Colorful Spaces

Designer’s Eye is a series of articles in which I offer a graphic designer’s view of the world.

Living in the Pottery Barn Catalog

I don’t know about everyone else, but I could spend hours looking at the Pottery Barn catalog. It’s my favorite one of all the pre-holiday catalogs that have been filling my mailbox. The rooms are so warm and inviting. It is really very easy to imagine yourself in one of the rich leather chairs, wrapped in a soft, fluffy “throw.”

Pottery Barn realized that a lot of people feel the way I do. I want to know how can I can create such a welcoming and cozy scene in my own home. I remember reading that customers contacted them to find out the wall color used in a particular room in the catalog. Pottery Barn combined forces with Benjamin Moore paint company to share the colors and sell paint (and some home decor, as well). Now, each page of the catalog features the paint color used in the room, so you can duplicate the look in your own home.

paint samples

Finding the right color for any creative project can be difficult. One of my memories of my parents was when my dad painted our dining room in Houston. Yes, it was the color my mom had selected, but when the room was completely painted, she realized that it wasn’t what she had imagined. So my Dad, wanting to keep the peace, repainted it. (This strategy has worked well for them—50 years of marriage so far.) I don’t know if she was happy with the second choice, but the color stayed!

Pottery Barn and Benjamin Moore succeed in taking the guesswork out of selecting a paint color. And the colors are beautiful, neutrals that work in all kinds of light. Each company sell samples of the paint, so you can “test-drive” it before you paint the entire room. Living with the color, even for a few days, can help confirm that you’ve made a good choice. And, it might even save a relationship!

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