Cohesive Room Colors and Furnishings Between Rooms

freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

 

Dear Laurel,

Please forgive me. While I’m grateful to have these beautiful palettes which you’ve shared for the downstairs living spaces and then upstairs bedrooms, I’m still at a loss on how to put it all together.

 

I mean, how do you create cohesive room colors and furnishings that flow from room to room?

 

We’re purchasing our first home and can’t afford to hire someone. But, I really feel out of my element here and don’t want to make a lot of expensive mistakes.

Jen Eric-Rieder

 

Hi Guys. This letter from Jen Eric Rieder is not one specific comment or email, but one topic that’s been coming up a lot recently which is creating cohesive room colors; along with furnishings– AND, not having the foggiest idea of where to begin.

 

I know that we’ve been through this before, but since I can’t find it, let’s just say that I dreamed that. haha. I don’t think so, but it’s okay.

For those of you who read last night’s Hot Sales post, (and if you didn’t, it’s short and charming, I think), you’ll see that yesterday, after nearly three years, I FINALLY got to meet the incredibly talented Maura Endres at a luncheon with about 90 other people and Charlotte Moss who gave a wonderful talk.

If you want to see us, you’ll need to hope over and check out the post. It’s okay. I won’t go on until you’re back.

Are you back?

Great!

Maura’s giga-gorgeous instagram page should be required reading for anyone who’s in the business of interior design and is seeking to create timeless, classic interiors. And, now, after going through her pics all afternoon, I’m feeling rabidly inspired and obsessed all over again.

 

But, here, is every element required to demonstrate perfectly exactly how to get the color flow right.

 

One thing I love especially about Maura’s home is that it doesn’t have high ceilings, it wasn’t built a hundred years ago. And yet, it is loaded with charm.

Through a unified and exquisite palette of colors, perfection of scale, and the most stylish details possible, she has achieved something extraordinary. And her furnishings are largely items found at flea markets, vintage stores and the like. Not all, of course, but some of it. And some, she inherited.

Plus, she just happens to have super-talented children; One who’s created much of the art on that jaw-dropping art wall. Ahhh… remember when I deconstructed that one? You can see it here.

 

I know that some of you, desperately want me to do this post, only you want it for a home with an open concept floor plan.

 

And, the only thing I’m going to say about that right now is that it is very difficult, if not impossible to get this level of warmth and gosh-it’s-good-to-be-home feeling with a big barn of an open concept room encompassing a two-story great room, dining room, kitchen and entry. The echo alone, is difficult to kill.

But, I also know that a lot of you have homes like I just described and for a wide variety of reasons. I’ve worked in at least a dozen of these types of homes; it’s not hopeless.

So, what I feel quite strongly about, is that less openness is created. You can read more about some ways to go about that here. But, I can go into more detail about that, as well in a different post.

Let’s go back to Maura’s incredible home. We first saw her home, here and it was about 22 months ago.

Please go and take a look at it. I’ll repeat a few of the images, as well.

Now, I will attempt to deconstruct what Maura has done.  She does make it all look so easy and effortless. And, maybe for her, it is!

 

First, she has created a backdrop of neutral colors in her wall colors and finishes.

 

I don’t know all of the colors and quite frankly, the exact colors are of little consequence.

Please let me repeat that.

THE EXACT COLORS ARE OF LITTLE CONSEQUENCE.

 

As a matter of fact, you can see for yourself how much they change in images of the same spot, but in different lighting situations.

The living room and kitchen are in off-whites and dark gray. That’s it. The little library appendage always looks green to me, but Maura says that it’s actually

 

Pratt & Lambert Tobacco

Pratt and Lambert Tobacco 2248 which is actually a warm, gray-brown, but there must be some green lurking there somewhere.

 

benjamin moore dash of pepper 1554

I could not find a dead-on match in Benjamin Moore, but it is very close to Dash of Pepper 1554. Dash is just a shade lighter as you can see.

 

benjamin moore bear creek 1470

Then, Maura said that the dark gray kitchen cabinets are Benjamin Moore Bear Creek. Yes, that I can see based on the image below. That is a very sophisticated color which looks phenomenal against Maura’s pretty collection of dishes.

Maura Endres fabulous kitchen dark gray cabinet with china - Benjamin Moore Bear Creek
Those colors are very close to each other and Bear Creek looks right. But, I’m still having trouble seeing Tobacco for the little library.

Maura Endres library alcove in fall - Pratt and Lambert TobaccoHowever, I came across another image of an office painted Bear Creek and it also looked green.

