Getting Started: Developing an Overall Color Palette For Our House

As I shared on Monday with some inspo pics, I’d like our house to celebrate its 1960s roots while also *taking it down a notch* and making the place a little less...visually arresting. The 60s were all about straightforward forms (simple moldings, casement windows, single panel doors) coupled with elaborate finishes. Think crazily patterned tiles, color-coordinated plumbing fixtures and appliances, textured wallpaper, faux wood paneling, shag carpet, and formica in every color of the rainbow.  As you can see, they really went for it, bringing a new boldness to home decor that I really appreciate:

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The pink tub and toilet above is what we have in our master bath! (Via Mid-century Midcentury Home Style)

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Remember that crazy awesome house the Dad lived in from the original Parent Trap? Loved that house so much! (Via The Silver Screens Blog)

On the flip-side, all these design elements can end up vying for your attention and it’s a little disorienting. For example, I love the backsplash tile and aqua sink in our kitchen, but be honest, do you even notice them with ALL THE THINGS going on in that room? The floral wallpaper, the dark maple cabinets, the brass hardware, the beige floor tile (which isn’t original, btw)...they all compete with each other and your eyes don’t really know where to look. Not exactly a relaxing reprieve from the chaotic world outside. 

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I want a consistent color palette that plays throughout the house, for a couple of reasons. First, I, like 99% of people, like to mix styles in my personal spaces and items (art work, knick-knacks, furnishings, etc.). A consistent color story that carries from room to room will help ensure the house doesn't get that Sanford & Son vibe with a bunch of stuff thrown together and no unifying elements. Second, our home has a pretty open floor plan and so keeping things simple and consistent in terms of colors will bring in an overall sense of harmony. 

So my goal is to create an updated, refreshed version of the 1960s. What does that mean? I’m thinking soft, serene walls with a mix of bright, poppy colors in the furnishings, fixtures, artwork, and other decor. I love patterns and textures, but I’d like to limit their presence in each room, to keep them special and interesting, instead of assaulting the senses. Since aqua already plays a starring role in this house, I’m taking my cues from the blue/green side of the color wheel and fanning out from there with complementary coral pinks and yellows:

I’ve come up with a few shades to get me started:

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I'll be playing with some shades and tones (lighter and darker versions of these colors), and adding a few more accents, but this is a start. I'm excited!