Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

A Mercantile Meal: In honor of what it takes to make something worth making.

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Two weeks ago, we gathered together with a few of our closest friends in Portland, Oregon to celebrate the spirit of creativity and collaboration. Colorhouse and Rejuvenation have come together this summer to create the Mercantile Color Collection – 36 timeless, interior hues inspired by items found in bulk bins at General Stores of old. Color names include CHALK, TEA, SEED, DENIM, SPICE, and FLINT.

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Elder Hall proved to be the perfect location for this celebration. A new community event space by Ned Ludd chef, Jason French, this shaker-inspired interior has the Mercantile colors TEA .02, DENIM .05, and FLINT .05 on it’s newly painted walls.

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The evening began with our friends helping to “set the table”. We brought our pedal-powered spin art bike that created individual works of art for the table runner.

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Tanner Goods brought their leather press for making napkin-holders and Mazama ceramic water glasses and pitchers brought the beauty of the handmade to the extended family-style tables. Kiriko quilts made from vintage Japanese textiles surrounded guests as they dined, hung up high on the walls in Elder Hall.

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Hilary Horvath provided the flower mixture of Queen Anne’s lace and zinnias that were placed in mason jars previously painted with Mercantile Color Collection favorite DENIM .05.

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Jason French created an Oregon seafood pot-pie making station where guests mixed, scooped, and assembled the ingredients for this delicious menu item before going into the oven.

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Taste buds came alive during the meal, as the menu grew from corn fritters with red pepper jelly and heirloom tomato salads with black olive puree to milk-braised pork with caponata and fresh grapes.

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Connected through the common thread of color, creativity, and collaboration, this small gathering epitomized the spirit of Portland- the shared birthplace of both Colorhouse and Rejuvenation. As Jason French said in his welcome, “We are makers, and we wanted to involve you in the process of the making. It’s a part of what makes Portland really special.”

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Photo credits: Stuart Mullenberg

Posted in Color, Food & Drink, Home Decor, Portland, OR, Recipes, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment
Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

The Mercantile Color Collection

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Ginnie and I have loved Rejuvenation ever since we moved to Portland back in 1993. When we bought our 1888 Victorian farmhouse, we headed to Rejuvenation for hinges, doorknobs, historic light fixtures, and cool vintage stuff.


And when we launched our company in 2005, Rejuvenation was certainly a business that we admired for it’s commitment to sustainability, craftsmanship and quality.

Today Rejuvenation is so much more, offering everything for the home – towels, bath accessories, furniture, along with beautiful handcrafted lighting and hardware. It is a beloved Portland company and we are so excited about creating an exclusive color palette to represent this iconic brand. We have designed a curated palette, exclusively for Rejuvenation.

merc mixed bulbs blog

We combed through past Rejuvenation catalogs, examined their furniture, took their bath towels into the Color Shed and went to work mixing colors with the intention for the palette to be both classic and contemporary, like Rejuvenation products.

Color Shed blog

Targeting colors for the Mercantile palette

Targeting colors for the Mercantile palette

After several months of collaborating with Rejuvenation’s creative team, edits here, tweaks there, we landed on 36 hues that represent the Rejuvenation brand, The Mercantile Color Collection.

The Mercantile Collection Color Map blog

The name of the collection came to us easily – Rejuvenation stores feel like community gathering spaces with quality products for the home – it feels much like a modern-day general store. The color names represent bulk items that you might find in a mercantile.

merc chalk bulbs blog

When we designed the CHALK colors/whites, we focused on designing whites that range in color –starting with a white-white, but then also designing a blue-white, a green-white, and whites on the warmer side – when you are painting with one of the DENIMs –like DENIM .05 – you might use CHALK .05 that has blue undertones, for the trim.

merc tea bulbs blog


The TEA hues were really inspired by the color work Rejuvenation had done in their towel collection that they recently launched. We also all knew we wanted to have an elegant espresso like color – TEA .05

merc seed bulbs blog

The SEED hues are cleaner cooler greens – there are also some real classic greens like SEED .04 and .05.

merc denim bulbs blog

Again the denim blues are clearer blues and leaning on the cooler side. We have also included some classics: Navy – DENIM .06 and more of a classic Colonial blue – DENIM .04.

merc flint bulbs blog

The FLINT family may be the anchor of this collection – These cool neutrals are very on trend and are designed to be paired with all the colors in the collection.

merc spice bulbs blog

SPICE – the hot colors, A few years ago, these colors were everywhere, currently we are seeing these used mostly as accents. In this collection we have combined the golden tones, burnt oranges and a perfect red into one family – SPICE.

