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Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

Color Palette Inspiration: January

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When Decorating Editor Rebecca Robertson showed me a few color-inspired magazine clips, I quickly fell in love with a selection of Martha Stewart Living paint colors; I want to share with you the first color palette of 2011.

Colors from left to right: Beach Grass (MSL100), Tadpole Green (MSL233), Bayou (MSL237), Endive (MSL230), Hickory (MSL202), Fortune Cookie (MSL038), and Butternut Squash (MSL039).

Colors from left to right: Beach Grass (MSL100), Tadpole Green (MSL233), Bayou (MSL237), Endive (MSL230), Hickory (MSL202), Fortune Cookie (MSL038), and Butternut Squash (MSL039).

These paint colors are light and airy with pale punctuations of spring flowers -- exactly what you need incorporated in your home to prepare for the spring months ahead.

Take a look at these images that demonstrate how to use this inspirational color palette throughout your home...

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Bathed in soft gray and enlivened with peach, what's normally a utilitarian space becomes warm and welcoming.

1 Bathed in soft gray and enlivened with peach, what's normally a utilitarian space becomes warm and welcoming.

Araucana Sage makes a stylish understatement on living-room walls; the ceiling is Araucana Blue.

2 Araucana Sage makes a stylish understatement on living-room walls; the ceiling is Araucana Blue.

A range of neutrals from seashells and stones inspired the choice of restful colors for this living room.

3 A range of neutrals from seashells and stones inspired the choice of restful colors for this living room.

This bed frame is encased in thick bump padding, then in fine-linen slipcovers that are stitched together into a simple dressmaker shape that gracefully envelops the frame of the bed. Pink linens accentuate the pink in the wall color.

4 This bed frame is encased in thick bump padding, then in fine-linen slipcovers that are stitched together into a simple dressmaker shape that gracefully envelops the frame of the bed. Pink linens accentuate the pink in the wall color.

Under Martha's direction, pink seems to have found its decorative footing. One of her design tactics was to create a continuous wash of ambient color throughout the guesthouse.

5 Under Martha's direction, pink seems to have found its decorative footing. One of her design tactics was to create a continuous wash of ambient color throughout the guesthouse.

In the bedroom, Martha had a lampshade made to match the Italian alabaster reading lamp; the ruffled edge echoes the fluted top of the lamp base.

6 In the bedroom, Martha had a lampshade made to match the Italian alabaster reading lamp; the ruffled edge echoes the fluted top of the lamp base.

The bed expands the range of pinks with its French sheets and pillowcases and mohair throw.

7 The bed expands the range of pinks with its French sheets and pillowcases and mohair throw.

With a little doctoring, unfinished bookcases from a furniture store can take on a built-in look, and add architectural interest to a room.

8 With a little doctoring, unfinished bookcases from a furniture store can take on a built-in look, and add architectural interest to a room.

In this master bedroom, a ceiling fan with mahogany blades and tongue-and-groove wood paneling convey a cottage feel.

9 In this master bedroom, a ceiling fan with mahogany blades and tongue-and-groove wood paneling convey a cottage feel.

Richly colored two-tone framing mats bring vibrancy without the need to repaint an entire wall.

10 Richly colored two-tone framing mats bring vibrancy without the need to repaint an entire wall.

In this living room, Philippe Starck chairs sit next to a weathered celadon cabinet. The pale-orange walls unite this unexpected pair.

11 In this living room, Philippe Starck chairs sit next to a weathered celadon cabinet. The pale-orange walls unite this unexpected pair.

This sun-dappled room is what made the apartment's owner first fall in love with the space.

12 This sun-dappled room is what made the apartment's owner first fall in love with the space.

Shades are partially drawn in this gray sitting room.

13 Shades are partially drawn in this gray sitting room.

Groupings of furniture provide for conversation spaces. Here, the settee, chest, and rounded-back chair are Swedish antiques.

14 Groupings of furniture provide for conversation spaces. Here, the settee, chest, and rounded-back chair are Swedish antiques.

With its coffered ceiling, which conceals support beams, this room lacks the height of the rest of the apartment; the skylight, however, opens up the space.

15 With its coffered ceiling, which conceals support beams, this room lacks the height of the rest of the apartment; the skylight, however, opens up the space.

This cabinet is painted with varying shades of white and ivory to create contouring.

16 This cabinet is painted with varying shades of white and ivory to create contouring.

This baroque Swedish desk in a guest bedroom has idiosyncratic hardware and slightly crude joinery and carving. The small side cabinet is rococo, and the lamp is Danish.

17 This baroque Swedish desk in a guest bedroom has idiosyncratic hardware and slightly crude joinery and carving. The small side cabinet is rococo, and the lamp is Danish.

t's counterintuitive to pair a slim Hepplewhite sofa with giant throw pillows and grand side chairs, but the result is surprisingly effective.

18 t's counterintuitive to pair a slim Hepplewhite sofa with giant throw pillows and grand side chairs, but the result is surprisingly effective.

In this very Parisian breakfast room, there is as much cream as there is coffee: An eggshell-colored cupboard, curtains of pale chiffon, light woods, tan piping on the seat cushions, and snowy wainscoting all help to enrich the cafe au lait brown of the walls.

19 In this very Parisian breakfast room, there is as much cream as there is coffee: An eggshell-colored cupboard, curtains of pale chiffon, light woods, tan piping on the seat cushions, and snowy wainscoting all help to enrich the cafe au lait brown of the walls.

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Comments (4)

  • Some great design tips there. As always, inspirational.

    I cannot get Martha Stewart products here in the UK so to get some of the paint colours I wanted a good friend had to post me the colour sample cards which I took to a local paint shop to match. Now I have Bedford Grey paint - or a near approximation to it - and this is being used in my kitchen which is shortly to be renovated. Please consider European expansion soon!

  • what color is on that wall? the room with the bookcase-some type of brown

  • Lovely colors. I want to try the butternut squash palette in our living room. I think it'll perfectly match the brownish color of our furniture.

    buy dining chairs

  • I am thinking of replacing the carpet in my bedroom with MS Tadpole Green, any ideas other than white or beige for paint colors?

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