Stephanie Staton
March 18, 2014

Identify your favorite accessories in each room, whether its a rolling pin, towel, pillow or rug, to help create a congruent color scheme throughout your farmhouse. Photo by Stephanie Staton (
Photo by Stephanie Staton

You might be surprised to learn that despite painting my entire house inside and out gray, I’m quite a fan of color. In fact, I’m such a fan that I often find myself wanting to change it out seasonally or more often. This is where the accessories play a key role.

I decided that my fickle color palette should be embraced, and as such, less permanent pops of color could be added throughout the house. I’m bringing color in with rugs, throw pillows, curtains, artwork and even in everyday items, such as cloth napkins and containers. I’m leaving most of my big furniture pieces neutral and plan to reupholster those that carried over no-longer-desired colors and patterns from our previous abode.

Kitchen, Dining and Living Areas
Now, the method to my color-selecting madness is, well, a bit chaotic at best. Our old house had way more carpet, which meant I had only one area rug to integrate into the new house. I still love it, so the challenge lies in picking a room as its home.

Here’s where it gets a little tricky. I ended up finding a rolling pin that I just adored. It was a splurge at $16, but because it was something I needed and was the jumping off point for the kitchen’s color scheme, I rationalized that I would save elsewhere. (No, the rug can’t fit in the kitchen—there’s a point, I promise.)

The colors in the rolling pin also happened to closely reflect those used in my old living room: orange and teal. Our kitchen opens to the dining and living spaces, so I knew that getting too crazy with color could spell disaster. OK, OK, that’s a bit dramatic—but at the very least, it could lead to visual clutter … cue the rug! 

It so happened that the rug will hold court in the same position of authority in our new farmhouse, hosting mid-afternoon toy sessions, late-night movie picnics and the occasional stealthy hound. An orange and beige pillow with sequined accents in teal, red, green and more tie everything together nicely, with the added bonus that I could swap out another accent color here or there without losing that connection to the overall scheme.

One room down, a lot more to go!

Identify your favorite accessories in each room, whether its a rolling pin, towel, pillow or rug, to help create a congruent color scheme throughout your farmhouse. Photo by Stephanie Staton (
Photo by Stephanie Staton

I found inspiration for the bedrooms in much the same way—sans rolling pin—allowing accent pillows set the baseline for these rooms.

I knew the design scheme of my son’s room would need to be flexible. Drawing on the color scheme of a gray, white and orange fox pillow, I added gray and white rug to his room and bedding that pulls in more pops of orange.

In my room, I went bolder. My inspiration for this room: a blue, gray and off-white floral pillow with coordinating ticking. Treating a deep indigo blue like a neutral, which I intend build upon with a bright coral for spring and perhaps something more subdued this fall.

Other Key Rooms
A hand towel set the color stage in the guest bathroom, an existing rug enlivened the back entry (aka mudroom and laundry), and a mid-winter online rug deal brought a much-needed punch of red to the upstairs common area.

My office was one of those rooms that fell into place. I had originally thought to use the red rug there, but it just didn’t feel right in the space, as the area serves as a front entry, office and transition to the stairwell. I found that dividing the space through rugs—one small circle of blue and a medium rectangle of grey and white worked best. I actually swapped the larger gray and white rug I originally designated for this room with a smaller one from my son’s room, solving two issues of poor balance at once. (When in doubt, swap them out!)

While nothing is set in stone, I have a general idea of the color palettes throughout the house, and I can edit our current belongings to better suit them, stowing away unused accents and fabrics for my next Pantone- or nature-inspired whim.

How do you take your color—straight up or just a splash?

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