24 Ways to Up Your Color Mojo and Thumb Your Nose at Crayola

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Crayon manufacturer Crayola has announced it will celebrate National Crayon Day tomorrow, March 31, by dropping a color from its 24-crayon basic box. Tune in for the big announcement of precisely which color will melt into oblivion at 8:45 a.m. EST Friday on Facebook.

Not that it will make any difference, but the company invites you also to share your preference for what to keep at #ShareYourFave.

That 24-crayon pack currently includes primary and secondary colors red, yellow, blue, orange, green and violet, along with neutrals black, white, gray and brown. We can assume those are safe, but what of the crossovers yellow-orange, blue-green, red-violet, red-orange, yellow-green, blue-violet, violet-red and green-yellow? That leaves scarlet, indigo, carnation pink, dandelion, apricot and cerulean.

What does all this have to do with home décor? Probably not a lot, since Pantone is the goddess we bow to and its mix-masters keep inventing new rather than pulling old because they’re always happy to have one more page to charge for.

Meanwhile, here are some 24 links to articles I’ve collected on how to use color in your home—one for each and every color is the soon-to-be history 24-color box. Enjoy!

1. These 6 Lessons in Color Will Change the Way You Decorate, OKL

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One Kings Lane / Patrick Mele

One Kings Lane dishes with designer Patrick Mele, using one of his most recent design projects to illustrate the six referenced lessons. There’s also a Q&A complete with extra tips at the end. Don’t miss it!

2. Amy Astley on Living with Color, AD

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Simon Upton photo / Matteo Bonnetti, designer

This introduction to the new AD editor begins with a John Ruskin quote that seems to say it all: “The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most.” But why? Astley tells us what she thinks. Gorgeous photos from the pages of AD.

3. Ideas to Decorate With Color, Espacio Living 

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Emily Henderson Styled / Espacio Living

Unless you’re fluent in Spanish, you’ll need to translate (opposite mouse-click on text, select “translate”) this sampling of colorful living rooms put together by Espacio Living. Too much trouble? Not to worry. The photos speak volumes on their own. Look and learn!

4. The Secret to Pairing Bold Colors, AD

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Julia Lynn photo

AD interviews designer Angie Hranowsky, who never met a color combo she couldn’t get to shake hands and play nice. The secret, she says, is matching values. Read along and see what she means as she dissects choices from a recent project in a Sullivans Island, SC, home.

5. How to Add Color to Your Home, Bloglovin: The Edit

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Via jelanieshop

Discover the roles played by color-coding, combining, contrast and balance, similar hues, focus, fun, and lighting.

6. Finding Foolproof Color Combinations, Apartment Therapy

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Learn all about a new on-line tool called Palettable that can help you choose a whole-house or single-room palette.

7. Design Guide: Color Rules, Confetti Style

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Laurel Bern Interiors

Start with a color you love, of course. But there’s more. Much more. So follow the link to take it all in, why don’tcha?

8. Home Tones: Successful Color Combos, H is for Home Harbinger

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EKB Interiors

Nothing to read here, but lots of eye-candy combinations that work and how!

9. Why High-End Paint is Always Worth the Splurge

The Right Way to Test Out Paint, both from AD 

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Thomas Loof photo

Are you really getting more when you pay for a pricier paint? The short answer is yes. The long answer—that is, WHAT you’re getting—is in these easy reads from AD. You’ll learn all about how pigments and resins affect coverage, drying time and durability, along with tips on testing out a color before you commit.

10. 5 Rules for Selecting the Perfect Paint Color, The Inspired Room

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Melissa Michaels, blogger and author of several books, always makes tough subjects simple for those of us whose decorating careers are no less important simply because they begin and end at our own front doors.

11. How to Choose the Paint Color You Really Want, Sunset

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Refined Interiors / Houzz

Some experts say the hunt for the perfect home colors begins right here, in your wardrobe. What colors do you wear often? For me, it’s magenta and turquoise, and yes, they’re everywhere in my home because they make me happy. Memories and feelings play roles as well. Get some advice and inspiration from the experts.

