When you’ve been writing about home design for as long as I have, certain expressions really begin to wear — like “bring the outdoors in.” Please, living in the tropics with three dogs, I spend a good amount of time taking the outdoors back out, sticks, mud, mosquitoes, frogs. So when a design friend of mine recently introduced me to Minneapolis designer Lucy Penfield and said her specialty was “living in color,” I thought maybe she could help me with my pop predicament.
In under three minutes, words like azalea, parrot green, peacock, mango and jalapeño were punctuating our conversation.
It can lift the spirt, calm the mind, sweep you away or ground you.
We talked about her new collection of exuberant throw pillows for Missio Home, which is designed to add, you guessed it, pops of color to a room. Q: I get so tired of hearing designers tell me to add a pop of color.
The pop can be small, like a red bowl, or large, like a turquoise accent wall. People who don’t live with color miss out on all the fun. A: Surprising color can show up in a hot pink throw, a chartreuse ottoman, a canary yellow desk chair, a gutsy piece of modern art, or a stack of books with all cobalt covers.
For example, a strong neutral, like a sandy off-white, can be your 60 percent base. Her outfit comes alive when she adds a great hat and beads. But then, she adds a print scarf, leopard-print shoes and bright red lipstick, and it’s a fail.
In Florida, where you have a brighter climate and water all around, you can use those bright, brilliant colors. In Montana or Wyoming, those colors would look garish against the dusty landscape; you would want to tone it down, maybe use more saddle.
Brightly colored pillows are such a great kick start if you want to change up a room.
A great throw pillow is a small investment that yields a high impact and can truly make the room.