Enhance the outdoors with the inside

It is wonderful to make your home look natural by blending the inside with the outside. You could use natural wood accessories, fruit, vegetable and floral wallpaper in the kitchen or just replicate the colors of the environment like in the pic below.

How about lounging in this room?  Would you enjoy the view from these tall windows?

For the moment, let’s turn the old story to new. Think about enhancing the outdoors with the inside of your home?  Are you ready to give a personality to your home?

To begin with, here are some things to do to make a difference to your living

1.       Identify your home’s architectural style –Is it a modern apartment, an Arabic villa, a modern Arabic villa, a clean lines row house, a Mediterranean style villa, etc.

2.       Where do you live? – Is your home on a busy street or facing the sunny beach? Is it surrounded by a garden, pool or is it a exclusive mansion on a stretch of green and so on

3.       Remind yourself to NOT pick green for your home if the outside is green or blue if your apartment faces the beach.

4.       Identify the colors for your home - Think about your likes, dislikes and personal style. What colors make you calm and comfortable, are energizing and overall give you happiness?

If you were driving past, would you stop by to admire the scenic beauty below? The rich red appears to enhance the lushness and the effect is captivating.

Which of these houses are you tempted to take a peak?  Would you notice the grey one if it was by itself?

Take a look at this charming vignette. While the bright orange table and the ombre rattan chair hold their own, they seem to draw your attention to the surrounding green and clear blue.

The pastel shades of the bedroom below heighten the beauty of the environment. Even so, the greenery has a healing effect on the senses and the hues in the room calm the mind.  Don't you think?

How would you design your home? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Write to me - shailaja@colorsworth.com

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Blending Vintage with Modern

I love vintage home décor and furniture provided it’s not heavy and in the face. I have always wanted to get some stuff but I felt it would not suit my home. Though my house was old, it looked well maintained with a compact layout and no high ceilings. Nevertheless, there was roominess and warmth. What made me move in were these features plus the large kitchen and a light brown wood and black wrought iron staircase railing with pretty floral carving.

If you’re lucky to have a house with a true old home character or an apartment with an unusual appeal then decorate it in a way that preserves the past and brings out its modern traits.  The outcome? Enhanced warmth.  

Let’s look at this pretty bathroom. Minimalism in neutral colors augments the vintage design on the upper wall. I love everything in this blend of functionality and charm. 

Flip this design concept and you get a small wonder. What do you think of this?

Creating an authentic style by combining vintage and contemporary pieces gives a comfortable and relaxed feeling and makes the home less formal.

Here’s a dining area crafted by matching antique and modern décor.  Don’t you think the bright pink with weathered wood looks stunning?

Think about this. If you want to make a big splash, add vintage decor to your modern space. Take a look at these fascinating pieces that are meant to heighten the warmth and interest in the midst of clean solid lines.

Beaten by time, this large wooden door with elevated planters is out to get your attention and yet the modern design does not make it look out of place.  

This one would be perfect above a cozy kitchen dining table.

Can you imagine these amazing wine glasses on your contemporary dining set?  

Where would these antiques look good? By a corner or side seating in the living room? Or even a hallway area?

How about this arrangement with pops of color in your study?  

I love this buffet in the kitchen; a one of kind exotica that could well become an heirloom. Does it seem like the odd piece in this mix of modern texture, design and color?

Now would you part with this lovely vintage chair or find a place for it in your new home? 

Imagine this group of vintage maps on a gray wall above a sleek light taupe couch.  Do you think the vignette would be complete with a center table made of glass and light gray metal, peach flowers in a taupe vase and a set of gray, beige and peach coffee table books?

Would love to hear from you? What are your ideas about combining the old with the new? 

