Why I Love Color

I often like to say that, as a designer, I offer a signature experience, not a signature look. Every interior I create is a one-of-a-kind space custom-tailored to each client's wants and needs. I don't have a particular type of client, and I don't have a particular style – instead I pride myself on being able to work with a broad spectrum of people and looks.

My mission as a designer is to express my clients' personalities through the design of their spaces. People hire my team to make their interiors special and to feel like a reflection of who they are. I believe that the greatest way to reflect your personality in an interior is through color. (By the way, it works for wardrobes, too.)

 Traditional living space with mint green painted walls

What do your color choices say about you? Do you play things safe? Are you adventurous? The art of interior design can reveal your personality by answering questions like these. But just because you love burnt orange doesn't mean I'll paint your bedroom walls in that hue. Instead, I play with colors you love and balance them with contrasting and complementary hues to create visual effects and moods. That might mean painting walls a cool tone in order to make the orange and red pillows on a bed really pop. This kind of careful color balancing act can create the sanctuary a client craves, for example, while incorporating the fiery colors she adores.

This game of tones is layered and sophisticated. I have a keen understanding of color theory and balance, but I also believe that color is feeling. That's one reason we ask clients to bring in images that inspire them as we get started during our discovery process. Do you want a calm or an energetic space? Do you want to entertain in a particular room, or have a sense of intimacy? By finding out what our clients love, want, and need, we can interpret what they want through color.

 Dramatically colored living room with orange silk drapes

Like color, there's also a lot of joy to be had by surrounding yourself with other things you love. Perhaps these are works of art, travel mementos, or sentimental heirlooms. I never advise clients to get rid of these or hide them behind closed doors. Instead, I find a way to showcase beloved things or even passions, such as music, fine wine, or collections – whether they're made up of valuable pottery or amusing tchotchkes. I'm not here to judge; I just love helping people to live the best lives they can.

My natural curatorial eye is always seeking out the best way to tell a story, and color often will inform how I set a collection apart or make it noticeable. Do we create a single backdrop for it in a particular shade? Or can we visually connect the collection throughout a space using color, even if pieces are not all displayed in one area? Sometimes, all it takes is a fresh set of (experienced) eyes to help you develop that visual language.

 Bright master bedroom with tufted ottoman and ruby red art pieces

Above all else, my fundamental goal is to create a joyous backdrop for my clients to live their lives to the fullest. I want my designs to put people at ease and make them comfortable and proud of their lives – and the spaces that helps them define them. Everything I do is about helping my clients live well. But “living well” doesn't automatically come from being surrounded by expensive fabrics or luxe finishes; rather, it's about living with an appreciation for the things that make you happy.

Ask yourself what it is that inspires and appeals to you. Your home should tell your story and be made up of the things that you love most, collected and assembled thoughtfully to inspire you each day. At Dane Austin Design, we take that knowledge and bring it to life with confidence, clarity, and creativity. If you're all about boring builder beige, I may not be the designer for you. But if you're looking for somebody to go on an exciting, introspective design journey with, you've come to the right place.

 

Yian Q