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Monday, February 7, 2011

Panic Room

There is no underestimating the excitement of working on a new project with someone you have worked with before. Except....when they say they want a newly decorated space using yellow. Then, if you're me, there is a moment of oh, no....please anything but that color.  Instead I casually say great, we could begin by looking at it combined with gray. No. Okay, how about aqua because it's fresh and hip (like she is, not to mention I'm really comfortable with that color). No, not feeling it. Thus, the pangs of anxiety began creeping in.

When our meeting wraps up, I jump into my car. I am going to need help. I take a deep breath, reapply my lipstick, devour my emergency stash, barely minding the grossly substandard ingredients.

Now say the words construction, remodel, renovation, demolition and I am completely enthusiastic and calm. I know my way around this scenario. I feel confident and excited. I know it makes no sense to most, and I can not explain it except to say I have not been in a relationship with yellow since I said goodbye to my yellow and white daisy bedspread when I was about ten.

 As an adult, I can only assume when French Country decorating became very popular, I decided the pairing of yellow and blue was something I disliked. Granted, I've realized over time that it had more to do with the saturated nature of the colors and bold patterns which they accompanied. But even with this understanding, the combination went into my archives labeled as colors I don't like. I also never wear yellow.

I've started the arduous process of searching out fabrics, paint samples, possibly wallpaper in that foreign land called yellow. Oh, these are really pretty and I love houndstooth...but what else to combine it with?

Again, anxiety. So I reached for more fortification. And, by now my fingers are too sticky to do anything, including wrap the little gift on my desk intended to humor a friend.

 I succeeded in making myself completely nauseous and have vowed never to combine anxiety with too much sugar.  I am beginning to get excited about the possibilities of delving into uncharted territory, because there on my desk, seemingly out of nowhere, looks like just the inspiration I needed.

Images courtesy of A&A, Google, Williams-Somoma


  1. Rebecca - you are too funny - and honest! While I have never been much of a yellow person, the soft variety of the color does indeed appeal to me. And the brighter version is definitely growing on me as an accent. I'm sure you will find a successful beautiful way to appease your client. Looking forward to seeing what you decide.

  2. What a great posting into the inner mind of someone who is faced with the desires of a client that does not match your own! Personally I love yellow as a colour to decorate with. I once did bright yellow walls with white cornices and skirting. It looked fabulous!

  3. Yellow is a toughie. I learned at a color seminar that sunny hues make people argue. You're just being smart and avoiding conflict.

  4. Hillarious! Love the 'Emergency Chocolate'. I'm sure your stress will drift away soon - maybe when the job is completed and you realise just how great it looks! (I'm only just getting over my 'thing' with red, so I understand completely!)

  5. I can't wait to see the unveiling...sure it will be spectacular!! I have a sunny yellow and white kitchen that I bright and happy(not recalling conflict)!!

  6. Dear Rebecca, A phrase that my dear friend, M, has used so often I cannot count the number of times is ; "I have decorated with Chinese Yellow all my life"....and true enough, she has. M combines that particularly acidic hue with lipstick red and, I have to say, it does look wonderful. I cannot, as you may imagine, offer M's drawing room to you for further inspection but a close second is Sir John Soane's Yellow Room,now a museum but glorious just the same. Good brave!!

  7. Very cute post! Years ago, an artist friend of mine, suggested using a yellow paint for my walls, to find the right shade, we took a natural broom and pulled from its head, the perfect shade of a corn husk yellow. Good luck!

  8. So funny, I feel this way in planting desing-when customers say red or orange I panic. Funny isn't it we all have our "color vices". Good luck I'm sure whatever you come up with will be beautiful! *Amy

  9. Oh..................and you have yellow on your blog design. Embrace the colour, immerse yourself it it and you will get there (I would feel the same if someone asked me to do a yellow room but I do have yellow-gold toile wallpaper in my kitchen, so go figure).XO

  10. Rebecca I love you! You have made my day as I have just starting using yellow and to my delight am loving it! Beautiful with violet/purples as well as grays and turquoise

    Keep up with the chocolate and you will be fine!

    Come and join my amazing giveaway from Splenderosa!

    Art by Karena

  11. Hey, I had that
    daisy bedspread
    when I was ten, too!!
    And like you, I
    don't wear it nor
    do I decorate with
    it. I think it's
    a backlash from
    growing up with so
    much of it....We
    almost always had
    a yellow kitchen.
    That first image
    is perfect as I
    can't stand snakes,
    either!!! Good luck
    as you tackle this.
    I think you find your
    true grit when you
    work outside of your
    comfort zone...
    xx Suzanne

  12. I'm laughing, cute post and I'm with you....yellow? Tell your client the only room yellow should go in is a guest room...really. On average your guests will shorten their stay because yellow can actually be quite irritating. I do like the soft golds you've picked out.

