this, that and red

I know i have been missing from my blog lately and i really appreciate all the emails i've gotten concerning my whereabouts.   i have about 500 problems in my life to solve right now and all of a sudden it seems that life is just one BIG problem, but that is not true.  i am blessed in many, many ways and so i am forcing myself to see all the good in my life TODAY.  

so in that spirit...i'm focusing on the tiniest problem of all, adding color to my house.

After reading steve's recent post on adding a little bit of red to his living room i haven't been able to get it out of my mind.  i have no idea why, but i will tell you that living in a black and white interior makes me crazy scared to add a third color. 

whenever i do add color i cannot live with it for very long and out it goes.

red carnations do make me pretty happy
and they are a nice surprise in the laundry room

this red pillow is not bothering me at the moment.

and i'm hopelessly in love with this little vintage lantern

a little red pillow from ralph

how about you?  does adding color scare you? 
i myself waiver between loving a clean, spare look and riot of color, ala anna spiro

if you'd care to share your secrets with me, i'd love to hear them.



  1. Janet,

    We love color!

    I had a vision to paint our living room red--and I did: Benjamin Moore "Poppy."

    I painted our bedroom Benjamin Moore "Winding Vines." (a green).

    I painted our dining room C2Paint "Get Back Jack." (Think Black Cheery soda!).

    I just painted our sitting room C2Paint "Garam Masala."

    There's more, of course; the wallpaper in the bathroom, for example.

    ~Bruce (Cheers to color!)

  2. bruce - i know, your place looks amazing. and i sure love the sound of "Get Back Jack" wow.

  3. I am sad about your 500 problems but from a 24 hour plane ride away I am sending my love and cyber support J.

    No one gets it all. God knows I know that. Good for you muddling through. That's my general plan.I find crying helps, as does wracking up lost of phone bills talking to my sisters and those who really love me.

    I am not one bit scared of colour and embrace it with every cell and fibre of my being.

    I will be dining with Anna Spiro and her husband this Wed pm and will say Hello to her for you. Her home is the most beautiful I have ever been in. It is exquisite. It has a lot of white, but a lot of colour too.xxxxxxxxxxx

  4. Another thing, I prefer to "manage" my problems because I know they can't be "solved".

    Love the red. Thinking of you x

  5. Janet, I hope everything will work out for you. I'm really sorry that you're dealing with a lot of stuff.
    I can't help you on the colour thing. There is way too much colour going on around here. Whenever I repaint a room it always seems to be white as I'm too terrified to paint it anything else!

  6. Hi Janet,

    Your little splash of red looks gorgeous! Everything you do is so elegant ...

    My whole house has only a few colours - blue, green, white, a bit of tan and a bit of the softest, buttery yellow. I tried adding another colour but like you, grew tired of it pretty quickly. The blues and greens seem to agree with me.

    Keep experimenting and have fun with it!


  7. I love color! For years I see these houses that have white and bone color palettes and I think oh I'd like that... and I do but not in my house...I love to be surrounded by feeds my spirit and gives me joy. I had to just accept that I am a color person and go with it! xo, Caroline

  8. I am petrified of color. I add it and it immediately wears on my eyes and has to go, unless it's so muted that it's basically a neutral. It's odd but I cannot be calm around color...but only in my own home, I love it in others.
    Love your reds, especially the carnations in an unexpected place. Have I told you how much I love your home...better yet, are you sick of me telling you?! :)

    btw, if I can figure out how to cinge mine a little without actually burning it, I just may do it this week.

  9. Love, love, love the red touches. I especially love the red pillow on the sofa, and I see a blue and white vase. I am a color girl.... Give me a crayon box and I go crazy. I am thinking of painting my studio (my playroom) a shade of orange to stimulate creativity. It is just paint!

  10. Oh, cheer up little buckaroo! I love the red especially the little light and chinoiserie print.

  11. I agree with Sue that your home is beautifully elegant. All your touches of red are so pretty and your new Ralph cushion is gorgeous.

    Regards 'life', why is it that when problems need attention, they all cluster around at the same time. What is their problem? Can't they all wait in line patiently for their turn?

  12. Janet,
    Your home always looks wonderful. I like the pops of red. And the nice thing is, they are easy to edit. Your home is a favorite of mine.

  13. I love the pops of red in your rooms. That little lantern is fantastic. Love it. I've been thinking I need to add just a little pop of color to my bathroom and kitchen. Not much ....just a little something. But other rooms in my house have more than enough color. I love seeing your cottage. It is so pretty. Love those dark gray walls. Have we seen those before? I don't remember them being so dark but love how they look.

  14. Hello Janet,

    I'm so sorry to hear you are having troubles in your life and hope that everything in your life is better soon. I know I am one of those that kept checking your blog and wondering.

