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  • Adair Witmer

This Little Trick Saves Time When Shopping for Decor

Updated: May 25, 2022

My client, Patti, told me to write this blog. She said, "Are you kidding me, I don't go anywhere

without these". You really need to share this with everyone!" So here it is. I hope it makes a difference for you like it did for her (and for all my clients, frankly.)

This is something that you could do yourself, and should, if you want to abbreviate your decision making when shopping for home decor. So, whether your designer does it, or you do, you will find it helpful. The trick is to create color plans, take screen shots of them, and take them with you when you go shopping.

Start With an Overall Color Plan

Inspiration Images and a color palette
Overall Color Palette

I am designing Patti's beach house in Cape May, New Jersey. It's a large 3-story Victorian. Cape May houses are generally very colorful, so I loaded up the color plan with lots of it. The process begins with inspiration images. In this case Patti's husband, Andy, wanted to incorporate his sister's art throughout, so I began with her art and in my presentation of decor recommendations, showed Patti and Andy rooms I thought to be great inspiration for color as well as great backdrop's for the art. Our agreed upon direction for the project was for each room to evoke delight and surprise. This color palette certainly helps to support that direction. So, the first screen shot she took with her when shopping was of the overall color palette.

Each Room Get's its Own Color Plan

The other screen shots she took when shopping were the individual room color plans. Here are just a few. The house has 8 main rooms, 5 bathrooms and two porches and each room has its own color plan.

Art, Rugs, and Accessories Bridge the Colors in the Room

Again, the role of the art is to create surprise and delight. In the 3rd floor back bunk room, I used the colors from Lucy's (Lucy Lamphere) chicken paintings to create the color palette. Bright red walls will be the backdrop to bunks that I designed to flank the one wall. Needless to say, I'm pretty excited about this room.

I have to note, Patti and Andy are pretty brave agreeing to the red walls. Not everyone would be that brave but truth be told, I used the Sherwin Williams visualizer to show them what the room would look like with red walls and then we happened to stop at the bar at "The Virginia" which features beautiful red walls. That was the clincher. If you have never been there, please go. It's a show stopper hotel on Jackson Street.

Inspiration images and colors for a room renovation
Bunk Room Color Palette using red, brown and whites

The Bunk Bed Design and Inspiration

A big challenge with this plan was fitting the top bunk into a room with a slanted ceiling, not all that high, and keeping the small, very cute window, accessible under the upper beds and between the two lower beds.

Design and decor for a bunk bed room
Bunk Bed Design

The Bunks In Progress

Note the groovy little window between the beds

Bunk bed room with red painted walls
Red Walls for a Bunk Bed Room

Bright red walls in progress

Don't be Afraid to go Bold!

There was so much color in all the rooms that for the kitchen I felt that we needed some relief from all that color. I thought white walls was the answer but, to have left the walls and ceiling white didn't feel right to me, we needed some weight, so, I suggested that we paint the ceiling brown, picking up cues from the large chicken art (Andy refers to as "Madame X") going large and center on the outside wall.

Beautiful painting of a chicken
Madame X

Patti was really hesitant and must have said 10 times, "Oh man, Adair, are you sure!?" to which I replied 10 times, with a bit of a wry smile, "Patti, trust me." She did. Now she loves it it so much that she pretends that it was her idea all along. Ha Ha, you gotta love it!

BOLD girl, we're going bold and unafraid on this project!

Brown painted ceiling for kitchen renovation project
Brown painted ceiling for the Cape May kitchen

If you need help, or just want some feedback on your color palette selections, give me a call. Color planning is an area that I really enjoy, and hope people will step out of their comfort zones to play more with it. Color can and will provide surprise and delight!

Until next time.

Designer, Adair W Witmer of Ambiance By Adair
Designer, Adair W Witmer of Ambiance By Adair

Your Designer,



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