As I spend time looking at local neighborhoods and perusing online real estate listings, I'm thinking a lot about exterior paint color combinations. In the majority of neighborhoods in the US (at least all the ones I've ever been in), houses are generally painted in variations of brown, gray, white, green, yellow, blue, and red. But the colors are always pretty muted: the reds are more brick reds, the yellows like butter, and the greens olive or forest. (But it seems like there's always one blue house that is a weirdly electric color and stands out like a sore thumb.)
Wouldn't it be amazing if our neighborhoods were as vibrant as these blocks in Cape Town, as photographed by Gray Malin? Those blue houses would be right at home among the lavenders and oranges and limes and other saturated colors.
I can't imagine how fun it would be to live in a technicolor neighborhood and see where everyone took their house color-wise. I think I would be insanely happy every time I walked on my street.
Of the standard colors, I've always gravitated toward gray houses, and my last house was light gray, but lately I've seen a few houses around town that are purple. Subtle though—the purples have gray or brown undertones and they look really nice. Something like this color, left (Cabernet, 2116-30 Benjamin Moore). So maybe I should go in that direction for something a little less typical?
If you could paint your house any color--neighborhood associations and judgmental neighbors be damned--what color would you choose? Or for more inspiration, check out my exteriors board.
In 2011, I was very happy to meet California-based wallpaper designer Tracy Hiner during the Architectural Digest Home Design Show at the Javits Center and chat with her for a while, because her work is amazing.
It’s bright, it’s bold, it’s abstract, it’s textural—it’s not for the faint of heart. Tracy’s designs are as much art as they are wall coverings. Specializing in artistic wallpapers and custom wall murals, her company Black Crow Studios thrives on bespoke projects where creativity can run rampant, and patterns have no repeat, at least not in the traditional sense.
When Tracy posted a picture of the paper shown above coming off the printer, I immediately wrote her to tell her how much I loved it. I couldn’t wait to share it here.
After two chance meetings with a young, talented (and extremely brave!) photographer named Gray Malin, the pair came together to adapt Malin's beautiful images on a large scale as the Gray Malin xo Black Crow Studios collection of designer wallpapers. Tracy has collaborated with designers before, but this latest collection marks the first time she has worked with a photographer.
I wish I could say I knew of Malin before two weeks ago, but I will be constantly be coveting his work from now on. He shoots aerial photos of landscapes—beaches, in particular—by hanging out the side of a door-less helicopter to capture these stunning shots. (The idea of this terrifies me.)
His work is captivating—I really can't get enough of the saturated colors and the umbrellas, people, and paraphernalia unconsciously creating patterns along the beach.
I love images that relate to pool and beach culture (à la Slim Aarons), so I had to find out more about this gorgeous wallpaper that made me swoon. A select few images from Malin’s À La Plage series, shot from various heights above six continents, have been interpreted into photo-realistic scenes on three different surface materials, including one that is removable.
The colors are so vivid I will admit I kept looking for evidence that they were enhanced, but the settings depicted are really just that beautiful.
Below, are about half of the styles from the new collection: Another design inspired by an original photo and several of the geometric and striped patterns Malin conceived based on the umbrellas and cabanas always in his lens.
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