  13. Yellow is used very often in French and English interiors. Start exploring and I know you will discover the grown-up sophisticated yellow and the lovely combinations of color that go with it.

  14. Very funny post. It is similar to my feeling regarding painting with an unusual colour palette. It is challenging and in the end you lose your fear and embrace the new!!!
    Warm greetings from Munich,
    yellow is the sun!!!

  15. Teehee, I'd have a panic attack over purple--can't stand it. I do love yellow, though and it is to be sprinkled throughout my home as the goto cohesive color that I have at least a little of in every room. I am going to pair it with gray in one room.

  16. I have to admit that I loved all things yellow in my 20's----I had a darling yellow sports car, I painted the exterior of my house yellow with a deeper yellow door, and all my interior walls were painted yellow, except for my red dining room. Are you gagging yet? I don't, however, remember wearing yellow----wait, I had a bright yellow linen blazer that I loved to wear as an accent with everything. My, how things and tastes change!

  17. Great post! I would have also suggested gray, because I love golden yellow paired with gray! So, since the client said no to gray, how about a golden yellow- paired with deep brown, cream and (try to throw it in there) a light gray/blue? You're off to a great start, because the wallpapers and fabrics you showed are amazing!

  18. I love this post! It's exciting and nerve wracking to be pushed out of your comfort zone -- but I bet this will be a project that you are so fully invested in that the results will surprise and amaze even you!!!

    And, I'm glad to know who I can turn to when we get cracking on our renovation, that this year's horrendous weather has now made crucial. I'm not so comfortable in that world. I'm great on that last layer of deocr...but the guts, not my comfort zone.

    Here's to both of us embracing the unknown! :)
    xo Elizabeth

  19. Giggling here! I know that 'gut' feeling when colors are suggested that aren't the 'go to' fabrics! I know you will create something fabulous!

  20. First off, gorgeous image of snake...I love snakes and guess what I adore yellow as well. The color yellow has a huge meaning for me. It is what sparked my love of design. I was 11 years old and my sister, who is ten years older than me, bought her first home with her husband. It was a small, historic home with lots of character, but not much space. The first thing she did was paint her bedroom bright sunshine yellow. I walked into that room and it was like a light bulb went on (no pun intended). I was enthralled and it made me happy. We had grown up in a small rambler whose interior was painted all white, except for the dark wood paneling that was left dark. It was not inspiring to say the least. Therefore, when I saw that yellow room in an era of white walls and drab furniture it clicked (well maybe not drab, because my mother did have good taste in furniture, but drab just sounds so much more dramatic). Color has the power to make you feel emotions, whether anxiety or happy...hope your anxiety turns into happiness! Good Luck!!!

  21. Rebecca I am the same way with orange so I totally understand. I could do a room for someone else but you will not find it in my home.Although it is in one of the fabrics for the playroom but I am choosing to ignore the fact that it is there. Most people can not live with yellow and 99% pick out the wrong yellows. I love yellow but in its Maize form, Kind of like Sue said the color of straw, it is a more golden undertone. Good luck and keep some good chocolate, it is my go-to form of comfort too!! Kathysue

  22. Fear or control are the two evils. I love that image and could see it working in a room with yellow accents....I think yellow and gold are looking good again, guess it is all in how you use them...or fall in love with them. I know you will find a solution with your expertise.

  23. I think the fabrics you have selected are really pretty. I bet it will turn out beautiful !

  24. Hi Rebecca:
    Did you happen to see what Vincent Wolf posted on his blog February 7th?
    go here...


  25. To all,
    Glad to see I am not alone here and thank you all for the tips and encouragement!

    Thanks for the inspirational images! Before I even clicked over I had a good idea of what I'd find. VW is known for his signature touches of yellow. There is rarely a room of his that doesn't at least contain yellow flowers and all 3 of his design books are...yellow. Clearly, he shares none of my issues and uses yellow masterfully!

  26. Oh I wish I would have read this when you posted it...I'm cracking up right now...thank you! Are you talking about your CrunchnMunch being your inspiration???If so, I love it! ;)
    The fabrics you picked out are lovely by the way. I've always turned to nature for inspiration...for yellows, I've imagined honey, honey butter, bees, daffodils or any yellow flower for that matter...and what they coexist with happily, it's truly helped when being unsure about color direction...nature always wins out!
    I know your going to do just great and also, I know your going to have a blast pulling it all together will!
    xo J~

    (fyi- pop tarts are a great stress reliever)


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