Plates Wallpaper + Why Limited Color Palettes Can Work

This wallpaper is inspired by vintage blue tableware and has a uniquely Dutch vibe, doesn't it? It's designed and printed by Studio Ditte in the Netherlands and sold in stores worldwide, I found it today over at Catkin Collection. I've blogged about Studio Ditte before (here) but this is their latest pattern and I just love it -- it's so fresh and clean.

I fancy the different scenes and also the various shades of blue, don't you? The birds and the windmills are very sweet. I find it so interesting to see products that stick to very limited color palette yet look amazing and inspirational. And I often wondered why that is - how can a product that is basically just blue (and white) be so captivating? If you were to create a blue and white room, would it equally charm you or?

After much thought I've come to realize that is really has to do with tints and tones of that color and how well you use them. It's not about using a single tone - say indigo blue - and mixing it with lots of white and putting a room together. In a room, there is also lighting and texture that come into play to create a gorgeous space with a limited palette. But it's really about using different tints and tones of blue, often ranging from light to dark, to add visual interest, depth and of course, personality and life.

Lots of people fear a limited palette - it's almost suffocating to them to imagine using only a few colors in a room. Everyone is different, and since decorating is subjective, it's all about what works for you personally. Some people like to put labels on others and feel that if they don't use tons of color they really don't have a good understanding of color or are "cop outs", meaning they are just using it as some strange excuse for being unable to successfully marry colors into a environment for a cohesive look. Like they can't -- so they just fall back on white or beige because they don't know how to work with color, for example. I don't buy into that. We decorate using colors that we love - even if that means using color in small doses. We are all so unique, some can live in neutral spaces and others simply cannot, there is no wrong or right.

Wait.

There is a wrong - wrong is when you decorate according to what you think others want you to express or share or pretend to be and not according to who you truly are, so wrong decorating is to deny yourself the freedom of displaying your authentic expression of self in your home - no matter how "white" or "neutral" or "colorful" or "pastel" that is may be. It's your home, your way.

I don't find a limited palette suffocating, in some ways for me it is total freedom because the less visual stimulation in my, say work space, the more the images and ideas in my head can rise to the top and be freed and transformed into actual work.

When my surroundings are too stimulating with tons of bright, energetic colors and patterns all around, my brain freezes and I can't accomplish much. I was never the kid that thrived in primary colored classrooms. I thrived in art class with the white walls, art wall with taped works pinned up, smell of clay and paint (very earthy and exciting to me), the large wooden work tables, the potter's wheel in the corner... I still remember each art room that I had at school since grade school with absolute clarity. I thrived in such spaces where we had less clutter around us, when everything was in its out container, and where color and pattern was placed in very specific locations and not scattered everywhere but then when you did find that location, it was a bit chaotic -- randomly tacked and taped things on walls, for instance -- but altogether on a single wall. Which made me realize that I thrive under situations that could be described as organized but also chaotic - but mostly organized chaos. I wouldn't want everything neat and in a row, paints can all be thrown into a big bucket without rhyme or reason, but they still all need to be in that one big bucket.

Something about a lot of white space around, or neutrals with splashes of color here and then, definitely works for me in my home office as an adult, too. However, a wallpaper like this one shown above would be fun in a dining room on one wall (or on the ceiling with deep indigo walls and crisp white moldings!) or in the kitchen -- because in those places I'm social and I want to feel energetic so strong graphics as a focal point - for instance a wall with this paper behind my stove, could be absolutely perfect, quirky and fun.

I wonder if you think like I do when you see things that you are naturally drawn to - do you intentionally try to figure out what about it works or where in your home you could imagine enjoying it, or do you simply like it but could never imagine living with it? For me, I love the blue porcelain plates wallpaper by Studio Ditte and could absolutely use it in a small dose somewhere in my home but definitely not in my office space!

(images: studio ditte)