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Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Rustic Color Palette


I've always felt a great place to start thinking about a design style is to think in color... literally. Our color perceptions define our world, moods, the way we live, in a deeply profound way. The Rustic Style color palette has a distinct range of color tones and is essential in creating a successful rustic interior. By using the appropriate color tones, you can create a variety of design styles ranging from period and historic to regional to thematic. Color helps define our experiences within an interior and exterior environment. It affects us on a physical, emotional and spiritual level and can be calming and passive or expressive and vital.

To help understand the process of selecting colors, I’ve envisioned a series of individual palettes that vary from region to region but maintain the consistent tonal range of the Rustic Style color palette. These are…

Tuscan Style
English Country
French Country
Colonial American
Rustic Mexican

Tuscany is always a good place to start...

I think of the Tuscan Country color palette as having three notable tonal qualifiers - Earthy, Vibrant and Neutrals

Earthy tones of Umbers, Siena and Ochre are natural colors drawn from the earth and fields of Tuscany. Silvery green Cyprus trees complement worn terracotta tile roofs.
Vibrant tones are set in contrast like the yellow sunflower sits against the ruddy fields. Over time, these vibrant colors are captured by the hot sun and fade to an expansive palette of neutrals such as sage green and soft rose from natural clay.

I’ll explore other Rustic color palettes in upcoming blogs.



Monday, February 14, 2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What is Rustic Design Style?

Rustic Style seems to be a compelling aesthetic in interior design today. Is it nostalgia, a sense of comfort in the impressions of history? The ravages of wind, weather and years of use that transform an ordinary table or coffee pot into an almost magical object, evocative of a distant time and place, of people and stories long forgotten. It is my hope to explore these ideas more deeply. Many of us have come to cherish these antiquated, sun-bleached surfaces, to prize the flaws, the chips and the cracks our grandmothers would have lamented. In this throwaway age, these traces of past lives appeal to our senses and revive our spirits.

It seems to me that Rustic Style is founded on the intangible ideals of generational memory and mythos blended with the very real world of folk art and design. This in turn is deeply rooted is an innate human desire to beautify even the most humble environment. Every society has it's naive building and craft traditions, but some stand out as especially rich storehouses of vernacular architecture and folk art. Over the next few blogs I hope to explore these ideas further by journeying through the rustic architecture, design and folk art of Tuscany, England, France, early America and rural Mexican cultures. If I can demonstrate how to recreate the environments one encounters, choosing and combining disparate cultural elements, then a well planned interior will be the result. Along this journey I hope to also discover the Rustic Style that works within the home.