Collecting Color Stories

Collecting Color StoriesI receive a lot of questions about my design process, usually relating to my dress collections. For the next few weeks I am going to share about the design process, in little bits! For me, the process starts out the same whether I have fashion in mind, paintings or home decor. It's a surprisingly similar process, no matter what the project. Step one is always color.

Painted Color Story CardsWhen I'm dreaming about a new collection (or even a single project, like a painting or a room plan) I like to spend some time playing with color. Sometimes I'll take a trip to the hardware store and pick out paint swatches in the colors I'm loving. Sometimes I'll rip from magazines and make a color story inspiration board. Sometimes I'll use paint and markers to map out my options. I like to see different color stories on paper before choosing one for my project. This is one of my favorite parts of the creative process. 

It's important to remember that your color story is not a commitment to only use those colors. I usually don't like things to be too matchy-matchy. Your color story is the backbone of your design. You'll work other color around it, choosing things that add to the story. There are no hard and fast rules. You can always change your mind. What I love is that planning your color story will save time and simplify your creative process, allowing you to focus more on other details. 

Autumn Dress Collection Color StoryHere are a few examples from my past work. This dress collection had one of my favorite color stories. It was rich and very seasonal. I'm at Autumn girl at heart, so I always gravitate toward these tones. The pea green color and deep teal made the whole story for me. I really enjoyed working with this palette the whole way through. 

Living Room Color StoryWhen I was decorating our newlywed home I didn't pre-plan a color story, it happened naturally over six months or so. I was always adding and taking things away until it felt right. If I would have planned the color story in advance I probably would have finished much faster, but I was enjoying the scenic route with this project. For our next home I'm pre-planning each room's color story. (1/2 to save time + 1/2 because it's fun)

Wedding Day Color StoryI knew I wanted a colorful wedding, so when I chose white and cream bridesmaids dresses people were a little surprised. I saved the pop of color for the tights and flowers and I'm so happy I did. Sometimes a strong color scheme is best used in smaller details! I'm a fan of neutral designs with bright accents. 

I hope that this little look behind my process has been helpful to some of you. I'll be back soon to share more thoughts on the basic design habits that I practice. If you have any questions, let me know! Happy Monday, Elsie  

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