Adding Color to Your Hand Made Home

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Salmon/Coral/Orange / Apricot Amaryllis! So beautiful

I was flipping through the book I mentioned before (Hand Made Home, Bailey) , and I thought about how color makes me feel more comfortable in my hand made home. When I first built the house I had talked with the architect and the contractor about color, and they told me to choose whatever I wanted. Stephen Beili, the architect had strong colors on the walls of his house, and I was lead to think about doing the same. When it came time to choose the color for the main room of my house, I picked out a screaming lime green and brought home the paint chip for the builder (Earthtone Builders). He took one look at the chip and shook his head hard. “You will hate this color!” he declared. “It will be so bright that you won’t want to even be inside the house. You’ll run outside for safety!”

My orange walls highlight the art and the green of the painted antique cupboard

I was really disappointed, but I trusted him. I let him guide me towards a soft, mossy green that seemed calming and also bridged the gap between the outside of the house beyond the big windows and inside. It made sense and I was happy about it when it was done. The green was soothing and cool. It felt good especially in the summer when the green was like a glade away from the summer sun.

Predominantly red art looks great against the orange

I am cold natured, though, and wear a sweater even in the summertime. The green was pretty, but it seemed dull and a bit of a downer. I needed a change. I needed sunshine. I decided to paint the main room a caramel-orange.  Ron bought the paint and brought his painters to the house. They moved aside the furniture and opened the paint cans. They hated the color. Sam, the main painter who was also an artist declared that the paint was “loud.” He begged me to reconsider.

I argued, saying it was like caramel candy. He disagreed, saying, “No it is not! It’s orange!”

chippy paint pie safe
This chippy paint pie safe looks pretty and serves the double purpose of holding well-worn vintage linens

I won the argument, of course, and am thrilled with the result. I guess the paint is actually orange, but it is not a neon shade. The light at different times of day makes it turn different hues. It can be a sweet sherbet tone in bright light, or a leathery color on a cloudy day. Seeing the interior of the house as I drive up the driveway at night, it appears as if there are candles illuminating the interior. It’s so inviting! 

I considered the items I already owned when I was deciding on the color, but I just knew that if I really liked the color, it would work with what I already had, and I was right. I did not own a single orange thing, but the colors I used in chairs and carpets were mainly reds, green, and wood-tones. I have lots of art and a great collection of pottery, and I find that the orange color really warms up those objects. 

Art by Melissa Cadell and live plants bring life to the Hand Made Home

The colors of the walls and the enhanced colors of the objects in the house make the interior feel warm and inviting, the hallmark of the hand made house. In the Bailey book, the authors encourage the reader to trust your gut when you choose colors. I feel as if I am drawn to a particular palette of colors, and all my clothes work with all the others. I seem to have a great many clothes in mustard tones, and they all look great with my hair and with the rest of my wardrobe. I don’t need to carry a paint chip with me, but just know what I am drawn to.