Color Trends from the 2017 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show

Color Trends from the 2017 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show

It is my pleasure to introduce Linda Holt and summarize her color and design contributions. A former professional photographer, an interior designer and color expert in the US located north of Boston, Massachusetts, Linda possesses two different Color Expert certifications and holds an esteemed position by serving on the Benjamin Moore Color Advisory board. She has been featured in both House Beautiful Magazine and The Huffington Post for her color expertise as well as earned a coveted spot as “designer of the Day” in Elle Décor magazine. She writes a weekly design blog and is the Home Consultant and regular contributor to Merrimack Valley Magazine sharing decorating tips and design trends

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Kitchen Happiness

My growing years in a small house gave the impression that a kitchen is about a short and sweet countertop, some drawers and shelves, a gas stove, and a small fridge in a corner. Several years later, my mother ensured that our new home had natural light flowing in in all the rooms. She picked a yellow with a hint of ochre for the kitchen that somehow looked brighter through the day.  Although the space was compact, yellow cabinet doors and drawers matched with light brown wooden shelves made it appear warm, comfortable and roomy.

As I entered the kitchen each morning, I felt cheerful. Warmth and coziness were synonymous with this attractive shade of yellow.

Here’s a beautiful thought after my own heart, yet it misses something. How about you?

Good times are created not just with good food and good people but also within a happy environment. So would a yellow kitchen inspire warmth and cheer?

White would work well for a small kitchen. if we then accessorize it with colors of our choice and pretty little things, it will transform into a welcoming space. 

An eclectic style would be amazing for a small kitchen space as well. What do you think?

How about a blue kitchen? Would you like to cook or serve here?

Or would you dare to be different and opt for a grey or a red or even experiment with dark colors like the pic below?

I would love to hear your thoughts. And do take a moment to ponder on this when you pick your color!

Nature inspired color palettes

Many reasons follow, but the top one why I revel in nature is its breathtaking colors. And these myriad colors are all encompassing; from the sky to the ground and what exists within. 

I see hues hidden within nature’s form and inspiring the most amazing color palettes for our living space.  Let’s take a look at the pic below. The colors of the flowers and stem make a pretty palette.

And here’s how we can transform a wall with these lovely colors.

While flowers seem to be the ideal color inspiration, a dead branch and its surroundings can be just as good to create an eye-catching décor piece.  What do you think of the pop of green in the arrangement?

And here again, we see great color inspiration from a mold gathering bark against a blue sky and greenery below. 

The bedroom with warm colors does capture a part of this palette, but given a chance to use some more colors the results might be stunning.

Can you imagine warm dark green cushions on the bed and a pale sea green for the throw and base of both lampshades?

I would also go for a much lighter shade of brown for the bed, side tables and the couch to match the wall colors, change the white bed linen to cream and take off the brown bolster and blanket.

A patina’s beauty can’t be ignored. Below, this old weather beaten door has a pretty color palette of warm neutrals and lighter greens.


In this light contemporary living room or outdoors, the colors of the patina are energizing with a fresh appeal.  Even so, the basic gray couch is forgotten as the touches of pink and deep yellow get more than their share of attention.

Just as well, the palette is enhanced in this garden design. Pink and yellow mingled in the door, plants and pathway, add to the artistry.



I see the peacock’s color palette as bold and striking. If used appropriately it can convert any ordinary space into an outstanding one. 

Take a look at this eclectic corner place. Don’t you love everything here?

The darker colors of nature can do their own trick. When berries are teamed together, you see a rare palette of bright, dark and light hues.

At Matador Room, The Miami Beach EDITION restaurant, the colors of summer berries produce a moody yet stimulating ambience for those seated at this row of tables.

Nature’s color phenomena will continue to enthrall us. What is your favorite nature inspired color palette? Would you pick these colors for your living space?

My Christmas Special

For various reasons, Christmas has been one of my best times of the year. The lights on the Christmas tree, Santa and “jingle bells” meant happiness and cheer and ushering the New Year with family and friends were moments I cherished.

This is the only occasion when I love seeing the combination of green, red, silver and gold. I realize now that it is the festive feeling that makes these colors look great together. Much as I am drawn to the beauty of Christmas, I am surprised and must admit that I have never owned anything that is a mix of red and green! 