You can see all the colors in architectural spaces and order paint on the Mercantile Color Collection website – www.mercantilecollection.com

We are painting our old Victorian house with some of the colors from this collection and will be posting it here – stayed tuned!

Posted in Color, Green Living, Home Decor, Portland, OR | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Summer Melon Hues

Nothing says SUMMER like sinking your teeth into a juicy melon on a hot day. Watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe, bring flavor and a splash of color to a summer table. See how to take these fresh and light colors from your table to your walls and bring a little pop of summer into your space year round.

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Like a ripe slice of cantaloupe, SPROUT .02 is a fresh Melon Hue that just feels good. Orange is a happy hue that evokes excitement and stimulates the brain. This soft shade of orange will brighten a space without being overpowering.

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LEAF .07 is a restful, cool hue that can expand a room and make it feel larger. This honeydew hue works well in bedrooms, offices and creative spaces. It’s light but colorful and feels refreshing and cool on a hot summer day.

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Watermelon is our favorite summer fruit of all and CLAY .07 captures the essence of watermelon without being too pink. It makes a great gathering space hue and adds romance to a bedroom.

When the temperatures rise, one of our favorite ways to cool down is with a refreshing and delicious Watermelon Cooler. Pure YUM! ?

watermelon cooler

3 large basil leaves
1 slice peeled ginger (1/4” x 2”)
1 chunk watermelon (2”)
1 TBSP simple syrup (1part sugar, 1 part water)
1 TBSP fresh lime juice
2 oz of your favorite vodka (or not)
Ginger ale

In a shaker, muddle the basil, ginger, watermelon and simple syrup. Add the vodka and lime juice, and fill with ice. Shake well and strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Top with ginger ale and garnish with a watermelon chunk and basil leaf.

For more delicious inspirations, visit our Melon Hues Pinterest board!

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Monday, June 16th, 2014

FURNISH PAINT & PLAY with Tea Collection and Room & Board!

Summer time is COLOR time! The color nerds at Colorhouse have teamed up with Tea Collection and Room & Board to bring color into your little ones world through our FURNISH, PAINT, and PLAY sweepstakes*.


Tea Collection brings world-wide cultures and modern design to children’s fashion with their globally-inspired children’s clothes. For this year’s summer collection, their designers traveled to Morocco – a land filled with vibrant color, bold pattern, exotic culture, and INSPIRATION. We have paired some of their bright Moroccan-infused prints with Colorhouse hues to create a vibrant yet earthy palette.

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These colors can transition easily from the fabric of your child’s clothes to their walls in their special space. Check out how some these playful Colorhouse hues work as playful backdrops to Room & Board bedroom furniture and bedding. Room & Board creates modern furniture that is Made in the USA, built to last, and designed to grow with your kiddo from toddler to teen.

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Sun-soaked and drenched in cheer, ASPIRE .02 is the backdrop for a vibrant pink Room & Board Avery bed and a Morocco inspired throw pillow.

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Complementary colors add a dramatic punch to any room. CLAY .07 on the walls, paired with the teal of the Shay chair make for a vibrant combination.

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DREAM .06 is exotic like peacock feathers and helps create a dreamy space. The vibrant yellow of the Moda furniture can be customized to add your favorite pop of inspiration.

See more colorful inspiration from Tea Collection and Room & Board on our Pinterest Board:

*FURNISH, PAINT, and PLAY sweepstakes:
One (1) Grand Prize: Grand Prize Winner will receive a prize package consisting of:
• One (1) $500 gift card for use at teacollection.com;
• One (1) $1000 gift card for use at roomandboard.com or in Room & Board retail locations;
• A 1-hour online color consultation from Colorhouse, including a Colorhouse fan deck of color swatches and 4 gallons of Colorhouse paint. Approximate retail value (“ARV”): $400.

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Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Summer Color Trends: Aqua Fusion

From the aqua shades of the Caribbean Sea, to the clear blue skies and the spectrum in between, our Summer Color Trends palette is inspired by sailing life and the remote places it can take you. The Aqua Fusion palette pays homage to global style; as the world becomes smaller through technology and easy travel, the trend to explore color and pattern from far away lands is inspiring us to be more daring in our spaces.

