Color Love

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Photo by Abigail Jackson


Judy Pickett doesn’t design for trends. “I design for the client, and this particular client is not comfortable with neutrals,” Pickett says. “She loves color.” Owner of the Raleigh-based interior design firm Design Lines Signature, Pickett is referring to a recent Cary project she dubbed “Color Love”—for obvious reasons. One look at any of the home’s eight spaces reveals a lively update and refresh for the homeowners, who recently became empty nesters. 

Having previously worked with the client helped Design Lines Signature’s team feel in tune with the homeowners’ needs and preferences, and allowed for an inspiring process that incorporated jewel tones with unique patterns. “It’s a definite contrast to what’s going on now, with all the things you see in homes that are really neutral, with just touches of color,” Pickett enthuses. “With this one, everything is color.”


The starting point for the breakfast room was its rug, featuring pinks and oranges that created the room’s palette. “While the color scheme might be a bit unusual, it’s happy—it just makes you smile,” Pickett says. Flanked by lively drapery fabric, tall windows flood the room with natural light, which enabled Pickett to incorporate darker, richer colors and dramatic fabrics. 

Framed gold and white art coordinates with a prominent rock crystal chandelier to add contour and offset the jewel tones. “We still wanted to keep it light and airy while we were using these rich colors, so that was a way to give it geometry, bring out the gold, and give it texture without a big piece, like in the dining room,” Pickett explains.


The dining room rug—which blends orange, lilac and cranberry purples—also plays an influential role. By using it as a departure point, the space exemplifies Pickett’s belief that not only is it easier to design a room with a bold color scheme, but the results are more dynamic. “When you do a neutral, you have 50,000 choices,” she says, half-jokingly. “When you’re doing raspberry and coral and purple, your choices may be more limited … Finding those fabrics with the oranges and pinks and purples was so much fun because people usually aren’t into that much of a color contrast.” 

As in the breakfast room, the natural light allowed for a darker wall color that helped other colors pop. “We did the walls in a dark raisin color, and that just set off the bright colors perfectly,” Pickett says. The homeowners already owned much of the dining room furniture, including the table and upholstered chairs. The LED chandelier and end chairs—with their circular suzani pattern—were new additions. Abstract art adds additional interest, while the valance design—an earlier addition to the room—was recovered with a new, coordinating fabric.


Pickett’s clients took a different perspective on the décor for this room and asked for a more subdued look, since it would serve as an area of respite for family and guests. Though it resonates a calmer feel than other rooms, it still connects with the home’s lively vibe, thanks to bright turquoise, teal and other blues in the bedding, along with the textured fabric on the end-of-bed bench.


Pickett’s approach in this room began with drapery fabric that blends turquoise, purple, coral and raspberry with a coordinating tweed headboard and bedframe. “Once you find that color combination and can zero in on things with it, [the room] really comes to life,” Pickett says. 

The turquoise chair gives a node to mid-century modern style while also offering a calming contrast to energetic patterns used liberally, but judiciously, throughout the room. “The draperies are a large-scale pattern, the ottoman uses a mid-scale pattern and the bed uses a tweed,” Pickett explains. “If I used three fabrics of the same scale in there, that would not work well. But when you change the scale—combine a geometric with a large-scale pattern and a texture—it all works without overwhelming the room.” She points out that the white and raspberry pillows play a similarly crucial role by creating separation between the multicolored patterned fabric pillow and tweed headboard. “It’s all about position and scale,” she reiterates.


Pickett introduced new furnishings and a custom patterned rug featuring blues and purples in the music room, while retaining gold-framed artwork and the piano as anchors. A patterned ottoman pairs beautifully with the vivid raspberry walls, while an angular mirror, geometrically patterned wing chair and “funky floor lamp” adorned with gold banana leaves enhance the gold accents.


The stair landing’s intimate seating space offers an additional example of Pickett’s savvy use of patterns. A neutral stair runner alludes to an animal print while the floral-patterned pillows continue the purples, raspberries and blues used in other rooms. They also offer a pleasant interruption to the velvet cushion’s honeycomb pattern.


Pickett carved out an intimate space in the bonus room, which also accommodates a large TV and sectional, using a color scheme that features raspberry, coral and red. She added a contemporary flair via chairs with clean lines. The multicolored Roman shade enhances the niche’s playful personality.

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Design Lines Signature is located at 1611 Jones Franklin Road, Suite 103, Raleigh.
View additional projects in the firm’s online portfolio.

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