Would you try out any of these color combinations for holiday style?

The colors of Christmas are a one time special - Green represents a time of healing while red stands for renewed strength.  

Today, I want to bring out the charm of red and green in the home, one that is unique to Christmas celebrations for billions of people around the world.

Decorating your home for Christmas should be simple and easy so that you can keep up the holiday spirit. What do you think of these DIY floating candle jars on your center table or dining table?

Now, can you imagine a snowman in the children’s bathroom? For sure, they would wash their hands more often than usual.

What do you think of transparent glass bottles to decorate the entryway…

….And mason jars for the kitchen?

Even so, the thought of gift-wrapping the door or the fridge is exquisite and a visual treat. What do you think of this?

While red, green and glitter is the Christmas tradition, green and grey against wood with pretty lighting can create rustic glam. 

Here’s an awesome idea to spruce up your white kitchen.

With the festive season round the corner, would you decorate your home in the traditional way or create your X’mas special?

Season's greetings! May 2017 bring you peace, health and happiness. 

Just Pink or Blue ?

In the early 2000s, I couldn’t imagine painting my kids’ rooms any other color but pink or blue. What's more is they wanted pink and blue. Their choices were a medium blue and pink and these colors seemed to impact their growing years. Blue instilled confidence and the pink enhanced sensitivity and care.

A decade later, a baby’s room is not just pink or blue; it’s colorful and fun. What do you think of this?

The idea is to create happiness with color and a space where the parents and child would enjoy spending a lot of time together.  While the nursery is a place created with love and sentiment, I am wary of bright colors and patterns.  They tend to be over-stimulating and make the room look busy when calm and quiet is much needed at the best of times.

Patterns like chevron in subdued colors would transform the room like magic. This well coordinated baby room is endearing. Don't you love it?

A livable space is not just about being stimulating. It needs to be safe, happy, warm, comfortable and enjoyable. Can you imagine playing with your baby for hours here?

Here the accent of pastel yellow stripes against soft green walls is fresh and cheerful and the pops of blue, red and orange brighten up the room.  And these colors work well for a baby boy or girl.

Touches of red in this blue and white room energize a toddler’s room. An appealing place, don’t you think?

Take a look a the space below. I love the deep blue accent wall with the rest of the bluish white.  Hints of lilac, gray, shades of bluish green and brown lend charm to this small place.  Would you use these colors for your baby girl’s nursery?

Last year a friend picked bluish grey and white for her baby boy’s room. Subtle use of colors in the accessories livened the room. The thought here was to create a space which the family could enjoy through the child’s growing years.

Looks like the rooms below support this thinking. Depending on how fast our kids grow up, we could make basic changes like changing picture frames and accessories and replacing stuffed toys with books shelves. 


livable space for grwoing years 2.jpg

Colors stretch the imagination and permit bold experimentation. Take a look at the pic below. Would you pick black and white for your baby’s room?  If so, why would you make this choice? 

Are dark colors dark?

While Benjamin Moore (BM) announced Simply White as the color of the year 2016, it is already talking about darker color trends much before the year ends. In fact BM’s color of the year 2017 is Shadow, a moody shade of purple and one of the 27 colors trending next year.


With mysterious properties, Shadow seems as though it is meant for those who are not afraid of color changes as per the quality of light flowing into the room.

Lets look at this purple room in the afternoon light.....

….And now at sunset.

Dark colors for a living space have been discussed for a long time and after consistent research over the last few years they have earned their rightful place in our lives.  For example, Sherwin Williams advocated Exclusive Plum for the year 2014 and Pantone launched Marsala in 2015. 

Exclusive Plum

Exclusive Plum


The idea is to create mood and drama with dark colors. They tend to give an impression that one is ready to experiment and go beyond the comfort zone of neutrals.

And the cherry on top is: dark colors make smaller rooms seem bigger, corners feel cozy and private and a not so well lit space, look stunning.  