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Aqua fusion

A recent adventure took us down to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. More commonly known as the West Indies, this small country is made up of islands in the southern Caribbean. The trade winds make for excellent sailing, and the leeward side of the islands have calm bays (perfect for anchoring), and beautiful, sandy beaches.

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The visual frame from sun-up to sun-down is made up of blues and greens from the sky and sea. Bright pinks pop off these hues and create welcoming hot accents that your eye craves and lingers on.

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Create your own Caribbean retreat with DREAM .05 and THRIVE .04 and one of our blues like WATER .01, use PETAL .04 sparingly as an accent and AIR .05 as a harmonizing white. Careful, you may find yourself humming reggae tunes and hankering rum punch!

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Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

How to Paint an Ombre Wall

Ombre is a blending of colors to create a fading effect. When talking interior paints, it’s basically blending 2 or more colors on a wall. The ombre look starts with the lightest color at the top, which blends into the medium value color, which blends into the darkest hue at the bottom of the wall. It’s like horizontal stripes, but without the hard lines.

Ombre #7 logo

Ombre is best applied on a single accent wall. Colors that have less contrast blend more easily and create the best results.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Tape off area to ombre.

Ombre #1

2. With a level and pencil, draw a line where you want the colors to fade into each other. You will be creating wide, horizontal stripes. In this project, the Colorhouse colors used from lightest to darkest are: AIR .05, WATER .01, THRIVE .04, and DREAM .05.

3. Roll out colors, stopping 3” on each side of the level line, leaving 6” between the two colors.

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Ombre #3 too

4. To create the blended effect, dip 4” brush – half in one color and half in the 2nd color of the stripes you want to connect.

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5. Brush back and forth blending the two colors – brush quickly, as paint dries fast!

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6. Repeat for every 2 colors you want to blend.

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Ombre #6 too

7. Finishing touches! You may need to go back with a clean brush to touch up on either side of the blended area for any paint that got underneath the tape.

Works best in 5’ sections at a time.
Use similar colors overall for easiest blending
Use colors with low contrast next to each other
And most importantly….Have fun!

Explore all Colorhouse hues and find the perfect colors for your own ombre wall! Colorhouse premium paints have no VOCs, no toxic fumes/HAPs-free, no reproductive toxins and no chemical solvents!

Posted in Art, Color, Green Living, Home Decor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments
Monday, June 2nd, 2014

We Are Colorhouse.

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Happy Summer! Janie and I just harvested our first sprig of perfectly tender asparagus last month… it was worth the four year wait! The excitement and new growth of summer is always an inspiring reminder to recharge and rejuvenate and that’s exactly what we have been doing here at Colorhouse.

We are embracing new growth and change with the evolution of our name from YOLO Colorhouse to Colorhouse. With the name change, we are given the opportunity to refresh the look and feel of the brand and wanted to give you a sneak peek at our new Colorhouse label.

Many thanks to those of you who participated in the surveys and helped us make this exciting change along the way!

As Colorhouse, we are still the same company that we founded 9 years ago, with the same high-quality zero VOC products and the same commitment to making the world more colorful and less volatile! (and Janie and I will still answer to YO & LO!)

As always, we love your feedback and thank you all for your support.

Enjoy the colors of summer and be inspired to re-energize!

In color,

Virginia Young (YO) & Janie Lowe (LO)
Colorhouse Co-Founders

Posted in Color, Garden, Green Living, Portland, OR | Leave a comment
Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Sunny Style

Ahhhh…Summer. It’s finally time to relax on the porch with a fresh fruit beverage in hand, feel the warm breeze blow by and spend time with family and friends at backyard BBQs. With our face to the sun, we soak up the sun’s rays and think of ways to capture the sunshine and bring it indoors to enjoy all year round. Embrace your sunny style and enliven your interior space with the combination of yellow, orange and turquoise. Summer 2014 is all about brights…bring virbrant hues into your home with paint colors that pack a little punch!

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BEESWAX.04 blog

Yellow can bring a sunny feel to a room like no other hue. BEESWAX .04 is a yummy yellow with a hint of green, like an Anjou pear. Use it to add a little zest in bedrooms, kitchens and family rooms.

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imagine.02 blog

Light and bright, IMAGINE .02 is a warm white that makes a perfect backdrop for colorful pops of our Sunny Style hues used in furnishings and accessories.