Benjamin Moore City Shadow CSP-60

In most photos it looks closer to Benjamin Moore City Shadow CSP-60 to me. However, I am willing to believe that it is actually what Maura says it is. After all, it is the reason I do not do paint consultations via the internet. It’s a bloody nightmare!

The lesson here is to get samples of the color you SEE and like, not necessarily what it is.

 

The living room walls look like they might be Benjamin Moore Linen White.

This is an older image of this vignette.

Nothing stays the same very long in Maura’s home.

Maura Endres living room vignette - @m.o.endres on instagram

This is so difficult. I love it both ways!

 

In an adjacent room, it is painted a brighter green similar to one of the Laurel Home Collection colors, Benjamin Moore Herb Garden, perhaps.

The upholstered pieces are all in pale beiges and cream tones. And each piece is beautifully scaled as well. Read about beautifully scaled furniture here.

 

@m.o.endres on instagram - beautiful styling - art wall

Blues and Greens and touches of coral and red, art and lots and lots of books.

I also love that each of the pillows is different, but coordinated.

 

@m.o.endres on instagram

 

I don’t know what Maura’s background is, but her talent for styling is extraordinary.

And that silver footed gallery tray– with canted corners! I have tried to find another like it and well, there isn’t one. Like her gorgeous red cachepot, (you can see it here) this is the last silver gallery tray of its kind in the entire world. ;] However, all kidding aside, what stands out for me, more than any kind of formulaic flow of colors is a passion for creating these incredibly beautiful vignettes.

 

Maura Endres vignette with blue and white chinoiserie

 

The blue and green colors all come together in the dining room which features this stunning mural.

Total show-stopper and a good reason to never move. Notice that the mirror has migrated to the new vignette and there’s a new mirror to take its place. (you’ll have to go her instagram to see that one. It’s gorgeous too!)

Maura’s palette is simple, but also versatile. It looks great in every season and with everything she brings into her lovely, warm family home.

Now, your home might be inherently different. But, many of the same principles will hold true.

Room flow - analogous blue and green - art walls Maura Endres - @m.o.endres on instagram

Above is another place where we can see the cohesive room colors coming into play. We can see the room flow and how it all comes together in perfect harmony.

For more ideas, colors, palettes and palette families that can mix and match, if you don’t already have one, please consider purchasing the nearly 500 page Laurel Home Essential Paint/Palette Collection with 40 home furnishing boards with dozens of different pieces of furniture, rugs, art, lighting.

If you start here, there are links that will take you first to part I, the paint collection and part II the palettes. But, they are sold together.

 

And now, for what I hope is a special treat. I have done my best to channel Maura’s beautiful style and created a widget filled with home furnishings– most of which are on sale!

 

 

And for more cool furnishings, please check out the hot sales page. Dozens of beautiful new items this week and all on sale. And also, don’t forget to visit the holiday shop for ideas for decorating and gift guides.

Thank you again Maura for showing us how to do it. And please don’t forget to follow her on instagram!

xo,

 

5th edition rolodex-post-graphic - November 2018 - A unique shopping guide with hundreds of sources created by Laurel Bern

  • Eleanor Clark - December 12, 2018 - 2:36 PM

    This gives me hope for my 1993 Cape Cod with 7 1/2 foot ceilings!! It’s only about 1800 square feet now but adding a family room in a few years. Laurel, the garden stool you posted as $159 but when I click on the link it is $299. Was it on sale and I missed it? I like the one you selected best but I may have to go with the Ballard Design version since it is more affordable. Do you think it is important that blue and white garden stools match when doing a pair or does it not matter?ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 12, 2018 - 5:22 PM

      Hi Eleanor,

      It must’ve been on sale last week and changed very recently. However, the promo code OKL20CARD does work with it and it is only $239. I’ll change the widget in a sec. Thanks for letting me know.ReplyCancel

      • Eleanor Clark - December 12, 2018 - 6:10 PM

        Bummer:( But I understand. I want to start collecting blue and white porcelain–garden stools, ginger jars, cachepots, etc but I’m always leery of the cheaper stuff (such as the line offered by Ballard Designs) as compared to Williams Sonoma or offered on OKL which looks nicer by comparison. Like everyone, I want cheap, but I don’t want it to look cheap:)ReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - December 12, 2018 - 8:46 PM

          Hi Eleanor,

          That’s why I started the hot sales. I’m always on the look-out for when things go on sale. This is another good source from both Laurel’s Rolodex and the Paint Collection.