Using white paint or neutrals in a small room or in a place that lacks light is going to make it look dull and sad. Would this all white bathroom work for you?

BM’s trending color palette is a combination of earthy hues and dark colors. Pair the dark colors with neutrals and you get some attractive matches to suit your style and home. Color trends lend perspective and open up our mind and what matters is picking the color that makes us feel happy, energized and comfortable.

Would you paint dark colors for your room?

The Color Run 2016

While I can’t stop seeing, feeling thinking color, I can’t understand how I missed this amazing opportunity to be part of the Color Run a week ago. I am so disappointed!

That said, when I saw pictures and videos of the happy crowds at the event, I felt exhilarated. Dressed in all white, I imagined myself running into a riot of color and a wave of fun and happiness sweeping over. 

Even so, when I knew that my sister in law, Arshia and nephew, Faiz had participated, I was proud of their achievement.

A rush of vivid color combinations can have a heightened impact on the mind and spirit.  A liberating feeling, well….almost.  Called the “Happiest 5K on the planet”, those who take part have their own reasons to do so. 

What would you run for- to get initiated into running long distance if you are not, party in the midst of dance and music, color love, or just plain curiosity? Whatever your reasons are, you would end up energized and happy.

Either way, the idea of the Color Run is to encourage all of the above and more. But before this, it is first about creating awareness that color makes us happy.  What is awesome about the event is getting bathed in color as you run which intensifies the “happiness” experience. The degree I guess would vary from person to person.

The next Color Run is on 25th March 2017, Abu Dhabi. This time I have put a reminder on my phone. Would you like to join me?

My Spa Special

My experience at The Barai at Hua Hin, Thailand was out of this world. I felt rejuvenated in its natural surroundings and structural beauty of the vast property.

Built to fulfill the personal wellness purpose, The Barai Resort Spa is a sanctum with its luxurious suites and treatment rooms. It was in these treatment rooms, that I felt more special and spoilt. Each day was one of its kinds where a new pair of hands worked towards exclusive care and attention. After the first day, there was more to “The Spa Special” (TSS) that struck me.

As I walked the passage to the Salarai or open pavilions to reach the treatment room, I felt the calm and serenity of the temple like structure under the open sky. The earthy colors gave a sense of being grounded. 

While the dim lighting in the treatment room offset the gold and pinkish red, daylight seeped in through multi colored star- shaped glass pieces set into a wooden door. This visual treat uplifted my mood and I relaxed even more.  I was sensing every moment in that room. The width of the space was more than comfortable for a single person; somehow the tall ceilings added to the mood. I realized that individual space was more important than being alone in a large room. 

The total experience made the Spa special. Not just the treatment but also the right mood created by colors, design, and lighting, most of all its quiet beauty and space.

Let's take a look at the spa at the Hilton Jumeirah, Dubai. Don’t you think it has some things in common with TSS?

Here’s a nondescript treatment place in Deira Dubai. Uncanny how this Ayurvedic massage center makes me feel as though a wave of calmness has swept through.  For sure, it’s those earthy colors and beautiful lighting!

Look at this modern spa in The Address Boulevard, a five star hotel in Dubai. Would this be your private spot for an hour or two?  Does the off white with wood and tall windows create a tranquil ambiance? 

Add the element of luxury to warm colors and perfect lighting and you get the Cleopatra Spa in Wafi Mall Dubai.  Would this work for you?  

Opulence is a feature of some reputed hotels in Dubai. The Rixos Royal Spa below is a work of art yet does it serve the purpose of TSS?


Neutrals and dark wood with orange create an harmonious environment at the Dubai Ladies Club Spa Earthy and vibrant hues together make for a calm and energized effect in this treatment enclave.

Grandiose v/s Unpretentious. What would your Spa choice be?

Are colors fashionable?

A flying start to my holiday a couple weeks ago was frenzied packing. It was not one but two suitcases (for the first time) for two different trips: one for a getaway in Thailand and another for chilling time, if you like, with family back home.

