Mother Nature's Colors

Mother Nature’s Colors

"Nature always wears the color of the spirit." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

As you look around your home you may have “that space” – the room that needs an update, but you don’t know where to begin. You spend your evenings pinning rooms on Pinterest and browsing hashtags on Instagram. There are so many great ideas out there – how do you pick the right one for you?

The term “Natural Color” originated in the film industry in the 1930’s, but today it means colors that are found in the world around us. Take a moment to look out your window - nature gives us color palettes to jumpstart the design of your space. In Richmond we have so many rich flowers outside our windows that make a seamless transition into your home. We also have the James River and the natural habitats found along the river.


The beach is a buffet of color inspiration – it provides us a sense of calm and respite. The sand beneath your feet is textural speaking to all your senses. It’s not just “beige” – it’s a multitude of whites, golds, greys, and beiges, too. A way to accomplish this is to layer chunky fabrics with smoother finishes – linens and sisals.


The sunrise – a fresh start. You watch the waves rolling in as the sun appears bringing the first touches of light to the day. The blues, reds, and oranges provide a color inspiration that mesmerizes the eye and mind with an optimistic fresh and cheerful presence. Serenity with a touch of excitement. Pull in fabrics that are patterned filled with splashes of color. While every space should have a touch of texture, using fabrics that are soft to the touch will play off the colorful patterns.


Through the summer heat, the Black-eyed Susan brings color to our garden.  This flower has a happy warm color with its golden hues supports other colors in its midst and fulfills the desire for playful expression. This offers a feeling of happiness and joy. Mixing large scale and small-scale patterns with bright happy colors will have you feeling joy every time you walk in.


This is the south and one flower that is signature is the hydrangea. There is simply no such thing as too many hydrangeas! The Limelight and French blue varieties are classic addition to any local landscape. The French blue hydrangea is vibrant with blues and regal purples with the bright green leaf. Soft colors in classic textures of linen with a hint of velvet and your space will be classic and warm. Your dinner guests may never want to leave!


I recently saw a Caesalpinia and immediately had a sense of a firecracker filled with anticipation. This flower is wild, bold, and daring. Deep hues of reds paired with all ranges of calming greens will have you bursting with excitement.

We are so fortunate to live in a town where our space around us is filled with color palettes, especially in summer. I challenge you to look out of your window and see what kind of color palettes your home is asking to be brought inside.

Melissa Mathe

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