Dish and Design 2016: Accents, Textiles a Great Way to Infuse Color at Home

In partnership with the Detroit News, EuroAmerica Design was proud to host DIsh & Design “Designing with Color” on May 11. 

If you’re thinking about adding a little color to your decor and red is your first choice, designer Bob Bouwens with EuroAmerica Design in Troy has three words of advice: Use it sparingly.

“Red is a very powerful color, but it can be so wrong in many, many ways,” says Bouwens, who instead recommends keeping red as an accent color.

Bouwens was one of several speakers at Homestyle’s Dish & Design event Wednesday at EuroAmerica’s Troy kitchen and bath showroom. The first Dish & Design of 2016, Wednesday’s talk was all about designing with color. More than 120 readers gathered to get tips on color palettes, starting points and accent pieces.

Many people struggle with where – and how – to use color at home, said Bouwens.

“You want each room to have its own personality but don’t want it to be a hodge podge,” he said. “So it’s intimidating.”

Bouwens said when it comes to using primary colors in your decor, yellow, like red, should be used in small doses. He said red is great choice for an accent wall – not an entire room.

And “as much as yellow conveys happiness, too much yellow can create anger,” he said. “They say babies even cry more in yellow rooms.”

Designer Gordon Robinson with Scott Shuptrine Interiors recommends using a textile or one graphic element from which to pick your color palette for a space.

He and two other designers at Scott Shuptrine recently used a peacock print from Schumacher’s Miles Redd collection as a starting point for decorating the dining room of the Junior League of Detroit’s Designers’ Show House in Grosse Pointe Park, which runs through May 22.

“Pattern is the beginning,” said Robinson. “Don’t do the paint first.”

And when it comes to accents, keep scale in mind, said Robinson. Bigger is better; bigger accents look more sophisticated.

“Go big or go home,” said Robinson.

Wyndal Chapital, general manager of West Elm in Birmingham, suggests using neutral tones, not trendy colors, for anchor pieces such as your sofa, bed and dining room table .

“Buying a purple sofa is cool, but when you’re out of your purple phase that’s a problem,” said Chapital, who presented pieces from West Elm’s spring collection.

Chapital said there are many ways to introduce color to a space, from something as big as a rug to a candle.

Whatever color you chose, make sure you “introduce it more than once (in a room) or it’ll look random,” said Chapital.

Chapital says he prefers neutrals throughout his own home and uses plants for color. He showed off a green boxwood plant that’s freeze-dried and very low maintenance.

“It grows an inch an entire year,” said Chapital.

When readers weren’t getting decorating tips Wednesday, they sampled food from Brio Tuscan Grille and Bravo! Patrick Price, executive chef of Brio, and Justin Bates, executive chef of Bravo!, did food demonstrations on how to cook rack of lamb and pesto chicken with quinoa salad.

This year’s Dish & Design series is presented with its partners EuroAmerica and Scott Shuptrinte Interiors. 

See West Elm general manager Wyndal Chapital discuss designing with color during the Dish and Design event here.