Pops of pattern, cowboys, aliens & orange sapphires…

I’m picky about patterns.  Not prickly – just picky.  I like patterns that surprise.

I think I am not generally drawn to large swaths of pattern in my overall environment.  I have never in my entire life brought home patterned drapery panels. I also tend to avoid patterned bath towels and bed covers.  However, I looked around the place and found that I have more pattern in my life than I would have expected – including two large “swaths” of it.

I do love the cow print floor tiles in our mudroom.  I didn’t bring this large scale, graphic pattern home specifically for the mudroom, but I am glad it made it’s way there.


Then, there is our naked tree wall treatment in the basement.  This large scale, contrasting pattern feels like an amazing piece of artwork.


I think graphic, contrasting, non-serious is my thing when it comes to patterns.

You always hear about people using “pops of color” to add interest to an otherwise neutral space.  I think I prefer to use “pops of pattern” to add interest to my space.  It feels more personal to me.  It feels like pops of art.

I could stare at this throw for hours.  It’s repetitive and calming, but not overwhelming.  I like that I can fold it up for a less intrusive pattern.


I like patterns that peek out.  For example,  it’s exciting every night to pull back the solid white bed covers and discover bright patterned graphic sheets.  It’s art on my bed – and it is surprisingly calm.


The kitchen is the other place I have patterns that peek out.  I love opening my kitchen linen drawer.  It’s happy.  It’s fun.  A new pattern is created every week when I put the freshly laundered towels and cloths away.  It’s bright blocks of color and a lovely pop of pattern in my kitchen drawer!


So – I’ve got a thing for dish towels.  I like colorful, interesting patterned dish towels.  I found this little blue checked, ric rac, vintage inspired cowboy patterned towel a few years ago.  I think it feels a bit retro – like a picnic – in a Colorado sort of way.  I like ric rac.  I like a little retro.  I like picnics.  I like Colorado.  I like my cowboy dish towel.  It’s my kind of kitchen art.  Weirdly – it also makes me think of aliens.


Yes, aliens.  Have you ever seen Unsealed Alien Files?  I am fascinated with the whole alien thing.  I’m not obsessed.  I wouldn’t want to be abducted and probed by aliens or anything like that, but I might want to have some tea and cucumber sandwiches with an alien.  That could be kind of fun.  Anyway, I feel like my cowboy dish towel and alien pottery go together – cowboys and aliens are explorers, adventurers, pioneers – at least in my mind.  When I see my cowboy dish towel and alien pottery together, it feels like a story – not a real story – an imaginary one – of exploring, of newfound adventures, of pioneering places unknown.


Because I’ve got a thing for dish towels, I am always on the look out for something new.  The market has been seriously lacking in great dish towels for quite some time – maybe,  a couple of years.  So, imagine my excitement when I happened upon some perfect colors, patterns, and textures at Crate & Barrel.  I was pretty happy!  When I saw this cute little old fashioned tractor and veggie print, I swarmed – and swooned.  It has artichokes and radishes on it!  These remind me of simpler, maybe, more beautiful times.


Crate & Barrel also had some pretty amazing solid color, waffle textured towels that I couldn’t resist.  These don’t match my kitchen or anything in the house for that matter – but I got one in every color anyway.  I think these would be described as jewel toned – very saturated – nothing muted here.  Emeralds, sapphires, rubies, and more sapphires (did you know that sapphires come in pretty much every color including orange?) – beautiful, clear, crisp colors.


I figure I could pair these with my cowboy towel when I serve tea and cucumber sandwiches to my alien friends.  Those aliens will think they are in the company of royalty with all the jewel tones around this place.

Color psychic…

The previous post about artwork and my friend Tobie in Wyoming got me thinking about color.  Tobie is a fan of crazy colors on the wall – same as me.  I once spent a weekend – in Wyoming – picking colors and painting accent walls at her house. I also think it was Tobie who once mentioned that professional sports teams do color coordinating the best.  For example, Tobie’s favorite NFL team, the Miami Dolphins, with their turquoise and orange.  I think her observation was a good one.  I have this combination in my own house – as mentioned in the previous post.  It works.


In 2010, turquoise was the color of the year.  The description of turquoise that year — it “inspires thoughts of soothing, tropical waters and a comforting escape from the everyday troubles of the world, while at the same time restoring our sense of wellbeing.”  I chose turquoise for our laundry room in 2010 – not because it was the color of the year – though that description sounds pretty nice for a laundry room.  I chose it because it felt like a good transition between the sea green bathroom and the orange sunroom.  When I found out turquoise was the color of the year, I was worried about our laundry room color being trendy.  3 years later, I still like the turquoise and am no longer worried about it being trendy.  Officially, our turquoise color is Millspring Blue HC-137 by Benjamin Moore – just to keep it all accurate.


A number of people have walked through our house and asked “Why orange – in the sunroom – full of windows and bright light?”  I work at home.  My old workspace used to be in the purple room, our future master bedroom.


Purple is my favorite color.  I thought I would love working in a cool, calm, quiet environment.   It made me sleepy – very sleepy.  So, when I had the opportunity to relocate my workspace I opted for a vibrant, energetic color that would keep me awake.  Thus, the orange.  It helps to wake me up in the morning – I have never been, am not currently, and will likely never be a morning person. It helps to get and keep the creativity flowing.  It minimizes the sleepy afternoon lull.  It makes me optimistic.  It sounds a little odd, but I feel like all the windows and outside views keep it from becoming overstimulating.  I also chose 2 different oranges for the room because I was initially nervous that the bright orange might be too much for me.  The brighter orange is Billiant Amber 161 by Benjamin Moore and is painted on all the window walls in the sunroom and mudroom.  The darker orange is Pumpkin Spice 126 by Benjamin Moore and is painted on the 2 walls opposite the window walls in the sunroom.  My thought on this was that the darker orange might absorb a little of the glare from all that sunshine pouring in.  I don’t know if my theory has officially been proven, but I feel like it has worked out like I had hoped/planned.  Anyway, I chose these colors in 2010.  In 2012 Tangerine Tango was the color of the year.  I felt like I was kind of on a roll with color picking.  First, the turquoise.  Then, the orange.

This is the view from my desk.  I get energized just thinking about it.


2014 color of the year is Radiant Orchid – a fuchsia purple with pink undertones.

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I searched my house high and low for anything close to this color.  The only thing I could find – in the entire house – was my laptop envelope.


You might be wondering why I am mentioning this color then – because it doesn’t really support the “I’m a color psychic” thing?  Oh, but it does – here is the deal.  I know someone with an accent wall in their living room that is very similar to this fuchsia color.  The thing is that I actually helped them pick it out!  I wish I had a picture for proof – or something.  I don’t.  Anyway,  you would be hard pressed to find this color in professional sports.  So, I had to look to my second favorite place for color coordination – nature and the garden.  These fuchsia wall people have orange leather chairs and we went with a pale green paint on the other walls in the room.  This fuchsia, orange, and green combo is surprisingly unexpected and lovely – and I was a part of it…


Seriously, I think I might be a color psychic.