To be successful, a room must contain the element of contrast – in forms as well as in colors and textures.

–Michael Taylor

Candy Factory Table by Martha Stewart: Sweet, not scary.

Happy Halloween!  In the spirit of the holiday, I found inspiration in all the festive seasonal décor around us.  Not so much in the spooky, ghoulish, side of it, but more in the fun, mischievous, colorful side:  the bright orange pumpkins, the overflowing baskets of candy, the promise of costumed children lighting up the otherwise dark streets.  There is something very alluring and tantalizing about the whole thing, and I wondered, “There must be some way to bring this vibrant palette of color, the dramatic contrast between darkness and light, and a little impish rebelliousness into a classic, sophisticated interior design.”  

Here is a successful interpretation of orange and black by American designer Jeffrey Bilhuber, who is undoubtedly a master of creating traditional interiors with modern sensibilities.  The vivid colors of the season are tempered by the creamy neutrals, and the absence of a bold pattern offers relief from the intense hue on the walls.  He breaks the rules with chairs that don’t match.  Love that.

On the other hand, this photo from Country Living Magazine features big, bold damask patterns in dramatic black and white.  Nothing could be more classic or sophisticated.  While this room is obviously decorated for Halloween, it wouldn’t take much to redesign it for a year-round look.  I would simply remove the gourds and replace them with framed family photos, change out the floral arrangement to go with the season, replace the black candles with a more neutral color, and my little act of mischief?  Paint the walls in a rich, yummy Pumpkin.  Wow, I’m such a rebel…


Until next time,


Interior designer, published author, speaker… …and Mommy of Two Little Imps!

Pin It on Pinterest