d2e in HGTV Magazine’s Pops of Color Issue

The down2earth design team is thrilled to be in HGTV Magazine’s May 2017, “Pops of Color Issue.” You can check us out on page 58 where they show off our Mount Vernon Street Project’s home office where the text reads, “Rust-toned orange on the back of this built-in bookcase accentuates the craftsmanship. It’s a surprisingly neutral shade that works with all the colors on the shelves.”

HGTV Cover May featuring down2earth interior design

HGTV Pops of Color Cover May featuring down2earth interior design



HGTV Pops of Color Cover May featuring down2earth interior design

Page 58. May 2017 Pops of Color issue of HGTV Magazine


HGTV also interviewed Amy about this project and we wanted to share with you the Q&A for your own color inspiration!

Where is this home located?
This home is located in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia

What type of person or family lives here?
A young family lives here.   At the time of the remodel, they had three daughters under age 6.

What type of room is this?
We call it a home office, but it is open to the family room, so in a way it’s also part of that space. This rowhouse was converted from a multi-family set-up back to single family use. The space that we turned into an office and reading alcove was previously a kitchenette.



Mount Vernon Street Before and After Portfolio


How does the homeowner or family use the room? How often?
In addition to using it as a work space and library, it also a homework area, a reading niche, a gift wrapping area, and a game playing space.

What color was the room before?
Previously the space was entirely beige – the most boring shade of beige you can imagine.

What inspired this color choice? Was it the homeowner’s preference or a look you were trying to achieve?
The office alcove is open to the family room, so it needed to relate to the furniture they already had in that space, which had some rust-colored accents. I also ask each client, at the beginning of the design process, to make an ideabook with images that inspire them.   While there were no images in their ideabook that specifically featured orange, many were warm and had “pop” to them, so I thought they might embrace this kumquat color, and they did. 

Did you face any design challenges in this room that this color helped to solve?
This color provided unity with the family room and pep to an otherwise very neutral palette.

Does this color help accentuate any architectural features? How?
Applying this color only to the back of the shelves makes accentuates the beautiful craftsmanship and proportions of the built-ins, and highlights the books and knickknacks the family wished to display.   It is a beautiful color with the warm monkeypod live-edge wood, which we used as a desk surface and which continues across the built-ins. The outgoing orange color also ties into the window valences, the bench cushion and pillows, and the desk chairs.


Was the homeowner nervous about using such a bright color on the walls? If so, what made them decide to take the plunge?
I don’t recall this particular client being too nervous about it.   However, I often suggest that clients paint the back of their bookshelves an accent color and that suggestion has met with trepidation from time to time.   My response is always that once the books are populating the shelves, you’ll see much less of that accent color.   It will be just enough to give a pop to your bookcase area, but will not be so visible as to be overwhelming.

What does this color do for the room, more generally?
Unity, youthfulness, and pep.

What words would you use to describe this color? For example, what kind of orange is it?
Sometimes I refer to it as tangerine or clementine.   But I happen to think Kumquat is a pretty great name.

Does it remind you of anything in nature?
A tangerine or clementine.

What are your tips for painting walls or built-ins this color?
Go for it!   Especially if the color is playing a supporting role, like it is when used along the back of shelves. If it ends up being too bold for your taste after a couple of days of living with it, you can always paint over it.   Wait to make your decision until you’ve put your books and accessories in place.

Was it tough to find the shade that was just right? How did you find this one?
My recollection is that we worked backwards from the textiles to find the exact shade that would complement them.

Have you used this color before or since?
I actually used that orange valence fabric for two other projects, but I have not used Sherwin Williams Kumquat (and Outgoing Orange) wall paint on any other jobs.

Do people compliment the homeowners on it often? What kinds of things do they say?
My guess is the answer is yes.   I haven’t specifically asked, but I know the homeowners have been thrilled.

Did this color inspire the design for the rest of the room? How?
The office alcove is open to the family room, so it needed to relate to the furniture they already had in that space, which had some rust-colored accents.

Why does this color work with the wood floors and white walls?
Warmth was the name of the game.

In what other rooms would you use this color? Where would you not use it?
I think there are no rigid rules about these things.   It all depends on context and the client’s taste and goals.

Here are a few more pages from the HGTV Magazine Pops of Color Issue:




Which colors do you like best? Would use a particular color in one of your spring refresh projects? Tell us in the comments below.



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