After ten minutes of staring at the line-up in my wardrobe, I pulled out my new Marsala dresses. I was so happy looking at the color of these dresses that I imagined feeling great when I wear them.

Fashion is contagious. Every time I see trendy outfits or shoes I want them.  Telling myself to be discerning is the only way such compelling moments fizzle out. The rationale behind this is that fashion is about personal style; it’s what makes us feel and look good. And color is integral to this equation.

Colors make your mood. In winter, a pink scarf could lift our spirits.  Don’t you love this attractive shade of pink to brighten up your neutrals?

White is regarded as a color of wholeness and perfection.  Wearing white (or off-white) at official meetings tends to convey a business like approach but also opens a way for creating anything the mind can perceive.  Just the perfect choice for Mrs. Hillary Clinton’s business suit at the recent presidential debate!

Purple is a color of leadership therefore a fabulous option for executive women. 

Via Pinterest, expresssurvey.com

While rich shades of purple merge with the beauty of fall, Vogue announces mauve and pink, glitter and red as the Fall/Winter trends for 2016-2017.   Gold metallic and shades of tan are New York Fashion Week’s perspectives for some top fall trends this year.  However at the end of the day, trends are just suggestions and whether we follow them is a matter of personal choice.

Would you match up any of these dark lipsticks below with your outfits this season? I would go straight up for the first four from the left. 

Yellow shoes are a hot favorite for any age. I love the striking color combinations here- dark blue black with yellow and electric blue with yellow. The pretty yellow bag caught my eye  as it completes the stylish look.

Via Pinterest / streetstyleseconds.com

Via Pinterest/shoes for women over 50

I have fallen in love with this cool fashionista’s sense of style and color coordination. Can’t miss four wonderful shades of blue paired with pale pink and highlighter green and pink! I can imagine teenagers who have flair for fashion would love this casual yet well-turned out gear.

Laura Capon, a fashion and beauty writer talks about teenage fashion in her recent article. Velvet is the trend this winter for older teenagers. They can wear any style in burgundy, pink, nude, tan and black.

Source: Laura Capon/Sugarscape

So it looks like fashion and color is all encompassing this fall and winter 2016.  Now, this makes me even more of an ardent follower of Pantone, my Color Guru. I would be inclined to wear any of the top 10 colors in Pantone’s fashion color report for fall 2016.

The delight of food

I am not a foodie nor do I enjoy cooking everyday. (I can almost hear you saying “Really? No way!”) But here’s the good part - the few times that I cook, I do it with great love and care. Feelings overtake the notion that it is an unending, time-consuming chore.  The second good thing is the joy I experience when I color coordinate the repertoire for family or guests. This is what makes me jump into the process. I organize things quickly and slip into cooking with all my heart and attention.

Color makes food appealing and whets the appetite as against immaculate presentation that makes it look like a piece of art.  For instance, would you try the salad below?

Lana Grass

Or would you go for this one? 

Source unknown, www.pexels.com

I think you know what the answer is J.

I would snack on peanuts, butter is welcome anytime and can do jelly on toast before the actual breakfast.  But peanut butter on its own or with jelly is forever on top of my “never to do” list. I would not contemplate it in the hungriest moments.

The peanut butter and jelly sandwich below turned me around. I was drooling in seconds and almost dashed to the kitchen!  No doubt it is a delicious looking shot, yet I can well attribute my change of heart to the power of colors here. 

I believe people finish everything on their plate at A Gianni. This no frills restaurant in Barcelona is well known for its fabulous Italian food.  You want to go for the meal as soon as it arrives; yet you catch a moment to notice the balance of color in every dish on the table. Isn’t that amazing?

The ability to appeal (or not appeal) belongs to colors and how well they are brought together.

Here’s a vendor in India who believes he can sell better than others in his group through a creative display of rice and lentils. What would you do if were passing by and could do with some restocking?

