Soft Color Palette Found in India

We’ll be heading to the India pied-à-terre soon — our apartment in Chennai, India — so I’m planning projects for the place and looking at photos from past trips for inspiration. I spotted this “funny face” and love its soft color palette:

Funny Face Found in India

See, the “face” is on this wall:

Soft India Color Palette

I spotted this wall while our driver sped past it, on the way to see a temple in a tiny village called Osur southwest of Chennai, India.

Maybe this soft quiet wall stood out because it was a rarity among all the screaming bright colors. The drive was about 2 hours long (or more? I forget now) so I saw an unusual billboard nearby and made a mental note to watch for the billboard during the drive back. Because I needed a photo of this wall! We told the driver to STOPPPPP, stop-stop-stop — because saying stop one time doesn’t work so well — and I jumped out and greedily got this cute wall into my iPhone.

India Color Palette

Old Wall in India

I share a few pictures of it here as inspiration for color combos, for old wall texture, for adding whimsy and fun in unexpected places!

I am not sure if the pink pipes are for plumbing or perhaps they hold electrical wires. But if they are functional, someone took the care to ensure they were worked into the design, not just slapped on the wall wherever. And I appreciate that, and details like that certainly caught my eye as we flew by.

Trend? Layers of White Global Patterns

There’s a question mark in the title because I think this will become a trend in the U.S., but I don’t think it’s a trend yet. It’s a trend when it rampages across the country into living rooms, bedrooms and dining rooms everywhere. I think right now it is stepping onto the shores, testing the waters, seeing if it will be accepted.

What is it?

layers of global patterns in whites

  • Whites in different shades, lighter, darker, clean, dusty, all mixed together
  • Patterns inspired by India, Bali, Morocco, Spain and beyond, all mixed together

It looks like this from Restoration Hardware:

Restoration Hardware Layers of White Patterns

The origins of this look are shown in this image that I shared back in 2013, from Maisons du Monde:

Layers of White Patterns

I shared this image in a post called Scandinavian White Interiors with an Indian Twist. And this white layered patterns “potential trend” is exactly that — a mix of  global style with Indian, Moroccan, Indonesian, Lamu style and more all in the same room.

The look is created with:

  • Carved white-washed wood
  • Round turned wood shapes
  • Embroidered and printed patterned textiles
  • Pierced metal lanterns
  • Woven patterns in lampshades, baskets, sisal rugs

For the tension that makes things interesting, mix elegant swirls and florals with thick rustic chunky shapes. White colors tie it all together.

Someone said to me that if you want to know what’s coming soon to the U.S., look at what’s popular in Australia. My Instagram has been full of white layered patterns from many Australian companies, especially in the Byron Bay area which is on the west coast of Australia, between Brisbane and Syndey.

Here’s a few Instagrammers to watch if you want to get schooled on this style …

Bisque Traders imports to Australia from around the world and while they’re introducing more color lately, the roots of their aesthetic is in rustic whites:

Bisque Traders

Bisque Traders White Aesthetic

Bisque Traders has a website where you can find a full range of products that fit their light, white “with a touch of tribal” aesthetic.

Alabaster Trader has the look, especially with their carved and mirrored white-washed wood consoles and damchiyas from India which you can order online at their shop:

Alabaster Trader

Alabaster Trader White Patterns

The Ha’veli of Byron Bay is where you can see the look in action, warmed up with some darker browns:

Ha'veli of Byron Bay

They also have an online shop where you can get the look.

While the Grove at Byron Bay Instagram account is no longer active, it has an archive of photos that show this layered white pattern look, blended with boho macrame and woven reeds:

The Grove at Byron Bay

As shown here at The Grove in Byron Bay, you don’t have to have everything in every room be patterned. Here the background is white, the pots are white, even the rocks in the pots are white, and the glorious enormous mirror brings the patterns:

The Grove at Byron Bay

Seeing these images over the last few years definitely influenced my thinking for our apartment in Chennai, India. As I’ve written about here previously, I’m keeping the apartment mostly white-walled so it’s bright, calm and soothing. But what is India without the searing bright pinks, oranges and blues? I bought pillows and fabrics with those iconic Indian colors. But they didn’t feel like they delivered the soothing feeling that I want. I think those colors will wind up piled on a four-poster canopied daybed in the guest room. The rest of the place will look like this mock-up:

I already have all these pillows, rug and similar table. And here’s the patterned wall and lanterns in the entry area:

India pied-a-terre

We’re on our way to this look in our place in India. There’s a long way to go, though! Here’s my moodboard that guides this entry area as I add new things to it:

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2018 Paint Color Trends

During my recent One Room Challenge room re-design, I felt like I chose unpopular colors, to be honest. I still chose them, because they are what I love and I want to live with. But I’m not choosing the cool grays, whites and ocean blues that people love so much. I like warmth on the wall, so I like beige. Not greige. Beige.  But is beige uncool? There are many beiges. I have learned from Maria Killam’s color blog all about the very uncool “pink beige.” I now try to analyze undertones and avoid the pink-ish beiges. My house is full of pink beige from the previous owners and our own previous years’ decisions, though.

Anyway, it’s easy in today’s world of online sharing to second guess your color decisions, especially when you are a home decor blogger or Instagrammer. I recently saw a story about people painting their rooms white because white rooms perform well on Instagram. Well, I fill my rooms with beige and various warm orangey and paprika colors. One room has lots of red. Maybe it’s because I’m an Aries, a fire sign?

I checked into color trends for 2018, to see if I am really woefully off track with color tastes. Or, maybe I’ve been ahead of the curve?

Here’s what I found forecasted for Behr paint — lots of warmer colors:

2018 Behr Paint Color Trends

And Benjamin Moore’s 2018 colors. Visit their website for the paint names and codes:

2018 Benjamin Moore Color Trends

Sherwin Williams gives some background behind inspiration for their color palettes, ranging from minimalism and hygge, to artisanal crafts and indigenous patterns, to California Pop and environmentalism.

2018 Sherwin Williams Paint Colors

Spice. I see many warm spice colors. Colors of cumin, tamarind, cayenne, curry, paprika.

Bohemian. 2018 trends include many of the boho chic colors that are on textiles from South America, Morocco and Asia – popular fabrics right now.

Warm white. The whites are warm. And yes we see beiges there!

Desert. There are desert colors, muted desert ochres and oranges, but I don’t foresee Southwestern style, I see global nomadic desert like the Sahara and the dusty desert cities of Rajasthan. Camel. Sand. Of course, call me very biased about the global nomadic idea, you might be right!

Jungalow. Many greens, from clear greens to muted greens. A whole garden of green. I see dirt colors and leaves. Is that the Jungalow style brought to us by Justina Blakeney?

Blues. Yes we still have the blues. Blues of one kind or another will always be around. In 2018, teal blues will be popular.

So, because of the prominence of spice and desert colors, my favorite paint color preferences — which really come from spice jars with some teal accent — might not be all that out of step right now!

Do you see your favorite colors in the 2018 forecast?