Welcome to Design track mind by Melissa Gulley

I am an interior designer from Newton, MA having a lot of fun writing this blog between client appointments, kid stuff, kid school stuff, dog stuff, husband stuff, husband's company stuff (http://www.fueldog.com/), life stuff, old house stuff, family stuff, extended family stuff and the rest of the detail stuff. I am not a writer (clearly) so please ignore the typo's, spelling mistakes and desperate need for proofreading.

Honeysuckle. Pantone’s color of the year

Yes, another post about the color pink.  Ok, so you know I like pink- yeah yeah yeah.  So I was tickled (yes I’m about to say it) pink when Pantone picked it as color of the year. 
What a fluke that I start writing my blog in 2009 when pantone picked Yellow as the color of the year, then in 2010 they picked Turquoise (as I type that color name the heavens are parting and I can hear an audible AHHHHHH…in opera no less) then lo and behold, they pick Pink for 2011.  What are the chances my three favorite colors in three years?  Pantone must know I need content!  This is my good karma hitting home. 

All of you who know me know I’m blond with blue eyes, and so I can wear yellow, turquoise and pink….and I happily use all of them as accents in my house.  Maybe 2012 will be green- Kelly, lime, chartreuse, hunter, jade- think of the possibilities???  The colors I can’t wear are mustard, olive, burgundy, greige, mauve and orange- they make me look like the walking dead (however I do like decorating with those colors in other people’s houses). 


Often, I start with a new client who really does not know what color direction to go with in their house.  I go immediately to their closets.  Both the husband and wife's closets- the house is shared and needs to reflect both people.  People often know what color looks good on them because of the compliments they receive when they wear those colors (positive feedback and reinforcement).  So even if the client states they are not creative or into color or aware of color, they always have favorites to wear. 

People may not know what colors they want to go with but they always know what colors they don’t like.  The are usually the same ones they don’t wear well.  It starts at an early age when they receive negative feedback on a certain color when worn or they hear Mom or Grandma saying “Melissa just can’t wear mustard- she looks so washed out”  Tah Daaaa!   Thus starts the path to not liking a certain color- the groundwork is laid. 

Color can also be strongly liked or strongly disliked due to association.  My husband’s Grandmother always wore a Mauvy/pinky/purple – to this day I have never seen anyone in his family buy anything in that color (it didn't look so great on her and she wore too much of it- also association with it being matronly).  When we moved into our first house, our kitchen was painted that Mauve color- Kevin was quick to correct that with a nice light blue (he went out and bought a Wagner Power Painter so he could take care of it FAST).  On the flip side- my grandmother LOVED light blue, Aqua and turquoise.   She wore it so beautifully and it decorated most of her gorgeous home.  This has been the most impactful, positive color influence in my life.  Color can be as strong an association for people as the association they have to certain smells.  This is why it’s so imperative to listen to your clients, get to know them and honor their likes, dislikes and experiences.  It’s not whether I will like the finished product, it’s whether my clients like the finished product, it’s really all that matters!

Hey Pantone, give me a call when you are ready to announce the 2012 color of the year.   We should talk!


  1. Love the glorious pinks! What a great insight to pick colors by looking into both closets ... I guess that is why they say that color choice is very personal. Great post! Thanks for the shot of color. I needed it on a Monday after a week of school vacation AND freezing rain!

  2. What beautiful, crisp clear colorful pictures I can look at these all day. Very pleasant to the eyes. When they say picture perfect they must have been talking about these.