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Fashion Hits Home: When It Comes to Color, Know the Rules -- Then Break Them

jamie meares

Photo by Dustin Peck / The Nest

Well, hey there! I'm Jamie Meares, author of the design blog I Suwannee, and owner of Furbish Studio, a home decor extravaganza in Raleigh, North Carolina (and that's my pup, Rowdy). I'm joining The Nest team of bloggers on Nest Obsessed to start this column where I’ll give you tips on how to translate current decorating trends into your wardrobe, and vice versa -- and I couldn't be more excited about it!

For starters, let's consider the holy grail of any ensemble -- be it on yo'self, or on yo'sofa.

all colors mood board

Photo by I Suwannee / The Nest


That's right, chuck any rules you had about green and red being too Christmasy, about not mixing neon with pastel, or worrying hot pink is too flashy with orange. Throw them OUT the door! We're painting that door rainbow -- so come in, take your crazy colored coat off and stay awhile!

all colors mood board

Photo by I Suwannee / The Nest

Now take a look at that magic and tell me you're not ready to start mixing with abandon. Bright colors add a dose of fantasy to any room or outfit. When decorating with vibrant colors, find an anchor fabric, which is usually a print with lots of hues, and use it to pull out coordinating solids for the room. See how that pillow would anchor all the rich jewel tones in the room below it, or how that clutch and those deliciously funky shoes wake up her solid blouse-and-skirt combo? The color families are similar, but they're not matchy-matchy.

all colors mood board

Photo by I Suwannee / The Nest

When working color into your wardrobe, pick a patterned piece with vibrant shades, and contrast with a bright solid. That girl gets it totally right -- you'd think an emerald-and-black striped top would clash with a fuchsia pencil skirt, but you'd be wrong. Way wrong.

all colors mood board

Photo by I Suwannee / The Nest

A favorite piece of artwork can provide the palette for a colorful room, just as a loud pair of gemstone earrings can start the spark of a fabulous outfit. On a side note, chevron (or as you might know it, zig zag) is HUGE right now and I love it. In color, it brings to mind the edgy class of Missoni. In black and white, it's straight-up glam. That bright painting off to the side keeps color in the picture, keeps things looking fresh -- never tired or boring.

What's your favorite, most daring way to mix up color? C'mon, spill it!

-- Jamie Meares