past that can best be described as “vintage futuristic”.
Check out Anderson’s website at: www.andersonfloors.com
Residence Magazine, Shanghai, China is a well-respected China-based shelter and design magazine. During my last trip to China, Residence Magazine and Anderson Floors of Asia co-hosted a design summit and following the event, we had a great interview. Hope you enjoy the results, in English and also in Chinese.
Q: You`ve said that you are an interior designer first and you are tuned in to what is necessary and what is special. So, Which point do you think is the most necessary or special in the design?
A: As an interior designer, my first responsibility is to my client and their primary needs. Generally someone hires a professional interior designer with the expectation that that they have expert knowledge of the best materials, the very latest design trends, ability to carefully combine cutting-edge color combinations without going beyond the limits of what is “tasteful”, and knowledge of the newest products available, possibly wanting the most exclusive products as well (ex. flooring, furniture, fabric, paint, appliances etc) to help them avoid making costly mistakes in their design project.
With that in mind, as a product designer, my mission, as an interior designer first, is to make certain our new products are designed with the latest and most stylish visuals, either through texture, patterns, colors and quality. In the event that the products are hardwood floors, then it’s my responsibility to already know what wood species are pairing best with the newest furnishings, what types of wood are responsibly sourced and most-desired by consumers, and of course understanding what type of homes or rooms these products will be installed in. To answer your question “which point is most necessary in the design?” I’d have to say “all of them” but if we get the basics right, then everything does tend to work much better and easily.
Q: When were you interested in color research?
A: As a “color expert” looking back in my professional years as an interior designer, I believe I became fascinated with “color theory” in college. I’d experienced firsthand what colors can do to me as a consumer, choosing not to buy a car solely because of its color.
Q: In your opinion, what is the relationship between color and interior design?
A. Once I began to study color theory and the psychology of color, I began to understand that color can be a very effective tool in my career as an interior designer. Color alone can cause a person’s blood pressure to become lower or can actually cause the heart rate to beat more slowly. If a home or a healthcare facility is to be an area where the people should feel calm and cared for, then knowledge of color would be essential.
Q: As we all know, color trends impact all consumer goods. But what creates a trend?
A: Before we talk about what causes a trend, I must emphasize that the reader understand the difference between a “trend” and what is “trendy”. Trendy is something that’s popular and doesn’t necessarily stay popular for a long time. Trends are something that can be observed in the stock market, in people’s preferences for designer brands, and colors as well. Color trends are caused by many things: economic and political unrest or stability, social causes can start and sustain a trend and a famous public figure can start a trend. The gray color trend began initially in 2007 when Christian Dior’s Fall Runway collection was entirely gray. The following spring, The Kips Bay Designer Showhouse in NY featured several very stylish interiors in all gray and silvered metallics. The trend was further augmented by the fact that gray interiors were being used in popular movies and television shows. Once a color such as gray is used in “commitment” products like hardwood floors, cabinets, or even gray-veined marble floor tiles, then the color expert knows this color will be around for many years.
Q: What do you think about the color trends this year? Why the bright color will be popular in the future?
A: The color trends for the next few years can be categorized in three ways, “brights”, “tinted off-whites” and “jewels”. The “back drop” for color trends is also very important. The walls, the floors and large case-good pieces or cabinetry are what I refer to as the “back drop”. Whites, off-whites and pastels are entering the interiors marketplace and can be found in tri-color combinations. An ideal example could be this: buttery off-white, robin’s egg blue, and pistachio green. These are very creamy colors and do not compete against one another in an interior. Jewel tone colors such as sapphire blue, emerald green and ruby red are the best-known jewel tones but there are others. Teal, although not directly associated with actual precious jewels, is a very important interior color in interiors all over the world. Teal works easily with several different colors such as gray, but also can bring “brightness” into a space without being too strong or overpowering.
We just discussed the fact that gray has made its way into new hardwood floor colors and paint colors for the walls, serving as the perfect “neutral” backdrop for a bright accent color such as a vivid yellow to be used in areas like rugs, throw pillows, wall art, and small accent pieces. The “bright colors” like chartreuse, hot pink, and neon yellow always look best in small increments against a large neutral back-drop.
Q: Are the trends the same or different between western and eastern? Do you like the color in traditional Chinese interior design works?
A: There are few similarities between Eastern and Western interiors. I have been invited into many homes during my travels to China. Many Eastern homes have white walls with very little color unless there’s some hard wood flooring. Typically Western homes use color, but it’s very specific. A lot of Western homes once had mostly “beige walls and beige carpet” especially during the time period in the 1990’s to early 2000’s. New homes were bought and sold quickly, “flipped”, for a nice profit and were generally not considered to be a personal statement. There’s been a recent shift in Western homes since the economy has enjoyed steady improvement. Westerners are feeling more optimistic about their futures and want to brighten their interiors. They do not want to “flip” their homes as so many did in the 90’s and today making a personal statement through the use of colors and design styles.
Q: Are there any rules about the use of color in the interior design?
A: I really hesitate to say there are “rules” about the use of color in interior design but it’s something very important question to ask. There’s that quote “rules are made to be broken”…so there are going to be rules about using color and also exceptions to consider. My advice on using colors effectively is to consider the human eye and remember that it automatically goes to the brightest colors first, bright yellows or reds. Color Theory teaches that colors are either “advancing or receding” colors. Yellows and Reds are advancing colors so a “little goes a long way”. Look at a color wheel and see what the primary, secondary and even the tertiary colors are. Colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel, analogous colors, can be very pleasing. Complementary colors are those directly across the wheel and are combinations like Blue and orange, red and green, yellow and purple. If these colors are adjusted in lightness, they also make beautiful color combinations, for example preppy pink and green.
Q: Which color do you like the best? What colors did you choose in your own house?
A: My personal favorite color is “green”, almost any value. Green is the color of nature and calms the senses as well as represents “sustainability” which is important in my line of work. My home has many colors, but they’re very subtle. My walls in the family room and kitchen areas are “pewter gray” and my furnishings are dark chocolate, pewter gray and a pair of “apple green ikat pillows.
Q: What kind of lifestyle do you like? Natural? Colorful? Casual? Or a special lifestyle that you create by yourself?
A: Today, most people enjoy a very casual and natural lifestyle. Most families are busy with both parents working away from the home so when they are home, they don’t want to be bothered with “high maintenance” floors. Colors are generally muted in the casual home with taupe, gray-greens, and various shades of blue. These taupe and gray-based colors are known for their ease in keeping clean and the blues are psychologically soothing and calming after a busy day at work.
Q: Please say something you want or something about your studies which lets readers know more about the colors and color trends. Thank you very much.
A: Interior design and color trends are integrally connected. You simply cannot have one without the other. Today’s best “designs” include so many things mixed together. What separates a design professional from the others is the pro’s ability to bring the different design styles together, traditional or contemporary, together while clearly reflecting the client’s taste and personal interests.
Thank you very much!
Emily Kiker Morrow, Interior Designer Allied Member ASID