Color Is Always On My Mind; 2015 Spins Classics

One thing that’s almost always on my mind is color and the planning of a color palette for a space. The inspiration can come from a painting, a photograph, a group of sea shells, ocean water or a floral arrangement. I found it most interesting when one of my favorite interior designers, Alessandra Branca, noted on a color forecast the following about color trends in 2015:

“The combinations of greens, plums, cerulean blue, beiges and whites — and the mixing of patterns and textures, as seen in many Renaissance paintings.”

cranbrook holiday table

Those thoughts took me on a veritable color tour, and back to some tablesettings that I orchestrated in the past.

One that popped to mind when I read about Alessandra’s reference to “Renaissance painting” is the table I set for the annual Cranbrook House Holiday Tables event in Bloomfield Hills, MI, about a year and a half ago (shown above, photographed by Jeff Garland). I used rich materials and a luxurious table setting that I believe was so appropriate for the space I was given in the Albert Kahn-designed Cranbrook House. In fact, I seemed to have my very own “Renaissance painting” — a tapestry that was already hanging in the home was my backdrop near my table. It was in fact my inspiration for the table design! So I mixed cerulean blues, malachite-hued velvet, antique golds, black and faux fur throws, along with vintage adornments to create a table evocative of romance and merriment! The event was called “A Season of Splendor,” and splendid it was!

Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to a new special event coming up at The House! This year, “HOLIDAY SPLENDOR: TINSEL & TREES” is a brand new fundraiser that will showcase wonderfully decorated trees in the House’s enchanted setting. I believe it will run a few weekends, starting Nov. 28. (call 248-645-3147, for more info.).

But back to color! I also understand, from reading a few items in that, again, blues seem to be a cool favorite among many designers. Leading the ranks was Greek blue. The site insiders also suggested that rich, glossy blue paired with white was a great way to give the classic look a modern twist. So true! This reminds me of our latest A List — navy blue, whites and reds, which combine to make a very vibrant color palette (see below).


2015 Summer AList

Returning to Alessandra’s insights, I’m adoring her designs in blues and whites, especially a pool house room in Southampton near the beach. It’s featured in her book, New Classic Interiors (Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 2009). The colors are fresh and rich. As for that oversize paisley  pattern on the walls, which are outlined in velvet … splendid! The blue velvet corner banquette, the lacquered black lamp and sisal rug … all such a wonderful mix of textures. This is a room in which I could spend a lot of time, couldn’t you?



I’m loving this year’s color trends, from rich colors right out of a Renaissance painting, to fresh blues that are postcard-pretty, straight from the Mediterranean!

What types of color combinations are you working with this year? What’s been successful for a space in your home, or a tabletop vignette? Please share.




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