House of L House of L
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Brave, bold colors feel simply serene in this Westlake home, where the building and design process became especially personal after the owner unexpectedly lost her husband in 2017. With three grown children out of the house and a grandchild who likes to visit, she wanted to rework her home design to reflect the next phase of her life.

“She wanted the home to feel very happy and to have good energy,” says Libby Palmieri, lead designer at the House of L. “For her, that meant infusing lots of color into the design.”

Lots of color doesn’t mean every color — forget the Crayola box effect or basic, bright accent walls. Instead, the owner leaned toward a cooler palette, preferring hues of blue, teal and jade.

Using so many dynamic shades could easily cause a clashing effect, but by weaving these colors throughout the home across various shapes, textures and watercolor-like treatments, those otherwise punchy focal points aren’t overpowering. Instead, they bring healthy tension to a room, causing the eye to wander and soak it all in.

A lilac ombre wallpaper in a children’s guest bedroom washes a single wall with a calming color that evokes movement. Paired with matching twin beds that are upholstered with mocha polka dots across a prim, pink background, this space has been transformed into a sanctuary for naps and relaxation.

On its own, flat color can feel abrupt, but Palmieri suggests layering varying hues of the same color across different textures to achieve a bolder vision. 

A woven indigo wallpaper adds depth to the dining room, setting a defining statement alongside small and large chairs that capture similar shades of blue. 

Sheer drapes covering the windows contain soft linear splotches of lighter purples, blues, greens and creams that are then carried over in a framed painting and a series of whimsical cylindrical glass vases that function as centerpieces for the table.

“Color doesn’t always have to be ‘big,’ ” says Palmieri. “When using shape and color, be subtle by introducing different sizes — like a light fixture, a tile or a doorknob.”

In this home, rich, olive green floor-to-ceiling drapes in the office punctuate the windows by blending in tones from the woodsy environment outside. Even the kitchen cabinets and tilework are standout features that deserve color play, and the range area has become a natural place to incorporate cerulean tones and chameleonic blue and green tiles.

“It’s a muted, cerulean color and because it has a lot of gray in it, that takes down the intensity,” she says, suggesting to always go with a muted version of a bright color. “When you look at paint swatches, it’s hard to understand the intensity of a hue until it’s on your wall.” 

Still, small spaces can be ripe for huge color explosions. The wallpaper in the powder room features oversized, black-and-white graphic peony-like flowers to make the compact room feel spacious.

“It’s strong and powerful,” says Palmieri.



Neutral Zone

Whites, beiges and grays still have a place in your home. Here’s why. 

Value Added
If you put your home up for sale tomorrow and you had to repaint the kitchen, would you steer toward a soft gray or a punchy lime? Forget whether you actually like tart green colors — clean, classic neutrals sell. “Neutrals serve as the basis for any color scheme,” says Palmieri.

Texture Kings
You can layer textured tiles, woven wallpapers and wooden treatments with these low-key colors together in an artful way. “You can’t just have a room full of color without the neutrals because neutrals are your canvas,” she says.

Blank Canvas
It’s easier to switch out burnt orange accent pillows than rip cerulean tile off a wall and start over. By choosing neutral colors for surface areas such as walls and flooring, you can amp up your colorful furniture and accessories. “With neutrals as a foundation, you can bring in color without being so committed to it,” says Palmieri. 

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