          They sell Legend of Asia which is a designer brand of porcelains. Their prices are excellent.

          Another very good source, in that they have all of the same things is Belle and June. But, their prices are a little higher, but still very good and I believe their shipping is free and they are having a sale if you spend a certain amount.ReplyCancel

  • Danielle - December 11, 2018 - 11:23 AM

    Laurel, your last few posts on coordinating colors in a home could not have come at a better time for me! And this post is the icing on a beautiful cake. Such a lovely home, it gives me hope for my 70’s home which is in an entirely different setting and style (mountain lodge), but color and design principles seem to be universal, only the individual design elements are going to be different.

    To reduce our cavernous great room, we are restoring an entry wall that was removed in a misguided reno. And I really adore Maura’s embrace of the quirkiness- I’m trying to convey this to my contractor. People spend good money to make their homes look added-on-to and having evolved over time. Well- mine HAS and I don’t want to get rid of every original detail, which was actually well-conceived, it’s the intervening work that has been questionable…. thank goodness we bought the house before that work was complete! The house has potential, if you listen to it, and amplify the character it has. It was built as a modest dream home, it can be a dream again if we are true to it.

    Thank you so much, and Maura, too, for the ongoing inspiration.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 11, 2018 - 11:25 AM

      Thank you for the wonderful comment Danielle! And so happy that you are listening to your home and not the contractor who’s on auto-pilot, apparently.ReplyCancel

  • Mary - December 10, 2018 - 8:43 PM

    Hi Laurel,
    I finally got some time to sit down & read your Sunday post. Boy, was it worth the wait! Maura’s home is beautiful. It looks so comfortable & inviting. I love how she took the darker color of her library & added it to the door moldings.
    After the holidays I want to try to copy her styling for my sideboard in my dining room. I don’t have a beautiful silver tray so my white lacquered one will have to do. But I bet I can still make it look better than just my normal bowl of succulents.
    All of your finds for creating her look are spot-on. It must take an incredible amount of time to track down those goodies.
    I hope you are doing well & relaxing during this holiday season.ReplyCancel

    • maura - December 11, 2018 - 8:01 AM

      Mary- Thank you for your kind words! I was thinking the exact same thing about the time it takes Laurel to curate the look. She is so good at what she does!ReplyCancel

      • Laurel Bern - December 11, 2018 - 10:40 AM

        Honestly, I could sit here all day, hunting down beautiful furnishings on the internet. In fact, I have to force myself to STOP and I’ll be looking at the clock, because I haven’t written ANYTHING yet! And I’ll say, okay, gotta stop by 6:00. Okay, 7:00, okay, 8:00… lol This time, I did have half of it written first. But, it always takes longer than I think it’s going to. Always!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 10, 2018 - 11:21 PM

      Hi Mary,

      I’m so glad you’re inspired with Maura’s decorating. She just put up a new vignette on her instagram. Oh my! And yes, it does take quite a while to source out the items. That’s my fun-time, though.ReplyCancel

  • Donna - December 10, 2018 - 10:10 AM

    Laurel, Reading your awesome posts is the highlight of my days. When its especially grey here in Michigan, I could spend all day reading and looking at these sunny cozy awesome interiors. I love Maura’s work too and her no open floor plan 8-foot ceiling home. But perhaps maybe sometime you could address the size of the rooms these talented folks make so beautiful. Her house looks beautifully proportioned, and mine sure isn’t! Its just a smallish 50s bungalow with very little built in charm – like Maura’s library alcove which is to die for. And layering! How the heck does one do that? Anyway, thank you for all you do. I love reading your posts.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 10, 2018 - 11:51 AM

      Hi Donna,

      Those are all great questions. But actually, if you strip EVERYTHING away from Maura’s home, it’s actually not unlike most mid-century homes. That is the other reason I love it so. It is proof that the ceilings don’t have to soar and one doesn’t even have to have a lot of mouldings for a home to be loaded with charm and beauty. It’s really all in the details and how beautifully they all work together in a personal, unique way.

      As for her beautifully layered vignettes. Well, you might as well ask me, “How does John Singer Sargent create those incredible paintings?” Maura has an exceptional eye for wonderful, classic pieces and knows how to artfully arrange them. It’s a rare talent.ReplyCancel

  • Maura - December 10, 2018 - 8:56 AM

    Dear Laurel,

    To be mentioned back to back days on your blog is an honor, as was meeting you last Friday in NYC. What a special day that was! I am humbled by the praise you give our little cape. It’s perfectly imperfect. It will always remain a work in progress as I am never one that needs a “finished” room. Furnishings, art, lampshades, etc… are moved around all the time! Why not! BTW… shutting our old butlers door from the kitchen to dining room is one of my favorite things to do when we are gathered to dine. The intimacy cannot be beat. I am a gal that likes walls too!

