Life is colorful—from green plants to teeming oceans painting the planet blue to a kaleidoscope of multicolored flowers, bugs, and birds. Why should our living spaces be less vibrant?
photography by Jean Allsopp
Boldly using color in décor takes confidence. Color stamps a home with personality, so experts encourage homesellers to paint interiors a forgettable neutral to change a home into Everyhouse. Generic interiors may be good for selling, but not for living.
A family revamping a house near English Village seized the opportunity to break out the crayon box of their imaginations to color a home perfect for them. The house, empty for a decade before the purchasers closed on it, was in a sad state of neglect. So the new homeowners gutted the interior, and added more than 20 feet to the rear of the house, as well as finishing the original attic. Much of the additional space on the main floor went into creating the hub of the home—the family kitchen.
Kitchens tend to be central in contemporary houses. These homeowners doubled down on that trend, making a large, open space for work, study and play to create a kitchen with a high livability quotient. The kitchen illustrates the homeowner’s approach to the use of color. Surprisingly, the dominant hue is white. “It’s clean and invigorating,” says the mother of three, who is also an architect. “Every color looks good against a white wall. Everything looks fresh. Spots of color feel good.”
A fixture inherited with the house—a distinctive yellow stove—inspired the kitchen’s palette. Appreciating its vintage character, the homeowners built the room around it. The intense hue of the stove is echoed in the fabric of a custom banquette, and throughout, the room is accented with dabs of cerulean—from the Eames stools hugging the island to the tea kettle on the stove. Spots of accent color filter throughout the house emphasizing and uniting the colorful walls.
In smaller areas, color is more assertive. In the dining room, the intense blue of the walls sets off the gleaming white of the round table and contemporary chandelier. A sunroom off the living room became a snug library, painted a deep forest green, in contrast to the living room itself, where clean white walls and furniture offer an upbeat conversation area.
The entrance to the master suite introduces its palette on French doors that provide privacy with translucent panes of glass in shades of green. The walls are a restful, icy blue, with spots of color in the sitting area provided by the refreshing green fabric of armchairs. In the master bath, blue tile around the tub and shower give an intense pop of color, reminiscent of the bright contrasts of a seaside Greek villa.
Throughout the house, color is used boldly, but judiciously, to give just the right feel to each space. Bright areas are tempered with white putting a strong focus on the color choices. The aim was to give the traditional Tudor house a fun, young interior. With a crayon box for a muse, their mark definitely stayed within the lines.
architect: Standard Creative 825 C 39th Street South, Birmingham, Alabama • 205.595.8181 • standardcreative.com contractor: Jim Carr Homebuilder firstname.lastname@example.org living room: white sofas: Timeless Interiors 4 Office Park Circle, Suite 310, Mountain Brook, Alabama • 205.879.2714 fiddlehead ficus: Oak Street Garden Shop 115 Oak Street Mountain Brook, Alabama • 205.870.7542 floor lamp: Atmosphere Home Essentials 205.324.9687 • atmospherehomessentials.com library: Eames lounge: knoll.com paint color: Courtyard Green by Benjamin Moore dining room: table: Design Within Reach dwr.com chairs: Scott Antique Markets 3650 and 3850 Jonesboro Road, Atlanta, Georgia • 404.361.2000 • www.scottantiquemarket.com buffet: Henhouse Antiques 1900 Cahaba Road, Birmingham, Alabama • 205.918.0505 chandelier: ylighting.com paint color: California Blue by Benjamin Moore kitchen: countertops: Stone Concepts 8953 Parkway East, Birmingham, Alabama • 205.836.6425 banquette table: Marjorie Johnston & Co. 2841 Culver Road, Birmingham, Alabama • 205.414.7860 • mhjinteriors.com custom windows: Heirloom Ironworks 2328 2nd Avenue So., Birmingham, Alabama • 205.323.5590 mud room: sink: The Garage 2304 10th Terrace South, Birmingham, Alabama • 205.252.1515 baskets: westelm.com master bedroom: glass doors: Southern Accents Architectural Antiques 308 2nd Ave. S.E., Cullman, Alabama pillow: Design on the Gulf 4281 East Scenic 30-A, Seagrove Beach, Florida • 866.231.4844 side table: The DandeLion 2701 Culver Road, Birmingham, Alabama • 205.879.0691