Designing a colorful home

Last week, I attended a panel discussion about color at the Taylor Burke Home Showroom at ADAC (Atlanta Decorative Arts Center). The panelists included the owner of Taylor Burke, Julianne Taylor, lively design blogger Paige of The Pink Clutch and designers Lance Jackson and David Ecton of Parker Kennedy Living.

Let me start by saying, I was in heaven in Taylor Burke Home. It was all preppy, leopard print, brass, crystal and bright pink and green. Check out the crystals in this lamp – isn’t it gorgeous?



The showroom was filled with gorgeous huge pillows trimmed out in fun tape. The green ones are so pretty and preppy – I tried to stuff them in my purse, but they didn’t fit.  😉


Big chunks of crystal were everywhere. The lamps were just amazing. Crystal must be a trend – there was tons of it at RH Modern in NYC .


I could just close my eyes, spin around and point at something and buy it and be happy. Let’s just say, though, you pay for the pretty – it’s out of my personal Target-level budget, but I could see sourcing here for a client. Julianne did say she will soon be launching a lower end line that will be more accessible. I know I will love all of it!


Isn’t the lacquer pretty? I love the chinoiserie feel of it.


The panel discussion was about color – what all the panelists have in common is a love of bright color. Jackson and Ecton are particularly known for their fearless use of bright colors. I first encountered their work at the Cathedral Tour of Homes show house three years ago. They did the living room in hot pink and deep blue.


Isn’t that pink ceiling a showstopper? Believe it or not, the decision to paint the ceiling pink was a decision made on the fly. They were not allowed to paint the paneled wood  walls, so after designing the room, they decided the room needed something, and Jackson came up with the idea to paint the ceiling pink with a blue accent. This caught the eye of Clinton Smith, former editor of Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles, and now editor of Veranda. That pink ceiling launched their career into another level and got them lots of attention – their work has been featured in Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles and Southern Living. To see the difference the ceiling makes, cover the pink with your hand and look at the room. Then look at it with the pink – it makes a big difference, doesn’t it?

I just love this color scheme. For me personally, I don’t think I’d use it in a main room, but I think it would be great in a bedroom or bathroom. Or in a laundry room like this. Sorry the picture is not great, but I had a hard time finding this picture. This designer does not have an active website, so there aren’t many pictures out there.

I’d love to do a similar look in my sad, sad laundry room, but I’d like to bring in the Parker Kennedy pink instead of this red.


Here’s another (better) picture of the other side of the room. Love!



What I find interesting about the Parker Kennedy boys is that Jackson has a degree in design and Ecton does not. At the end of the talk, they opened up the floor to questions. One woman asked about work life balance – how do they balance having a family and running a design business (all of the panelists have young children). They all said you have to make it a priority. Julianne purposely located her office close to home, Paige stops working in the afternoon and focuses entirely on family and Lance has a flexible schedule so he can bring and pick up his son from school.

The woman asking the question also said that she has been a designer for a couple of years and is self-taught. She asked Ecton and Jackson if she should go back to school and study interior design. I found their answer encouraging – they said that if she were in her 20s they might say yes, go back to school, because at that point, you really don’t have a portfolio, and the only way you can get a job is with your degree. They said, at this point, with where she is in her life, and the fact that she has young children and is a working designer with a portfolio, she doesn’t need to go to school. They said that all that really matters is if you have style – either you have it or you don’t! I liked hearing this as I am self-taught – I’ve got a degree in business and one in art, and there ain’t no way I’d go back to school at this point!!


I think there is value in an Interior Design degree for sure – I’ve come to the realization that I should’ve studied Interior Design rather than Drawing and Painting, but oh well, that ship’s sailed! Of course, you can hang up your shingle and call yourself an Interior Designer (not in all states) and learn as you go; however, there are some things that are more difficult to learn on your own like building code and knowing if the things you design are actually build-able. Rather than figuring it out on your own, learning on the job is probably the best and fastest way to learn design if you did not study it in school. Vincente Wolf writes about it here.

There is so much information out there that we can all learn from – we can all improve our interior design knowledge so that we can put it to use in our own home. All we really want is a comfortable, pretty home, right?



4 thoughts on “Designing a colorful home

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