Summer Thornton on decorating with color: a masterclass

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If you weren't acquainted with decorator Summer Thornton, there's a punctuation sprawled crossed a leafage successful her caller book, 'Wonderland: Adventures successful Decorating', that would archer you each you request to cognize astir her style. It reads: 'Beige is for beginners.' Indeed, Thornton is simply a wizard erstwhile it comes to decorating with color, and there's not a leafage successful the publication that isn't splashed with it. 

'I bash not judge determination is specified a happening arsenic excessively overmuch color. I deliberation colour should beryllium incorporated into your location successful a mode that makes you consciousness good,' Thornton tells us. 'I americium an all-or-nothing benignant of idiosyncratic truthful I don't judge successful dipping my toed into color.  If I usage color, I layer it up and heap it on. I bash not judge successful balancing it with neutrals.'

If you're astatine each colour wary, oregon you're looking for support to up the ante connected your room colour ideas, support reading. Thornton shares with america her champion proposal astir bringing colour into a space, wherever to look for inspiration, however to physique up colour hazard tolerance and more, below.

Want much from Summer Thornton? Her publication 'Wonderland: Adventures successful Decorating' comes retired March 22. 

Decorating with color: Summer Thornton's champion advice

Neutral devotee acceptable to ditch the achromatic walls? Color-lover hoping to hone your craft? Either way, Thornton's ideas volition assistance you spot colour successful a full caller light. 

1. Find 'your' colors

Summer Thornton teal accepted   surviving  room

(Image credit: Thomas Loof / Summer Thornton)

Everyone has colors they gravitate toward implicit and implicit again. The ones that amusement up successful your closet constantly, oregon successful your location nary substance however galore times you move. Eschew trends successful favour of those shades, Thornton says. Those are your colors.

'Color is astir feeling and mood. I judge successful choosing colors that elicit a effect from the idiosyncratic who volition beryllium spending the astir clip with it,' the decorator explains. 'For example, bash not presume your chamber has to beryllium airy due to the fact that the wide regularisation is simply a calming chamber is best. I'm doing a task close present for a pistillate who loves emerald green, that makes her consciousness good, truthful we are swathing her chamber successful that color. I emotion being successful pinkish rooms truthful my surviving country is simply a brushed pinkish and I emotion the glow it gives each twelvemonth round.  It's astir feeling arsenic overmuch oregon much than look.'

2. Go hard oregon spell home

bright bluish  surviving  country   with reddish  sofa by summertime  thornton

(Image credit: Thomas Loof / Summer Thornton)

Forget dipping your toed successful the water. Thornton's advice? If you emotion a color, leap consecutive into the heavy end.

'Most radical would mostly counsel to "test out" colour with a pillow present oregon there.  I accidental find a colour that elicits joy and re-cover your full sofa successful it,' Thornton says. 'My surviving country sofa is simply a luscious papaya colour and I emotion the jolt of vigor it brings to my surviving country everyday,'

3. Test colors with ample samples

summer thornton modern   pinkish  and reddish  bedroom

(Image credit: Josh Thornton / Summer Thornton)

When investigating paint ideas, the inclination is to overgarment a fewer tiny squares connected a azygous partition and marque a decisions, but that's not the champion mode to got astir it, Thornton says. 

'Color is important to trial successful ample samples. I judge successful coating ample swaths of colour connected each 4 walls and looking astatine it astatine antithetic times of the time earlier committing to coating the full country from a tiny swatch,' she explains. 'Same happening goes with a fabric, if you emotion a cloth and privation to screen your sofa successful it, bid a gait archetypal to marque definite you similar it connected a larger scale.'

4. Don't disregard tiny opportunities for color

breakfast nook with floral wallpaper and bluish  banquette

(Image credit: Thomas Loof / Summer Thornton)

If you're solely bringing colour into your abstraction with accessories and propulsion pillows, your country is missing retired connected a rainbow of opportunity. For example? 'A amusive mode to bring colour into a country is with lampshades, but they shouldn't beryllium the lone colour successful a space, marque definite the strength is matched determination other successful the room,' Thornton explains. 

In the country above, the reddish lampshades service arsenic a constituent of opposition for the remainder of the room's chill tones, but they besides assistance bring retired the reddish colors successful the wallpaper. The unexpected interaction elevates a beauteous country into a changeable of decorating genius. 

5. Keep an oculus retired for colour inspiration

summer thornton - floral wallpaper eating  room

(Image credit: Bjorn Wallander / Summer Thornton)

Thornton spaces consciousness archetypal due to the fact that she doesn't bounds herself to the hues and palettes that are emblematic of interiors. 'As acold arsenic knowing what colors look bully unneurotic I similar to look to manner and creation to spot antithetic and caller combinations. Artists thin to beryllium a batch much escaped with colour than accepted decorators, breaking much rules and introducing much breathtaking palettes,' she says. 'I besides prime up a batch of palettes from movies and TV shows. I'm often pausing a movie to instrumentality a representation of the acceptable design.'

6. It's each astir the combo

pink bath  by summertime  thornton

(Image credit: Thomas Loof / Summer Thornton)

When it comes to color combinations for rooms, it's each astir the mix. 'There are lone truthful galore colors successful the rainbow but it is each successful however they are utilized and combined that keeps things interesting for me,' Thornton says. 'I thin to respond much to warmer palettes.  I emotion pinks, oranges, reds, plums and golds, but genuinely I clasp each colors and it conscionable depends connected my temper oregon the space!  I emotion looking astatine manner for caller and absorbing colour combinations.'

'I privation to embolden radical to beryllium themselves, to get mislaid successful decorating, to travel the rabbit down the spread and spot wherever they extremity up,' Thornton says. 'A batch of times radical person excessively overmuch fearfulness astir decorating. Fear of making a mistake, fearfulness that they volition autumn retired of emotion with a colour oregon a scheme. I privation radical to alternatively pb with emotion and passionateness and bash what feels close to them. After all, it is decorating and arsenic Dorothy Draper truthful brilliantly said...Decorating Is Fun.'