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Glass Works

Summer isn’t the only time when flowers should be on the mantle, or the side table in the entryway. Keep a pop of color in the house all winter. Here are a few great aquamarine (a big hue for spring this year) vases perfect for holding a stem or two all year long.

The clean, spa-like feel of this compact piece makes it perfect for a side table or dresser in a bedroom. Lucid Vase, $14.95,

This mini vase works great in a guest bathroom. Add a few darling buds and place it by the sink next time the company stays over. Curvy Chrysanthemum Vase, $28,

A sea-glass colored bottle adds a vintage feel to a kitchen windowsill. Toss in a few flowers in brightly colored hues like yellow and orange to keep it feeling fresh. Malone Vase, $69.95,

Jugs this bold and vibrant are perfect for a mantle - somewhere they can steal the show, and bring life to a room. Lacquer Vases, Aquamarine, $29.95,

I love the exotic feel of this charming vase. It’ll add a bit of spice to a drab office or desk. Flickering Lumiere Vase, $16,



Rooms in Blue: Check out the fantastic color of the vases and frames in the background of this bedroom featured in this month’s Atlanta Home and Lifestyles

Rooms in Blue: Check out the fantastic color of the vases and frames in the background of this bedroom featured in this month’s Atlanta Home and Lifestyles



Paper Goods

Wallpaper is making a come-back. And I love it. Whether on one wall, to give personality to a room, or wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling in a bedroom.It’s romantic, classic, and yes, sometimes even timeless. We’re not talking the old days of wallpaper. Not hose awful colors and patterns from the 70’s - I recall one specifically horrible yellow Chinese dragon printed walls in my parent’s bathroom before our updating. Designers are making beautiful, muted-but-still-eye-catching prints.

Here are a few great options out there (by Graham and Brown) in my ever-favorite blue tints.

Amy Butler, Georgia (in Midnight)

Claire, (in Teal)

Graham and Brown, Moment (in Blue)

Amy Butler, Fountain (in Ocean)

Swurly Wurly, Tease by Laurence

Amy Butler, Georgia (in Stone)



Rooms in Blue: Aqua-colored tile in a bathroom featured on ElleDecor.

Rooms in Blue: Aqua-colored tile in a bathroom featured on ElleDecor.



Decorating for Fall

            Fall décor brings whirlwinds of oranges and earth-tones to a room. But your home doesn’t have to become synonymous with the color of pumpkins. 

After all, what’s more beautiful on an October day than the contrast of a blue sky against the autumn leaves?

Melissa Michaels of The Inspired Room, a down-to-earth décor blog featured on, Apartment Therapy, and Ladies Home Journal, gives us a few ways to add splashes of aqua to break up the harvest colors.  

Aqua mason jars


Michaels loves the look of mason jars for any time of year, but the aqua colored ones are a favorite – and surprisingly, they work great for fall.

“Aqua mason jars would look beautiful filled with natural fall décor, such as acorns, pinecones, miniature faux-red apples, or cinnamon sticks,” Michaels says.

Add an aqua-hued jar filled with acorns as décor above a fireplace. Or use the same idea as a table centerpiece.

Use Michael’s suggestion of the jar filled with cinnamon sticks in a bathroom or guest room to give a room a sweet fall scent.

Year-round blues

Using warmer colors doesn’t mean temporarily taking down your spring- or summer-colored pieces.

            Michaels hangs a rustic mini step-ladder on the wall in her home year round “An aqua door, ladder, or other accessory can be fresh accompaniment to traditional fall décor,” Michaels says. “Adding a rustic twig wreath to a weathered aqua door, picture frame, or old ladder would be lovely and very fall-ish.”

Fall Flowers


Skip the yellow and maroon mums. They’re hardy, yes, but for something a bit more contrasting and attention-grabbing, choose buds on the other end of the color wheel.

“My favorite flowers in the fall are hydrangeas as they change colors with the season,” Michaels says. “They turn gorgeous shades of bluish, greenish, and brownish tones – stunning for fall bouquets.”

            Set a bouquet of these on the table next to a mini-pumpkin or gourd for a real pop of color.

White pumpkins

Even if we’re changing up the autumn color scheme a bit, we still want iconic fall items around the home. If you’re planning on sticking with the usual pumpkin, change it up a bit for a new take on the classic.

“White pumpkins for fall would be beautiful with other decor in shades of aqua and blue,” Michaels says.

If you’re unable to find white pumpkins, use white spray paint for an easy way to cover the bold orange. For table settings, use mini pumpkins, painted white, with aqua napkins or glasses for a look that is autumn-themed, but doesn’t scream orange. Place a cluster of un-painted pumpkins, or gourds, in the center of the table to tie it back to the season.

            October and November don’t have to mean coming home to an orange-toned home. Soften up the warm autumn color palate with splashes of aqua in accessories or table settings. You’ll never dread the orange autumn décor again.

