Choosing, using color

Tips on creating your home's palette
Kathryn Harris

As a set decorator for the past 10 years (with her own T-shirt design business on the side), Caitlin Blue is adept at creating one-of-a-kind looks. “What I learned from shoots is that contrast is really important,” she says. “Brown and beige don’t look as good as red and beige ― or, in my case, turquoise and orange.” Here are some other tips inspired by her home’s decor.

Take inspiration from art. “When I’m doing research for a set, I’ll often go back to paintings to find great colors and compositions,” Blue says. “I especially love the works of Edward Hopper, David Hockney, and Wayne Thiebaud.”

Link elements. A motley bunch of furnishings achieves visual harmony with the repetition of orange and blue. “We wanted the front door to be echoed throughout the house, so I put turquoise pillows on the couch and searched till I found a turquoise urn for the side yard,” Blue says.

Borrow a colorful vista. The orange-tiled side-yard wall is a clever way to add punch to an all-white bathroom without introducing color directly inside. “The wall makes the bathroom glow,” Blue says.

When color isn’t an option, employ texture. The bathroom floor of white hexagon-shaped tiles is a prime example.