Recently Farrow and Ball asked me to create a mood board using one of their trending colors for spring: Radicchio. The idea of making a colorful, textural design from nothing can seem a bit overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether it’s a room, an outfit, or a mood board, often my first task when designing is to go to my gathered inspiration. Much of that inspiration is saved on Pinterest or screenshots on my phone from social media. But a lot of my favorites are screenshots from my iPad of British, period television.
This particular image from Home Fires stopped me in my tracks a few years ago, not enough credit is given to costume designers and set decorators and I had yet to put it to good use. We so often forget how colorful the past was, usually only seeing it in black and white photos. Along with pulling colors from the image, I wanted to make sure to bring the timely feel and texture.
When I noticed this paint palette in my friend’s home I jumped at the chance to use it. Along with the old book and print, it brings texture and a grounded feel. The burgundy hat, blue book, and green of the magnolia branch represent the women’s clothing beautifully. The magnifying glass handle is graphic like the woman’s blouse. The small dish of natural dye powder brings in the blue of the sky and feels really fresh against the more moody shades. My favorite is the poppy in the earrings, translated in the paint palette. I pulled things out to create a mood board, but this could just as easily inspire a room. Paneled walls in Radicchio, an emerald colored sofa, burgundy floor-to-ceiling drapes, bone inlaid coffee table, royal blue chairs, a natural cowhide patterned rug, and a poppy colored vase would create the same feel on a much bigger scale.
A few weeks ago a reader asked if a room needed to have an inspiration piece in it – something to tie everything together, like a colorful rug or art. I say no. In fact, I find spaces without that connecting piece a bit more interesting. When colors feel like pops instead of a match, I’m intrigued. The way designers do that is by being influenced by something outside of the space and using that to guide their choices. So I encourage you to be open to everything and anything that might inspire your next room or outfit. Whether it’s the landscape on the drive home or the new restaurant in town, take time to figure out what about it brings you joy and try to mimic those elements for yourself. I hope this prompts you to ponder that moment of joy you experienced, and consider ways to bring that into your home.
Photo by Lark Photos | Contains affiliate links