12. Choosing Color: How to Determine the Undertone, Tidbits & Twine

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Tidbits & Twine
Masstone, undertone, simultaneous contrast, hue, shade, color wheel, complements—is your head spinning yet? It won’t be after reading this easy-to-understand guide before you head out for the paint store.

13. Does Paint Color Really Affect Your Mood?, AD

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The short answer is yes. Now read this interview with Dr. Mary Gregerson, president of the American Psychological Association’s Society for Environment, Population, and Conservation Psychology, to find out how.


14. Considering Transparency and Opacity in Décor, Apartment Therapy

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Tamara Gavin photo

Remember from grade school? That’s see through and not. But there’s more to it than that when you apply it to your home. Clear up whatever you feel particularly dense about with this short read.

15. How to Ace Decorating with Dark Walls, AD

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Colin Miller photo / Haus Interiors

Dark walls are all the rage, but dark paint strikes fear in the heart of most husbands, if not their decorating partners as well. Here’s what to know to get your courage up and make your mark by going dark.

16. This Might Be the Most Flattering Paint Color Ever, AD

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Michelle Arcila photo

But if dark’s not in the cards for you, find this at the other end of the spectrum. Discover the attributes of Tissue Pink on your walls. It’s just as raging as dark and not nearly so scary.

17. How to Pick a Color Palette that will Pull Your Home Together, Apartment Therapy

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West Elm

It’s all about pattern, art, grounding, lateral thinking, and a judicious use of pop colors. Follow the link for the low-down.

18. The 2017 Colors of the Year, According to Paint Companies, Apartment Therapy

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If all this talk about color has whipped you into a decorating frenzy but on trend matters to you, check out what the paint companies say you should buy.

19. New Season Paint Trends from Farrow & Ball, Mad About the House

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Farrow & Ball

This article narrows down the previous even more while also expanding. Learn what amongst Farrow & Ball’s palette of 132 gorgeous tones is trending in March 2017, through the eyes of journalist Kate Watson-Smyth.

For more fun and inspiration…

20. The Colors of India, The Transcontinental Affair

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Sophie Thé

If you can’t make the trip, this is the go-to review of one stylist’s Instagram-logged journey. What a scrapbook of inspiration for infusing your own home with exotic color!

21. The 15 Most Colorful places in the World, Sunday Chapter

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To find out just where this is, as well as 14 additional color-crazy spots, hop on over to Sunday Chapter. Then, imagine these places as inspiration for decorating your very own home.

22.  How Pastels Became a Cultural Obsession, Co.Design

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Read how the color experts weigh in on how and why these soft, fluffy shades make their mark. Hint: It goes back a lot farther than Rose Quartz and Serenity, 2016’s Pantone colors of the year.

23. A Brief History of Color in Art, Artsy

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Vincent van Gogh, Sunflowers

The good, the bad, and the ugly about the history of red, yellow, blue, green, purple, black, and white pigments. Find out just how lucky we are (or not) today.

24. The Crazy History Behind Your Favorite Colors, Elle Décor

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Elle Decor

Before you decide what colors to use in your home, you might want to know what they stand for—or at least what they stood for once, and where they came from. This link gives you a full-scale infographic with all the nitty-gritty.

If you want more…

  • Follow my Pinterest board, Color Porn, for more links about color as I find them, and all my boards, for that matter, for more links about everything home décor!
  • Click on the (affiliate) links below to check out (and/or purchase) the classic tomes on color history and theory.
  • Don’t miss a post of BoHo Home. Get to-your-inbox posts by becoming a follower, using one of the subscription services at the bottom of this page. Or, follow my blog with Bloglovin, a social-media platform that puts all the blogs you choose to follow in one, easy-to-access location that won’t clutter up your inbox.

Books on color history


Classic books on color


Books on color in interior design today

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