    This talk of color...Ever since i started reading Absolutely Beautiful Things I have started thinking my black and white house needs a shot of color. I'm thinking pink, but at this moment I have red tulips everywhere. I love your red in the laundry room, the RL pillow, the red pillow in your living room.

    A little color is a good thing...

    xo annie

  15. Your touches of red are wonderful. I think I'm also in love with that vintage lantern.

    Here's our favorite person's thoughts on the topic of color-- "Colors solidify some sort of personality—they’re so powerful and it’s amazing how much we take them for granted. Most people who own a business or have their own homes don’t really care what color the outside walls are. Maybe 95% of people don’t want to ruffle any features or cause any trouble, so they’ll paint the house tan, you know? Or taupe. Or mauve. And then you don’t have any stimulation. I mean, tan makes me want to set places on fire. I can’t take it." (I'll e-mail you a link to the source)

  16. sending you a big hug sweet friend....


  17. Your home is beautiful! I love the simplicity of your black and white with a pop of color here and there. And, if you tire of a red pillow you can throw it out! Not so easy if the whole room is red.

    Feel better....I enjoy your blog so much.


  18. I have the same struggle. I love the Anna Spiro's of the world, but life is already a box of crazy-colored crayons and I like peace and quiet in my home decor. I am experimenting with a little orange right now. I don't know why, but as a lifelong blue fanatic, I have just realized that its complement, orange, is gorgeous (in small does, like roses on the bedside table...).

    xo Terri

  19. I have been visiting your blog for a while now-- without "speaking." :) But now I must say that I truly LOVE your cottage-- the uncluttered look with the black and white...and now, maybe touches of color, IF you feel like it!

    My home has until just recently been full of colored walls...and I am finding I am needing to go with more neutrals--for that calming effect. However, I DO need some bursts of color in my life. If I don't, I feel like I am always speaking in a whisper. :0

    Thank you for sharing your blog...
    I wish you ALL THE BEST!

  20. . Here's another one

  21. The hugs didn't come through. That was supposed to be a small hug followed by a couple of big HUGS.

  22. I use a touch of red throughout my home Janet, not alot mind you just little surprises here and there. The colour red in Chinese culture means good luck so always use this colour somewhere in your home.
    I'm sad to hear of your 500 problems. No two ways about it, lifes a bitch sometimes. I'm sending you masses of hugs across the ocean.

  23. I am sorry about your 500 problems, but I know you'll solve them. {{{hugs}}} The red looks great! I love color. In this house I like my color in small and changeable items.

  24. well, you know I love color, so adding it isn't at all hard. good for you - those touches of red are just perfect.

    I'm sorry about your problems and I hope they don't hang around too long.


  25. Skiing? In Utah? Lucky woman.

    I wrote a long heartfelt response to your post last night, twice, but would blogger let me comment? Of course not.

    So today I'll keep it simple. Don't give up before the miracle.

    Sorry about the sausage.

    xo jane

  26. Happy Monday Janet- Your splashes of red are perfect in your home!! Love your photo wall in the bedrm and your toile drapes AND your sweet laundry room.

  27. Sending 800 hugs back. One for each problem and then some extra for good measure.

  28. I like being able to add a shot of color here and there. My favorite colors are lime green, red and turquoise. It might be in a bathroom rug or a pillow or even some new rocks in my plants holder. I like smaller pops that can be easily reomoved. I do hope your week goes better. : )

  29. That pop of red is so sassy! What a great way to wake up any room!I love that launry room!!!!

  30. Thanks so much for following, what a gorgeous home you have.
    Oh my life's imploding too, let's take tea together - with a shot of liquor of course.

  31. I must admit to suffering the same disease - and to only adding color in small snippets. I guess seasonally it is fun, but I do need to add more color.

  32. LOVE your home...I,too, live with neutrals. I find one vase of flowers is all I need. But GREEN, is a nice color to bring inside. A big hug to you!

  33. Janet,

    I am sorry to hear that you are bogged down by problems...
    I wish you peace, clarity and wisdom.

    The fact that you are cheered by punches of colour shows that you know what to do to alleviate some of the pain.

    Many hugs to you...


  34. Hi Janet,

    Sorry to hear about the 500's seems as though alot of people I know are having difficulties, our household included. Some are out of our control...why does everything happen at once?

    I happen to love color in my home (mixed w/ neutrals) so I think the red accents in yours look fab! :)


  35. Gosh, there is so much to love in your house that I didn't even miss the color.
    Here's a hug...things will improve soon.

  36. I love what Faux Fuschia said above about managing problems instead of solving them! I'm sorry to hear you've got them, but I know you'll overcome!

