Palette Cleanser

Is it just me or are things looking really overdecorated lately? This might come across as a little ironic since I recently swathed a powder room in crazy marble wallpaper, but I can’t help it. My eyes are tired. It seems like every room has to have trim and contrasting pattern and 75 colors and fully accessorized vignettes and statement furniture everywhere. I’m not judging, for I am most definitely guilty of all infractions. And don’t get me wrong, I will always have a flair for the dramatic and a soft spot for this:

design crisis

That is super weird. I love it, and I will always love wallpaper. But like I said, my eyes are bleeding from all the stuff in every picture everywhere and I feel an overwhelming urge to clean up the visual clutter.

design crisis | palette cleanser

AHHHHHH isn’t that nice? Does anyone actually live here? Who cares?! It’s all about organizing the room around one statement moment and then editing everything else out. Like a fine ocular sorbet.

design crisis | palette cleanser

White paint makes that easy. If you have great light and good architecture, white paint works. Personally I don’t think I can ever live with white white whiiiite paint, because we have a lot of sheetrock and not a lot of windows. I might be feeling anti ornamental at the moment, but if you live in a sheetrock shack you’re going to have to do some decorating.

design crisis | palette cleanser

Even dirty off white is more forgiving. This is a nice amount of ornamentalism for me. There is a lot going on here, but keeping things neutral and monochromatic lets the eye rest.

design crisis | palette cleanser

For those of us with yucky architecture and light, color may be a necessity. I don’t think cleaning house necessarily means painting everything in neutrals and going gently into that good night. Robert Couturier is my homeboy because he knows how to let even a fancy room breathe. Bold color on the walls and wee pattern on the sofas dictates neutral art, no pillows (!!!), very little clutter, and curtains that don’t pop. Matching sofas reduces the number of design elements in a large room. This is a space that could be translated to a real person’s house for sure.

design crisis | palette cleanser

Or how about a mostly tonal room with zero pattern? So doable. The focus is all on the delicious yet judicious use of color. It might even be nutritious.

design crisis | palette cleanser

Same idea, but as a kitchen. Sexy, moody, interesting, and clean as a whistle.

design crisis | palette cleanser

I have to admit it is hard not to love a good white room, though. The architecture and textural elements here are layered enough to keep things lively, and that lamp is everything.

design crisis | palette cleanser

At the opposite end of the spectrum, a bright white Vistosi chandelier in an otherwise dark room has impact without punching you in the face. The paint color and furnishings are unique, but everything else is kinda blendy and nothing is upstaging the diva.

design crisis | palette cleanser

Blendy blendy, but not blandy. It’s all about the floors and that bizarrely awesome chandelier.

design crisis | palette cleanser

This is like the good twin to my evil twin powder room. I really wanted everything to feel like it was chiseled from the same material. It might have helped if I had 10K to spend on marble, but I think I did ok with $300 spent on wallpaper.

design crisis

And then there is this room. There are quite a few design elements going on, but the balance is good. I spy plenty of breathing room. It’s clean and fresh and interesting. I want to live here. That rug!

Isn’t it nice be simple sometimes?