Fifty-ONE Shades of Gray

Who says you need bright colors to create a warm and inviting space? Often times, the color gray is equated to a contemporary or cold feel…however, I disagree. Softer shades of gray can provide a beautiful, calming environment for any style while deep, bold shades of gray can create a dramatic effect and sophistication. However you’re using it, this neutral palette is a timeless classic!

Here are some examples of non-contemporary rooms using different shades of gray. Hopefully they will inspire you to use them in your own home!

bedroom 1

living room 1

bedroom 2

Living room 2

bedroom 3

living room 3

bedroom 5

living room 4


bedroom 6

living room 5


bedroom 7

living room 6


living room 7


Here are some great gray accent pieces to incorporate into your room.

accent table


pillow 1

rug 1


accent table'

accent stool



If you absolutely NEED to have color, another advantage to utilizing an all gray palette is that you can incorporate just about any accent color. Adding pops of color with throw pillows, accessories or flowers provides a quick update to your room.

The one floral pillow on the bed adds just the right amount of accent to the otherwise monochromatic palette.

floral pop

Recommended Accent Colors


pop of yellow 2

pop of yellow 3


pop of yellow 4


pop of yellow

Mineral Blue

mineral 4


mineral 2




pop of coral

coral 2


What is Pantone?

Have you ever wondered what exactly is Pantone? Those who know me well are aware of my obsession with color and have heard me refer to this word a lot!

Most commonly known in the design world, Pantone is the world-renowned authority on color and provider of color matching systems to various industries. Examples of these color-critical industries include fashion, architecture, construction, paint manufacturing, digital technology, plastics and home interior design. Recently, Pantone has become more mainstream due to wider exposure from outlets like Pinterest, who highlight Pantone’s “Color of the Year” selection and merchandise. (Follow Pantone on Pinterest here.)




flip flops







In 1963, Lawrence Herbert, Pantone’s founder, created this innovative color matching system to solve color discrepancies due to the spectrum being interpreted differently by individuals and various companies.


Pantone Color of the Year

On an annual basis, Pantone and its secret color committee meet over two days of presentations and debate to select their Color of the Year for the upcoming year and publish in Pantone View ($750). Fashion designers, florists, and a wide variety of other consumer-oriented companies use this to help guide their designs and roadmap for future products. The color typically reflects where they see trends moving based on the world’s cultural, social, artistic and technological status.

“Radiant Orchid” was declared the 2014 Pantone Color of the Year.

Pantone_Radiant Orchid_IPad

Pantone Color Institute Executive Director, Leatrice Eiseman, explains how Radiant Orchid was chosen for 2014:

“I look for ascending color trends, colors that are being used in broader ways and broader context than before…In this case, Radiant Orchid descends from the purple family, which is kind of a magical color that denotes creativity and innovation. Purple is just that kind of a complex, interesting, attracting kind of color…[The] back-story to purple is that it inspires confidence in your creativity, and we’re living in a world where that kind of creative innovation is greatly admired. In the world of color, purple is an attention-getter, and it has a meaning. It speaks to people, and we felt that it was time for the purple family to be celebrated. That’s why we chose the particular shade called Radiant Orchid.”

Rick Debus, “Signazon Spotlight: Lee Eiseman, Pantone – Part 1”, Signazon Tips & Guides

Below are some of examples of how this beautiful, vibrant hue has influenced interiors over the past year!


door 3

accent chairs 2

accent wall


fun wallpaper

bedroom 2


rug- living room

fun bedding


Wondering about past Pantone Colors of the Year???

2000- Cerulean Blue

2000 Cerulean Blue

2001- Fuchsia Rose

2001 Fuchsia_Rose

2002- True Red

2002 True Red


2003- Aqua Sky

2004 Aqua Sky


2004- Tigerlily

2004 Tiferlily


2005- Blue Turquoise

2005 Blue Turquoise


2006- Sand Dollar

2006 Sand Dollar


2007- Chili Pepper

2007 Chili Pepper


2008- Blue Iris

2008 Blue Iris


2009- Mimosa

2009 Mimosa


2010- Turquoise

2010 Turquoise


2011- Honeysuckle

2011 Honeysuckle


2012- Tangerine Tango

2012 Tangerine Tango


2013- Emerald

2013 Emerald

With the help of The Savory, here are my early predictions for 2015’s Pantone Color of the year.