    I wouldn't say I'm afraid of color even though most of my house is pretty neutral, with mostly whites, off whites, beiges and browns, the color I do have (red, mostly) is pretty intense. I love your touches of red!

  37. Have you painted the living room since Feb? Your Feb post showed a white LR and this post shows a gray tell all? I love it!!!!!

  38. How pretty are your colors! I waiver, too, between "clean and spare or a riot of color." I try to remind myself that it is OK to waiver--I am one of those who likes to change things up.
    A clean, spare, neutral backdrop for splashes of little "rioting" color can be so satisfying... And whatever color may suit you, how easy to just pop it in as you've done. No ties to bind you that way! You have an ideal arrangement going on. -Suzanne in Illinois

  39. Yikes, so it's not just my life that's crazy. Hope there's an end to it soon for us both... Seeing your cottage brings a smile to my face, and something to look forward to: simplicity. I will be downsizing over the next few months, and receive much inspiration from you. What color will I use for accent? I haven't a clue!

    Colleen in IL

  40. Love the touches of red and I think they will be restorative to your mind... Am sorry about the 500 problems - know what you mean trying to work out things and juggling them all around in your head. Thinking of you Janet and Mr says hello to you too. All will be well. XXX

  41. what a perfectly-timed post for me. just today i was telling my unlawful husband that i happily devoured two design articles lifting up their joy of color, which i share. i love reading your blog and looking at your pics - your home is so lovely, and everything looks so perfect.

    i imagine that your head would spin in my house - the only neutral is our hard wood floor. :)

    the season of 500 problems: yech. i hope this passes soon. those times of life are no fun.

    hugs, tera

  42. Dear Janet, Sending good thoughts and huge hugs your way. Love your dashes of red, particularly great to have out during the winter months, or any time. Red is my accent color too. Have same toile you have in the red and cream. Super wonderful red lantern, so perfect there. Huge, huge hugs to you Dear Janet, Joyce

  43. hang in there Janet! I think everything feels better when the days get longer and the flowers are blooming and that's just around the corner. And what FF said - a good cry always helps too.

    I'm a lot like you. black and white with neutrals and every now and then try a little color but it feels funny to me. I LOVE color, but not in my house. I'll wear the heck out of pink and green!!

    I think your punches of read look really pretty. (i thought you didn't like red?)

  44. So sorry to hear you are having a rough time of it at the moment. Take good care of yourself in the midst of it all, thinking of you and sending you much love from England.

    As for colour, I am easily bored so limit it to easily changeable soft furnishings. Love torquoise with red pops for summer, and duck egg blue with brown. But I'm a white and grey girl at heart.

    Hugs, Belinda xx

  45. Keeping things in perspective is very important. It is so true, unfortunately, many have to have the experience until they realize, but If you've got your health, nothing else matters so much. Go with the flow like a river flows around a boulder.

  46. Yes, the red accents are perfect with your lovely black-and-white interior!

    Also, I love the fact that the pops of red inside echo the red exterior of your wonderful home. (In my mind, continuity of color inside and out is always a good thing.)

    And, as I may have hinted at before, you could be a photo stylist. Or maybe a home stager . . . .

    One last thought. I hope that your problems diminish, or better yet, disappear.


  47. Hi Sis, You know I love "RED". Thinking of painting my bedrm Red. Mike isn't so happy with red so we paint the downstairs powder rm red and gold or black diamonds! Hugs and Kisses from your big sister!

  48. Hi J! Your house is pure perfection. I know I say that all the time, but it really is. I was having a similar (500 problems) last week - it feels a little like bobbing in water and barely keeping your mouth above water to breathe just a tiny bit?? I feel you sister! I hope this week is going better!
    xo Melissa

  49. OH! And I love the red - Especially the red print pillow.

  50. Red is an excellent choice. I never lived in a place where the walls where plain white.

  51. Currently there are flocks of Canada geese outside my kitchen window and I love their stark black and white with their soft neutral body feathers, grey and tan with pinks and mauves and a nice texture sort of like herringbone. I'm drawn to the neutral in your home: the floral print in the laundry room, the wicker dining room table, the bamboo shade and the prints in the bedroom. Some stellar jays have moved into the neighborhood and the combination of their black topnots and very dark but electric blue feathers is stunning. But I am also drawn to your red-headed woodpecker look.

  52. Hi,

    Love your home--what is the color on your livingroom walls-i is sooooooooo!!! pretty.


  53. sue - the color on all the walls and trim throughout the house (except the office) is benjamin moore's simply white.

  54. Colour is such a personal colour is white! :0 well, variations of it anyway. Be well, take care, love your blog.


kindness is never out of style.

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