Travel-Inspired Decorating with Will Taylor of Bright Bazaar
I never thought I was shy about decorating with bold colors until I moved last fall into a tasteful townhouse whose freshly painted walls were a study in variations on beige and pale grey. It felt anonymous, but also airy in a way my previous house (with walls that ranged from mossy green to a soft violet) had not. So I've been uncharacteristically cautious about introducing bold hues into my new space--until I read interior design trendsetter and blogger Will Taylor's Bright Bazaar: Embracing Color for Make-You-Smile Style and realized how much I missed the fun of playing and living with vibrant colors.
Taylor gets the fear of color commitment, so he does some firm but gentle hand-holding and a lot of cheering as he bids readers to leave fear at the door, take things slowly, trust your instincts, and find a focus. I love his concept of a "courting period, where each new colour idea is a date." But he also believes passionately in falling head-over-heels for new colors and combos, and making them your own. And what better place to strike up a romance with color than on a trip that you'll always want to remember?
Here, Taylor shares how his stay on the Greek island of Santorini inspired his own master bedroom makeover.
Santorini was unlike any other Greek island I've visited in the past. The traditional Greek blue adorned countless churches, weathered shutters, and doors, but nothing could have prepared me for the incredible island views. Santorini is almost horseshoe shaped because of a caldera (caused by the mouth of the volcano collapsing to create a crater of water), and you can look back at other parts of the island from almost anywhere. The topography alone is striking, but the juxtaposition of the still-as-a-millpond dark blue sea, a sky so clear it could be glass, and sun-soaked cave houses tumbling down the side of the cliffs makes it captivating.
I was keen to capture the spirit of this magical island when it came to redecorating my bedroom back home in London. Here's how I brought the colors of Santorini into the master bedroom in my apartment.
The picturesque town of Oia boosts a charming collection of white cliff houses with traditional Greek blue and sunshine yellow facades.
There is a wealth of blue shades everywhere you look on the island, from the buildings to the clear blue skies and calm seas below.
The combination of Greek blue and cool, milky white felt very refreshing against the warmth of the Mediterranean sunshine.
I was keen to replicate the striking contrast between blue and yellow that I had seen when I was in Oia, Santorini. With this palette in mind, I decided to create a base palette of blue hues through the core elements of the space--the bed, bedding, walls, textiles, etc.--and then introduce vibrant splashes of sunshine yellow.
Stripes have long been a favorite pattern of mine, so it was easy for me to choose them as the key pattern detail for the space.
I created visual and tactile interest by mixing up the shades of blues across different stripes sizes, as well as using different materials to add to the inviting layered effect.
The master bedroom of my apartment has a narrow set of balcony doors, so I was keen to emphasize their height to detract from their width.
I did this by dressing the window with a vertical stripe fabric in a blue colorway, a reference to the Farrow & Ball Cook’s Blue painted walls on either side.
When I was on the island of Santorini, I remember feeling so relaxed as I heard the waves lapping against the shore. Although I don’t live near the sea, I was keen to invite this memory into the space, so I introduced a beautiful indigo blue watercolor pillow. Its fluid, free-flowing nature conjures up the stunning ocean views.
WILL TAYLOR is a freelance interiors journalist and color addict based in London--the writer behind the popular blog Bright Bazaar and the new Bright Bazaar book, an Amazon Books Best of the Month pick for May. Taylor is Market Editor for The Simple Things and Sweet Paul Magazine, as well as a collaborator with brands like Martha Stewart, Laura Ashley, West Elm, Visa, and Canon.