    All the very best!
    MauraReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 10, 2018 - 11:36 AM

      Hi Maura,

      If I could get away with it, I would feature your home every post! That is how much I love it! It is the very definition of timeless and the kind of decorating I aim to achieve. However, what makes it so special are the details, like that ginger jar with the brass lid, the silver gallery tray. Please don’t tell me that was inherited because I have longed to have ancestors who had things like that. My father’s mother is the closest, but let’s not go there. lol I do have her cherished dancing figurines and I know my Nonnie is very happy about that.

      Moving things around is the way to do things. And the reason I say that is because our brains need stimulation and when things are always the same, we stop seeing them as we are moving through our rooms. xoxo ~ L

      Oh wait. I have something funny, speaking of names. When I was 19 and studying ballet and in a small company lead by crazy ballet teachers, (they were but that’s another story), everyone in the group, all five of us, haha changed our names. My first name made the cut, but I needed a new last name. So, I took out the phone book. I was living in Palo Alto at the time. And found a name I liked. For a few months, before I left, I was Laurel O’Maura! No joke!ReplyCancel

      • Maura - December 11, 2018 - 8:24 AM

        Good morning!

        I left a message on my my last post for you in regards to the tray. The only silver I inherited is my great grandmothers beautiful flatware, AND we use it every day!My husband worked next to an estate shop in NY for years and years. I think every present I received the first 15 years of our marriage was something silver.

        How you responded to Donna is right on the money! The living room is large, but the rest of the rooms are not. It has door openings on every side, with no symmetry what so ever!Even the fireplace isn’t centered in the room, or the front window…ugh!I have to add balance in other ways, and its been a real challenge. You have to walk through this room to get anywhere in our house. Oh my gosh… I could go on and on!

        xo- MauraReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - December 11, 2018 - 10:51 AM

          Hi again. Oh, how I love this comment! I’d love to frame it. Do you know how many homes I’ve worked on where nothing is centered? Most of them and yes, it’s crazy making! This is how I imagine the conversation the builders of the these houses had.

          “Hey Joe, just stick the window here between these two studs.”
          “Well, Fred, is it centered?”
          “Hell, if I know and I’m not checking, because if it ain’t, we’ll have to reframe and that’s not happenin’.”

          Either that, or they were drunk.ReplyCancel

          • Maura - December 28, 2018 - 2:04 PM

            Hi Laurel, Just revisiting this conversation now. Saw your recent post and love every piece that you have picked out. I always feel like something new has to be added to the house in January, when all the added layers get put away. I found a great old chintz remnant that I need to add to the living room somehow! Wishing you a Happy and Healthy 2019! Cheers- Maura

          • Laurel Bern - December 30, 2018 - 2:14 AM

            Thanks so much Maura! And the same to you as well! It was so terrific meeting you recently. I hope it won’t be long before we meet again! xoxo ~ Laurel

  • Russell Noah - December 10, 2018 - 2:11 AM

    Thanks, Laurel, for showcasing these rooms. The one thing which I admired the most is that Maura has added one or two plants in every room enhances the beauty and gives it a refreshing look. Also, the small sweater baskets look so lovely. Gonna buy soon. ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 10, 2018 - 11:14 AM

      You’re welcome Noah. I agree about the plants and flowers. They add so much and most, I believe are from Maura’s equally exquisite garden. You can see that too, on her instagram. You know, I feel like I’ve been there, I’ve seen so many images of her home and of course, studied them, too!ReplyCancel

  • Inna - December 9, 2018 - 8:38 PM

    Perhaps I may be a bit old fashioned, but I also prefer more of a traditional home layout with distinct rooms. There something about that classic, inviting charm that is so alluring in a well-appointed home. And nothing beats blue, white, grey, or green, the soothing, neutral colors that look great with just about any style. As usual Laurel, fantastic post!ReplyCancel

  • Maralee - December 9, 2018 - 11:13 AM

    OH Laurel, thank you so much for showcasing this amazing home! It gives me so much hope for my own humble abode. Most of the time I see beautiful rooms that I realize you could remove everything in them and they’d still be gorgeous because they have great BONES, great Moldings, high ceilings, huge windows… But here is a home like mine. Mine is 103 years old but has none of those great bones. Maura’s gorgeous home has standard ceilings ( looks like 8 feet ), no fancy crown moldings and rather plain door moldings and it’s still drop dead gorgeous! You’ve done it again! Thank you😘ReplyCancel

