Picking a color palette for your home can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. In her latest book, Living With Color: Inspiration and How-Tos to Brighten Up Your Home, Rebecca Atwood helps demystify color, encouraging her readers to find joy in finding just the right hue and using it with confidence. We had chatted with the Brooklyn-based designer and artist ahead of her tome’s August 27 release to learn more about her approach to embracing all shades of the rainbow.
You start the book with a scientific explanation of color. Why?
You need to understand the science to understand why color is personal and how we see it differently. It explains why when you put a paint swatch up on your wall it may look different from what you originally thought. Just touching on the science gives people a more well-rounded idea about how to use color in the home.
“Part Four: Living Color” showcases a few inspiration rooms. How did you choose those spaces?
I definitely looked for homes that exemplified different kinds of color use. For instance, designer Emily Butler’s home (see room with red door, above) is a great example of a primary color palette, while Kate Reynolds’ (see room with purple accents) showcases how to use jewel tones without the color feeling too overwhelming.
The midtone color palette used throughout the book itself is lovely. How did it come together?
I didn’t want it to be a straightforward rainbow. The idea in the book is that you’re finding the just the right tint, tone and shade for you, so I wanted to make sure we were doing these very specific versions of colors. It was a little nerve-racking with printing to make sure the colors came through correctly, so we gave them physical colors that I painted. All of the chapter openers are based off of those samples.
What is one thing that you hope readers learn from Living With Color?
To have fun with color, because I think when you let yourself enjoy it, you’re much more likely to embrace and use color. But as far as practical tips, I’d say connector colors. Often, we’re told to add pops of color throughout the home, like layering ruby into a neutral room. But that ruby color may feel disjointed if there’s nothing else tying it to the neutral. You really need mid-tones, or connector colors, to create a cohesive environment.