Inspired by your local farmers market….

Macadamia Nuts in Shells

macadamia nuts, in shell








Pumpkin Seeds

pumpkin seed


Vibrant Peach


vibrant peach



Shelf Styling

Too often I see boring, cluttered or misstyled shelves. To be honest, I consider this a travesty, although one that can be easily corrected. Shelf-styling is something that anyone can do to create a “designer-look” in a room. Paying attention to details help create that wow-factor when someone walks in.

Think of the accessories and styling in a room as icing on a cake! They can elevate the room to a new level by helping give it a more complete and personalized look.

First, I’ll go over some general rules and share a few tips and tricks. I’ll then show you some examples of shelf-styling at its best and provide some ideas for items to incorporate into your design.

General Rules
  1. Less is more. Don’t overload your shelves. Pair down and purge as you don’t want your shelves looking cluttered. Grouping items and leaving space on either side keeps your look clean and organized.
  2. Use a combination of items. Books, bookends, accessories, picture frames and plants are all good items to use. Try to display items that reflect your style and interests. Over the years, I have found that you can tell a lot about a person by what’s on their shelves!
  3. Throw out symmetry. Symmetry is boring and unimaginative. Instead, trust your instincts and introduce a bit of randomness. This will help give you that desired designer-look in the end!
Tips & Tricks

Grouping Books: Use a  combination of vertical and horizontal stacking. The horizontal stacks can be used as risers for chotzkies. Another trick is to put your most attractive books at eye level and store away your unattractive ones in storage baskets or boxes. You can also group books by color, by subject or randomly.

horizontal books 2

Paper-Backing:  I’m certainly not talking about soft-cover books here! Adding a fun-patterned paper on the back panel of your shelves can immediately liven them up and add interest. Your shelves become a work of art. You can use adhesive wallpaper or contact paper. If you are doing this, be careful that your accessories don’t compete too much with the paper.

paper backing 1


paper backing 3


paper backing 2


paper backing 4


paper backing 5

Keepsakes:  Remember, you don’t have to run out and buy all new accessories for your shelves. Use items around the house that mean something to you and deserve to be displayed! On my own bookcase at home, we’ve displayed grandparent keepsakes including rosary beads and a jade elephant figurine. Several family photos also adorn the shelves. These sentimental objects are reminders everyday of how special family is.

Chotzkies:  Unexpected items or “chotzkies” can draw interest and catch our eye. A good rule to remember is if you’re shopping and see something that catches your eye, most likely it will do the same for someone else. If within your budget, I suggest purchasing it, regardless of its style and finding a way to incorporate it!

If you already have items around the house that you would like to use, think about painting them in either an accent or metallic color so they become more neutral and complimentary.

Here is an example of transforming items you may have had or found while scavenging at a thrift shop or garage sale.

bunny before

bunny after 2

bunny after 1


painted vases

Bookends:  Bookends can serve multiple purposes. Not only are they functional by keeping your books in place, they can be fabulous accessories too! Bookends these days are so much fun and can be a great way to add color and whimsy to your shelves.




Storage Baskets & Boxes:  Use storage baskets or boxes to break up spaces and add function to your shelf. You can store ragged books, DVD/Blu-Rays, toys, remotes or anything else you may want to hide while adding uniformity and organization. Below are examples of unique ways to incorporate baskets and boxes.

ikea boxes

storage baskets- IKEA

shelf example 5

storage boxes


Here are some examples of Shelf Styling at it’s BEST!

All of these examples use multiple colors, different book orientation and a mixture of complimentary accessories.

book shelf
book shelf too
Shelf example 4
shelf example 3
Here are some fun accessory ideas to incorporate into your shelving. 
Eiffel Tower
orange boxes

Summer Citrus!

Just because school is starting soon doesn’t mean summer is over! Keep summer alive by infusing these beautiful citrus hues into your home. They will brighten any room…and mood!


Who doesn’t like a splash of lime?

lime rug



lime bookshelf

lime jar

lime bathroom



Orange you glad its summer?









When life gives you lemons….make a centerpiece for your table!
sunshine yellow room
yellow ottoman bench
yellow bathroom
yellow pillow 


Good for your diet and your decor!