*Photos courtesy of The Inspired Room



Rooms in Blue: A country-inspired blue and white tile backslash is the attention-grabber in this rustic-themed French kitchen. (Architectural Digest)

Rooms in Blue: A country-inspired blue and white tile backslash is the attention-grabber in this rustic-themed French kitchen. (Architectural Digest)



One Homeowner Gives us a Tour of Her Land- and Sky- Hued Home

Linda Kennedy’s home is a sea of blues, greens, and turquoise. Resting on the shores near the base of Lake Michigan, Kennedy’s Indiana home takes color cues from the outside, and brings them in. When you can’t buy a vacation house, Kennedy reminds us, make your home feel like an escape.

Endless Shades of Blue: Tell me about the color-flow through your house.

Linda Kennedy: For years, I’ve collected blue and green things. I like how the colors flow from room to room. The upholstered furniture doesn’t call attention to itself. The chairs and walls are just there to be a background to let whatever else you have pop.

ESB: Why the blue and green color palate?

Kennedy: I’m attracted to the whole horizon thing. Where the sky meets the land, it’s all kind of blue and green. My bedroom here faces the lake. I have a view of the sky and trees. I love blending colors with those blues and greens.

ESB:  What was your decorating plan?

Kennedy: I didn’t buy things to go with anything else. I bought it because I liked at the time. It all just sort of came together. 

ESB: I notice that you mixed the modern look with a few more rustic looking pieces (the desk in the living room, the bed trunk) what was the idea behind that?

Kennedy: I like stuff that has a past. A lot of people ask if I’m going to strip the paint off those pieces, but I like them that way. It’s all that “peely” paint, as I call it. You’ll notice the chairs in the dining room are very contemporary though – I have to have comfortable chairs.

ESB: Where did you get those fabulous vintage pieces?

Kennedy: I’ve collected those over the years at flee markets or antique shows. I like to find pieces that have the original paint. Some of them have layers of paint – that big blue cabinet is in my living room has red underneath it.

ESB: What’s one of your favorite items in your home?

Kennedy: The big blue cabinet. Also the painting over the fireplace. It’s of a farm in central Illinois, near where I grew up.

ESB: You’ve done such a fabulous job on your home - do you have any design, or décor training?

Kennedy: No, I sort of do what I want to with decorating. I sometimes help friends chose paint colors. The colors are always something where you can’t really say what they are – blue on the edge of grey or green. I don’t like regular colors, like navy blue.

ESB: How long have you been in this house?

Kennedy: Since 2006. People always come here and say, “Oh my gosh, I’d never leave!” That’s what I love about it. Since I’ve been here, I haven’t felt the need to get away as much. It’s my vacation house and my regular house. 

*Photos courtesy of home owner



Rooms in Blue: Love the pops of aqua in this Elle Decor apartment

Rooms in Blue: Love the pops of aqua in this Elle Decor apartment



A Cushion for Color

People are drawn to certain colors. Green, for example, is often associated with the Earth and considered a calming hue. Yellow is playful and sunny. But experts say there is one clear favorite.

A 2004 report by The Global Market Bias Research Series indicated that for every country in the world, blue is the winner on the color scale.

“A lot of people either love, or hate, for example, pink and purple,” Sherri Taylor, Syracuse University Graphics Design professor says, “but it’s rare to find a blue hater.”

When the newspaper USA Today worked on creating its nameplate, “they researched what color had the fewest negative reactions from consumers,” Taylor says. The frontrunner: blue.

Taylor says blue is a powerful color, in part, because we associate it with Americana – deep navy is one of the colors in our beloved flag, and blue is featured in many American-related song lyrics.

“The darker shades often send the more patriotic feelings,” Taylor says.

Another reason we love blue: it gives us positive vibes, and calms us down. “I like to learn about color connections based on phrases we use – “true blue” is one that I think really explains the way we feel about the color.”

When it comes to design and décor, “blue is a workhorse for color use,” Taylor tells us. Pair it with almost any color for a combination that works. Team light blues with black, grey, violets, and mauves.

Cool colors in general work well with blues. Take note from Missoni’s collection below and match blues up with greens, and shades of turquoise or aqua.

“Darker blues look great with whites,” Taylor says. It’s that beachy, nautical, crisp, summertime feel that so many of us love.

As for those warmer colors, you can set them up near blue as well. “Next to reds and other warm colors, blues become even more placid,” Taylor says.  “Blue is a great cushion for other colors.”

Blue and purple living room featured in House Beautiful

In her own home, Taylor uses blue in one of the bedrooms. “I think it’s very conducive to sleeping,” she says.

With blue as a favorite for so many, use the color in rooms that get a lot of traffic. Toss blue pillows onto the couch in the living room, or add a deep blue rug under the coffee table.



Rooms in Blue: Gorgeous outdoor dining set-up in Veranda

Rooms in Blue: Gorgeous outdoor dining set-up in Veranda