In India, the fantastic flavors of food come from its spices. Spices give flavor, aroma and color to the food. 

You can juggle spices to make red, green or yellow curries -feel the warmth with a red one and freshness with the green. To cheer you up, try yellow. 

This one is for food lovers - Would it matter if your food has no color appeal? I might just try it out some time soon.

Sands of time: A color inspiration

It is a hot day in June and we are driving past the vast stretch of sand along the highway. As we go, deep dunes change color from cream or light beige to red brown in the interior of the country.

The splendor of The Arabian Desert lies in the interplay of colors. In reality, color has no physical existence. It can only exist in the presence of light and our perception of color is about personal experience.

In case you are unfamiliar, I want to share the desert’s beauty through the day and at night and how its resplendence can inspire some awesome color palettes for your living.

Here is the desert on a not so bright day.

Looks like the bedroom below has captured the colors of the calming landscape like magic. I love every single thing in it. The hues, texture and the design detail are arresting. I was never one for pairing black with pale pink, being high contrast colors.  But clever use of the combination here is pleasing to eye.

The desert against the setting sun is a feast for the eyes.  Don’t you love the gorgeous blend of colors?

The outdoor space below reflects the scenic splendor you just saw, in a unique way. Colors flowing from the flowerpots, wooden beams, tiled floor through to the fireplace find their home in the evening sky and desert.

I can imagine the striking blue and beige gold in a moonlit desert inspiring a lifestyle trend.

Do you love this amazing capture of the desert night in the corner below? The best part of this beautiful vignette is that it embraces warmth in spite of its rich blue accent and gold highlights. The refreshing green couch and the white chairs soften the plush appearance as it were forbidding aloofness among people sitting there.

Take a look at this entryway. Conspicuous hints of gold, a textured light brown cabinet, deep blue vase with a widespread plant make a statement in the backdrop of subtle white and grey, and pop of blue on the side. Though the color and design has a purpose, it has a timeless quality like the beauty of the desert at night.

If you are ready to do a color design for your home or office, it is well worth looking at your landscape for inspiration. 

Color & Well-being

Color & Well-being

At a Wellness event, I spoke about color and its importance to our lives and general well-being.  Whether we are aware of it or not, color plays a huge role in our lives. From the clothes we wear in the morning, to the foods we buy, to the brands we reach for in the pharmacy, color is influencing us. 

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Are you in awe of color?

Recently, I did a color consultation for a client who said, “We are not afraid of color”. I was pleasantly surprised to hear this. Interiors of homes in the UAE are usually painted in light neutrals for two distinct reasons. One, geographically, light colors beat the heat and gel with desert hues. Two, psychologically, white, off-whites, cream, beige are low-key and sober.

I toured the villa they were currently staying in and observed their color choice and sense of design. The couple’s personal style was muted, yet the living room wall had a classic rich shade of mauve with a tone of gray to emphasize the tall ceiling and large space.  They made good use of beige as well to go with some of the oriental dark wood furniture.

We then walked through the new villa they were going to move to after their summer holiday. It is a beautiful courtyard house close to the beach and the mud exterior with wind towers took me back to the old days. The two-storied house had five bedrooms, living and dining, kitchen, open TV space and a terrace on top.

I was waiting for this moment - to experience my client’s love for color. The icing on the cake was how the couple, like me, would have only Benjamin Moore color in their home. I was joyous and all set to pick my color palette.

In natural daylight, I put up one or two color samples on the walls and trim of each room. I made suggestions that were mindful of their color dislikes. 

My client made quick choices.  She agreed on the hallway and woodwork colors and that only the bathroom doors would be painted.

The final palette was warm. Pink that was calming, mid-tone lavender with gray that made one feel grounded, shades of beige that were quiet, yellow to brighten, and cheer and blue to bring cool and calm.

