After I rearranged things, I thought about adding a different color to an accent wall. This swatch of chintz is the fabric my kitchen, dining area, and office curtains are made of. So this was the starting point in the paint department. In the store the blue colors in the fabric looked more green than blue, and the best match was a color called Milky Jade.
To me it was more green than I wanted, because I was also pulling the accent wall color from the Majolica plates and one spectacular Majolica pitcher, and also from one stripe of blue in a painting, and also from the blue of a Bombay Sapphire Gin bottle. Can you guess which color I chose? Those of you who I have already told are not eligible for this guessing game ha ha.
The paint chips I considered were: Milky Jade; Wading Pool; Vintage Aqua; Atonement; Arcadian Blue; Always Aqua; Blue Bottle; Forstoria Glass, and Saltwater (wouldn't you love to have the job of naming paint colors!).
Other color inspiration included a blue box from Tiffany's, and the color of the new Domino book.
ThenYou can also see the aqua blue streaked lamp, and the Majolica plates (with touches of the same aqua as the ones hanging over the fireplace) hanging over my desk from the kitchen. Even though I use alot of color in my house, the colors repeat in some form in another room, so that the effect is unifying.
Here is a view from the breakfast area looking into a side entry hall, and into my office (that was once the dining room). The chintz curtains are in the red room as well as the kitchen, including a small panel over the transom of the side door.
Here's a view of the fireplace. There used to be one in every room when this house was built over 100 years ago, and they were the main heating sources in winter. This is the only one left, perhaps not a room one would prefer to have a fireplace be in. I find it charming to have it in the kitchen.
You also can get a good view of all the color inspirations for the accent wall. Do you see the blue stripe of color in the Michalopoulos painting?
Do you see the blue glass of the gin bottle on the little bar in the corner?
I love the folk art painting perched on the bar. The tango dancers are Alberto and me, done by Charles Gillam and given to me on my birthday by the hubs.
Here you can really see all the aqua blues in the Majolica plates.
Some of you ask how I can just up and change things so quickly. It comes from my days as a stylist, when you had to make something happen to get the shot that day, in fact many shots in one day. The clock was always ticking, and the budget might have only allowed for that day's photo shoot. I always had to improvise on the spur of the moment, and this carries over to decorating. Once I get an idea, I can usually execute it quickly.
Paint is the easiest and cheapest quick change. And doing an accent wall is pretty easy.
I have mixed feelings about accents walls, but when they work, they work. My mother used to do them all the time, either painted or by using wall paper. What do you think of accent walls?
Jane Seymour used to do a commercial for Clairol Hair Color. She would quip in a perky continental accent "It's just a little box of hair color..." whilst trying to sell the idea to women to just take the plunge and color their hair. Well that's how I feel about paint (and hair color). If it doesn't work out, you can change it right away.
Here's a close up of the fireplace. I used the flash, so you could see the Majolica tiles, and the details on the hearth panel, especially the Fleur de lis. There are a few tiles missing, and I 'm always on the look out for them.
We only lighted this fireplace once. It was Christmas Day and it snowed in New Orleans! This is extremely rare in this sub tropical climate, and it hadn't happened in 25 years.
Alberto tells the story that when it snows again in Buenos Aires (which has very much the same climate as New Orleans), another Carlos Gardel (a very famous iconic tango singer and super star who died in the 1930's, and is revered and loved like a saint) will be born again.
We thought perhaps on this snowy day in New Orleans, another Louis Armstrong might have been born.
We haven't ever lighted the fireplace again. Katrina blew a few bricks off the chimney, and if it wasn't a fire hazard before, it certainly must be now, so we won't chance it. The fireplace remains a charming piece of decor that we enjoy very much.