Designer Color Palette: Posh, Pretty, Peppy

Pretty, Posh & Peppy

Graceful mauve and posh silver take a daring turn in this color palette with the addition of tart citron and vibrant raspberry. The unique color combination creates a study of contrasts and results in what designer Janet Lee calls "a pretty posh paradox".

Designer: Janet Lee

Getting Started:

Use a ratio formula to help you put together a color scheme. Choose one main color to serve as 40-60 percent of your color palette, then one to two supporting colors to comprise 30-40 percent of your color palette, and fill the remainder with one to two accents. Thinking of color this way can help you determine how much of each color to use. Go to the next slide to see how this scheme breaks out.

The Colors

As the foundational color in this palette, a shade of mauve that's not quite purple sets the tone for a feminine and whimsical, yet fully modern color palette. Doses of citron and raspberry are supporting colors and are a dynamic, energetic duo because they hail from the opposite sides of the color wheel. Use more citron than raspberry so that the room maintains the balance of power between electric and feminine. Lee describes the combination as a decidedly feminine palette rife with contradiction. "Pairing a soft mauve pastel with the intense vibrancy of citron soothes and surprises the eye at the same time," Lee says. 

A mid-tone gray completes the palette as the neutral. With purple undertones, the gray coordinates with the scheme's leading lady, mauve and harmonizes to let the citron-raspberry contrast play out to its full contrast.

Pretty, Posh & Peppy: Purple Reign

"I like the contrast between the soft pastel tone of the mauve-grey and the intensity of the citron yellow. It gives a room vitality, sexiness and a sense of surprise. The citron also keeps the palette from being too precious and feminine," says Lee.

Pretty, Posh & Peppy: Hints of Pink

Mixing in an unexpected color can be the oomph that takes the room to the next level. In this palette, raspberry is the wild card. Lee suggests a pink chair to anchor the space in an unexpected way. In a bedroom, an upholstered headboard can pack the same punch. When using an accent, repeat it once or twice in the room. Keep the accents small, such as a vase or pillow, so that the accent color doesn't overshadow the primary colors.

Pretty, Posh & Peppy: The Right Dosage

Citron is a strong color. If the acid-y yellow-green is a tad strong for your tastes, simply hint at the color with small accents, such as pillows, vases or lamps. Or look for patterns that incorporate just a whisper of the color alongside other hues. Crisp white ampliphies the affect of neon or acidic hues while a gray or soft white neutralize the shocking colors.

Pretty, Posh & Peppy: Silver Shine

Silver accents literally make the palette shine. This hint of glam draws out the feminine traits of the palette in a sophisticated way. And accents aren't limited to accessories. Lee suggests using silver paint to stencil a Hollywood Regency-inspired pattern on the walls (see the resources slide for her pick). "Stenciling is actually very easy and you'll feel like a design star afterwards. The ticker is to use a dry brush technique -- with very little paint," says Lee.

Rock crystals and lucite or clear acrylic trays and handles will add shine. "I love the addition of rock crystal chunks in their very raw form sitting on a lucite tray or collected as a grouping displayed in a fireplace hearth," says Lee.

Get the Look!

Ready to decorate? Shop the products that will help you bring this look home!


Citron fabric: Thomas Paul Plume in Chartreuse, Calico Corners,

Use for: Window treatments

Raspberry fabric: Lattice Bamboo in Raspberry, Calico Corners

Use for: Pillows or bench cushions.

Bird fabric: Thomas Paul Perch in Lilac, Calico Corners

Use for: Pillows

Purple paint: Martha Stewart by Glidden, Gloaming, #170, Home Depot,

Use for: Walls

Silver paint: Martha Stewart Living Metallic Paint in Polished Silver 343-560, Home Depot

Use for: Stenciling

Stencil: Modern Deco Damask, Royal Design Studio,

Use for: Walls

Paper background: Precious Leathers Embossed Paper in Pewter Gray Gator, Paper Mojo,

Use for: Lining the back of a bookcase

Fuchsia Chair: Nina Chair, World Market, (See it at ShopBHG!)

Not pictured: Paint: Citron #2024-30, Benjamin Moore,

Use for: Accent furniture

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