    • Maura - December 10, 2018 - 8:30 AM

      Hi Maralee! Our home is a very basic 1940’s cape with quirky additions and reno’s. And yes, the ceilings are only 8 feet. I am happy to know that you have been inspired! BTW… My birth name is Maura Lee!ReplyCancel

      • Laurel Bern - December 10, 2018 - 11:20 AM

        Hi Maura,

        Just want to comment on your comment to Maralee that I love the quirky details. The little library is one of my favorite parts, but it’s difficult to pick an ultimate favorite. It’s the sum of the whole, for me. And my mom’s name is Lee. Just Lee. Although. Her birth name was Leah, but when her grandmother Blüme (pronounced Bleema) passed away, just weeks after she was born, they changed her name to Blossom. And yes, she was quite the gardener and president of our neighborhood garden club. Isn’t that a riot? However, my mom never liked the name and when she was about 50 changed it to Lee and uses the initial B. as her middle name.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 9, 2018 - 3:02 PM

      Thank you Maralee, but actually it’s Maura who’s does it. But when I am immersed in her work, it’s rejuvenating. BTW, she has two of the hugest black dogs I’ve ever seen. They appear in her feed every now and then.ReplyCancel

  • Robin - December 9, 2018 - 10:56 AM

    Just soaking in the gorgeousness this morning and finding loads of inspiration from Maura’s pics. Also love the furnishing boards from your paint/palette collection and look forward to your post on creating warmth in an open living space. Beautiful blog!ReplyCancel

  • Susie - December 9, 2018 - 9:48 AM

    I love this photos because they highlight my favorite colors. My favorite color? Blue. Second favorite? Green. My favorite neutral? Gray. So these rooms are right up my alley.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 9, 2018 - 10:22 AM

      Hi Susie,

      Grass, sky, trees. Add in some beautiful flowers. I’m with you and Maura!ReplyCancel

  • Katie - December 9, 2018 - 7:46 AM

    I’m always pleased to find other folks who don’t necessarily want to take every last interior wall out. Open plan homes do have their advantages and are right for some families, but nowadays it seems like the general assumption is ALL houses have to be open plan to be beautiful and functional.

    Beautiful home!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - December 9, 2018 - 10:21 AM

      Hi Katie,
      Thank God, I learned long ago, not to assume much of anything. I’m someone who’s always liked to shut out the noise of the world; even if that world is only 20 feet away!

      And, I’m not into debating so much, but I’m curious what the advantages are for a completely open floor plan? Wide openings. Fine, but no walls at all unless it’s a loft, I’ve never understood.ReplyCancel

      • Katie - December 11, 2018 - 11:05 PM

        You know, it sounds cliche, but I always heard folks talk about how great it was to be able to watch their kids play in the living room while they cooked in the kitchen. I didn’t give it much thought, because I always hated open floorplans…until I had kids of my own. My toddler is pretty much never interested in playing in the kitchen while I’m actually cooking, and the kitchen is far too small for a bouncer or swing for the baby. So when I’m cooking, I have to run back and forth to keep an eye on everyone.

        Also, this is probably more of a flow issue than an open/closed floorplan issue, but with the aforementioned two kids, plus a husband, large greyhound, and two cats, we’re always in each other’s way. One bin of megablocks dumped out in the doorway between the living and dining rooms grinds everything to a halt. And if I’m trying to squeeze past the dog to get into the kitchen, while holding a baby, as someone else is coming in through the back door a few feet away… chaos. Getting everyone ready to head out the door and leave the house at the same time, especially in winter with the associated mittens and boots and whatnot? It’s kind of like solving that chicken/fox/grain riddle.

        Now, don’t get me wrong–I still love my closed plan. I love the rooms, and french doors, and ability to close off or open up spaces as I want. It’s quite nice sometimes to have peace and quiet in the kitchen while the chaos is off in the living room (or vice versa). And I know my kids won’t be little forever (sob!). But I can at least grudgingly understand why some people have different priorities and use their spaces differently.ReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - December 11, 2018 - 11:19 PM

          When my kids were little, I had something in between with the townhouse. You can see it here!

          I did love that little pass-through to the den. They would hang out there with the TV while I was cooking.ReplyCancel