The “connecting” color was Sugar Cookie, a creamy off-white with the toasty warmth of freshly baked sugar cookies.  It looks a pale, slightly yellow shade that reminds you of soft, smooth butter. It was used for all the ceilings, woodwork and metal window frames.

The exception was the playroom. The walls were cool yet vibrant blue, the trim was white and a less vibrant blue shade was used on the ceiling. One wall was finished with Chalkboard paint in the same color.  

Playroom – Ceiling: Turquoise Haze; Trim: white; Walls: BM Cayman Blue

Their daughter who has blue eyes, loves the color blue, so her bedroom was also another shade of blue.

Child’s Bedroom: Ceiling: BM Sugar Cookie; Trim: BM Crystal Springs; Walls: BM Skyscraper

The color scheme in three out of the five bedrooms was the same. The ceilings in the office, guest room and child’s bedroom was painted Sugar Cookie, while the trim color was a shade lighter than the shade of the wall color.  

Office : Ceiling: BM Sugar Cookie; Trim: BM Paisley Pink; Walls: BM Paris Romance

The walls in the hallway were San Pedro Morning, a timeless, elegant yellow; ceilings and staircase sidewalls were painted Sugar Cookie to go with the black wrought iron railings. 

Top and bottom left : Open TV space; Walls: BM Bayshore Beige  | Top right: First Storey Corridor; Walls: BM San Pedro Morning| Bottom right : Stairway: Ceilings, Railings and staircase sidewalls: BM Sugar Cookie

The living and dining room walls were Bar Harbor Beige. An elegant color again. We used it to cover the tray ceiling and give height to the room. A small egg shaped ceiling and trim embedded in the tray ceiling were painted Sugar Cookie. 

Top : Living area; Bottom: Dining area; Walls; BM Bar Harbor Beige

The ceilings in the open The TV space and the Master bedroom were treated like the living and dining area.

Master bedroom: Walls: BM Sandlot Gray

The kitchen had tiled walls and floor with a yellow undertone. We painted Sugar cookie on the ochre brown wood cabinets to match the tile color. 

Kitchen- BEFORE

Kitchen - AFTER

Overall, the entire palette offset the cream tiled flooring and molding through the house.

The painters plodded for three weeks. During this time, I saw the truest of colors in some of the rooms while other rooms felt warmer depending on their exposure to daylight.  At night, the rooms felt less warm. 

What mattered most was that the house was now a home; a home that reflected the tranquility and sense of permanence of it surroundings; a home that the family enjoyed living in.


Dubai's Colors of Hospitality

My tribute to Dubai continues.  A city espousing tourism for nearly two decades, it brings to life its tradition of hospitality in innovative ways to attract millions of visitors each year. The city’s efforts are unyielding; Dubai remains poised towards providing an extraordinary experience of immense warmth and comfort in the beauty of color and design.

This modern city’s attractions are its shopping malls and hotels. Each mall is a visual feat; a visit to one mall triggers the curiosity to visit the next. Colors are bold, warm and beckoning. 

While color and design could be understated in a few malls, one cannot fail to see the opulence. 

Whether the city celebrates festive seasons or milestones, its unique character is evident in the glitz of light and color.


There is never a dearth of hotels, restaurants and cafes in Dubai. Checking out a place is an important part of socializing or conducting business; a new joint is like a breath of fresh air. Whether it is the food or the ambience or both, any place holds its own through color and style.

Small, medium or large, huge effort and creativity go into making a place what it is. Every eating or shopping outlet offers a one-of-a-kind experience and one can’t help but marvel at the diversity of color, design and style. Here, the city is full of surprises.

Hatam, a popular Persian restaurant has many outlets in Dubai. The restaurant’s color and design either blends with the quiet ambience of a classic mall, or stands out in a busy food court or has it own presence in the area it is located. In spite of variations in appearance, a common palette of warm red, orange and creamy yellow set in dark wood creates the brand’s recognition.  


