Color Me Surprised

There is no denying the power of color in a room. It has a presence, the ability to evoke emotion, and often times what brings a space to life. So, if color has all these magical powers, why are people so afraid to use it in their homes?

I must admit as a designer who plays with color everyday, even I can understand being hesitant to commit to color from time to time. Color, especially in residential design, can feel like such a heavy and permanent decision. I mean maybe today you’re all about the cool blues, but what if next month you find yourself wishing you had gone with a more warm palette? The fear of going with the wrong color, or worse, using color unsuccessfully, is what often prevents people from committing to color, resulting in the more neutral palettes popularly used in residential design today.

Source, Source

Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a neutral color palette, in fact, many of my favorite spaces use very little color at all. That being said, there is no rule saying you MUST use color in order to have a gorgeous living room. However, I do think there should be a rule about not doing things simply because they scare you or make you feel uncomfortable.


Where is this coming from? Well if you have been following along with me on my journey as a designer and blogger, you may have noticed I haven’t written a blog post in the last several months. The Blogger 101 Manual would tell you that being inconsistent is a major “no no” when it comes to being a blogger; and, maybe there’s some truth to that. I suppose if you aren’t in front of people enough, its easy for them to forget about you and move on. On the other hand, I’m a big believer in not saying things just to say them; but rather saying things (or in this case writing them) when you actually have something of value to say.


Well today I woke up and felt, I had something of value to say. One of the big reasons I have been MIA as of late, is that this past April I took on a new design job totally outside my comfort zone; renovating the interiors of cruise ships. Coming from a background in residential design, cruise ship design is a whole new world to me and has managed to turn me on my head. There are so many rules in marine design, opinions to take into consideration, logistic obstacles to overcome, and so much riding on the final outcome, it still keeps me up at night worrying how it’s going to all come together.

Yes, cruise ship design is an entirely new beast for me to conquer, and I still have so much to learn, but each and everyday I work outside my comfort zone, I believe I am growing as a person and becoming a better designer for it!


One of the coolest things about my new job, is how it challenges me to use color; something, even as a designer, I’ll admit, to be outside my comfort zone at times. As I get more comfortable in my role, I’m surprising myself more and more with what I am capable of, and that has made the last several months of my life, some of the most defining.

For me, moving across the country is outside my comfort zone. For me, designing the interiors of cruise ships is outside my comfort zone. For me, using too much color in one space is outside my comfort zone. Yes, over the last 6 months, pretty much everything in my world has been outside my comfort zone. Interestingly enough though, guess what you find when you go outside your comfort zone? Well, if you’re patient and work hard, you may find out you’re a lot more capable than you ever gave yourself credit for.

So for today’s post, I challenge each of you to go outside your personal comfort zones. Pick the bold color for the living room wall, the rug that stands out, or the sofa that makes a statement. Take a risk, whatever that looks like for you. Maybe it will pan out, maybe it won’t, but you certainly will never know if you don’t try to bring a little more color into your life!

xx Linnie

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