Again, consistency of color and design may not be typical of many hotel chains as well. Hotels tend to reflect the culture of the region. Take The Oberoi Al Zorah in Ajman’s natural setting. The property has spacious rooms and al fresco restaurants that exude a feeling of warmth and openness of the desert.

This luxurious hotel is elegant in neutral colors, subtle arabesque patterns and simple yet attractive lanterns.


On another note, The Royal Ascot in the heart of the city is eclectic in color and design. The classic exterior in light beige with black wrought iron balconies belies the regal hotel lobby in red and gold.

As the lobby area extends, floral patterns in green and orange emerge on a beige background.

Rooms have calming neutrals and orange with a dash of red. Set in dark brown wood, the palette is gold, orange, and red combined with neutrals attempting to tone the grandeur down.

In the midst, we see an all red wood restaurant. With striped orange seats fitted on oriental chairs and electric blue and red cylindrical lights thrown in, the space creates discordance leaving you feeling uneasy.

Dubai’s hospitality spells big, bold or beautiful. Its ambassadors are always ready to experiment and continue to offer an ending variety for us to pick whatever suits our senses.




Dubai's Journey of Color

Dubai has been my home for 20 years, a city that holds a special place in my heart. It is here that I have achieved a sense of freedom, treasured milestones, and personal successes. There couldn’t be a better reason for me to pay my love and respect to this ever-surprising city through my love for color.

Color is the most basic medium of visual appeal. It transcends into every part of life, in things we eat, play, work or do to just relax with.  

Our association with color in more ways than one is innate and is a reflection of our personality, style and even moods. Unwittingly it gives us a certain character and a means to identify with. And just as it defines us, it defines cities as well.

Dubai has travelled a journey of color that befits the city’s growth over time. When it was established as a city in its own right and started shaping up, houses, buildings and mosques wore variations of neutrals or shades of grey, beige, cream and off-white.

It seemed as if the city was a unified stretch of desert expanse depicting the “Colors of our Land.” The city held its own in these humble yet proud beginnings, and to this day it has not forgotten its roots. And forty-five years later it has evolved to a modern city in the sand. For example, here is the recently opened Four Seasons.

The colors of the city have become just as vibrant as it is. Welcoming warmth and vigor are felt in Dubai’s version of the Box Park of London.

But one also sees creativity, innovation and an attitude of having arrived through the bright red, green, blue and yellow boxes cordoned by a row of colorful pillars and Palm trees. Somewhere a space is intentionally created to house a red croc and pink penguins which seem to break the monotony of sharp design. 

  At some distance from the Box Park, on a busy avenue, is another colorful feast. One of a kind, the City Walk incites a discovery into its journey of colors while luring you to spend long cool evenings in a variety of cafes and restaurants. And there’s more coming to this big time getaway!


At some distance from the Box Park, on a busy avenue, is another colorful feast. One of a kind, the City Walk incites a discovery into its journey of colors while luring you to spend long cool evenings in a variety of cafes and restaurants. And there’s more coming to this big time getaway!



Fireworks on New Year’s Eve showed a riot of colors, with shades of Marsala thrown in, as if it were honoring Pantone’s choice of color for 2015. 

Yet again in the youthful and energetic colors of modern Dubai, flows stylish elegance. Neutrals are still seen in fine dining restaurants while vivid blues combined with beautiful design depict some of the finest mosques and malls in the city.  In a way, an ever-evolving Dubai is continuously created through experimentation with color. 

Cool blue and green glass buildings are a common feature in a mix of warm pink glass buildings.

Colors go well with the architectural theme of schools, shopping malls and parks. In this innovative style of a kids' nursery here, one can sense the enduring comfort and warmth of colors.

The Ibn Batuta mall, a signature mall, is regionally inspired with a combination of bright colors and modern design in many ways.  

The Starbucks here takes on the regional modern concept of store design while creating a calm respite from the busyness.

Geared towards making an indelible mark on the globe, Dubai’s futuristic vision has anchored itself in myriad expressions of color. It is a city that is a visual delight in the day and at night.