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You can almost feel the cool breeze coming through the window. Take the temperature down with WATER .01, a cool hue that is clean and relaxing. Use this hue for a spa-like feel in bedrooms, baths, or as an unexpected color for a casual dining room.

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aspire.04 blog

Charming like a country bed and breakfast, get this look with ASPIRE .04. A golden yellow like late afternoon sun, this welcoming hue works great in an entry, living room, sitting room or any space you want to add a little warmth and sunshine.

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BISQUE.01 blog

We heart this fridge! Let this conversation piece speak for itself. With our whitest white – BISQUE .01 behind the scenes, nothing will distract from this fab retro inspired piece of functional beauty. Smeg appliances take center stage in the heart of the home, where people congregate.

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DREAM .04 is retro and modern, like a piece of beach glass. Soothing and cool, this blue-green hue can be used in bedrooms, baths, and kitchens.

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The use of complementary colors adds punch to any space. The high contrast of turquoise blue paired with the vibrant orange of PETAL .01 is energetic, visually stimulating and FUN!

How will you embrace your own Sunny Style this summer?

Photos: All photos can be found on our Sunny Style Pinterest board.

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Friday, April 11th, 2014

Windfall Lumber – A Colorful Collaboration!

Collaboration is one of our core values at YOLO Colorhouse. We LOVE working with like-minded companies that also want to Make the World More Colorful and Less Volatile! Windfall Lumber, based in Tumwater, WA, is one such company. They have a passion for sustainability and enhancing people’s lives by the beauty of their product.

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During the summer of 2013, we got an email from the Product Designer at Windfall Lumber, Roussa Cassel, with the subject line “Our products, your paint.” Roussa described a new product they wanted to develop using reclaimed and sustainably sourced wood and YOLO Colorhouse paint. The intent was to create a line of colored wall cladding with the lowest VOC they could muster. Since she had used our products on her own projects, it seemed natural to consider our Zero VOC paint for this endeavor. They wanted a select palette of about a dozen hues. We were intrigued.

A rendering to propose the idea Windfall Lumber envisioned.

A rendering to propose the idea Windfall Lumber envisioned.

After many questions about the end use of the product, the application method, the wood, and the look they were trying to achieve, we collectively decided to move forward with testing. It was important to let the natural beauty of the wood come through the color.

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Roussa and her team approached the application of the color like a stain, thinning the paint so that it wouldn’t be too opaque and hide the characteristics of the wood.

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The wood they use consists of reclaimed timbers from schools, warehouses, and granary storage bins as well as a wide variety of FSC hardwoods grown in the Pacific NW.


They soon discovered that not every paint color looks good over the various types of wood. The combination of the natural wood color and the transparent paint creates a new, unique color.

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With a bit of trial and error, lots of testing, and many quarts later, Windfall Lumber narrowed down their color choices and asked to meet with us for help pulling it all together.

Roussa said, “One of the reasons we were attracted to YOLO Colorhouse is because they understand that color selection and a curated line is more important than an endless number of options. They helped us put together colors that look beautiful alone, together, or combined with our natural wood cladding.”

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The result: a stunning 12 color palette of wood wall covering designed for commercial, residential, hospitality, retail and other settings. Windfall Color Cladding adds warmth and character to large and small spaces and is being used by sustainable designers, architects and builders – and appreciated by color lovers everywhere.

For more inspiration around this collaboration, check out our Pinterest board.

Posted in Art, Color, Green Living, Home Decor, Portland, OR | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Fresh + Clean Hues

Let’s face it – those necessary chores like paying bills, doing laundry, and cleaning are not exactly at the top of the list of our favorite things to do, right? With Spring finally almost here, many of us would much rather be digging in our gardens than purging and organizing an over-stuffed closet. But, a clean, well-organized space can actually increase productivity, save time and money, and create a sense of balance. At YOLO Colorhouse, we believe that adding color to your less-than-favorite spaces can make those tiresome chores just a little more FUN! Check out our Fresh + Clean ideas for inspirational and functional spaces.

fresh and clean metal02 blog

METAL .02 is a hue inspired by the softness of sand. This warm neutral makes a perfect backdrop for a closet turned organized desk area to pay bills and catch up on email. Having a work space like this will help you get to your favorite spot on the beach a little faster.

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We love small spaces! This desk area tucked away in a corner is a perfect spot for homework, working on home finances, or spending some extra time on Pinterest. Like an erased chalkboard, METAL .06 is a slate gray that has just a touch of white. It adds depth and definition to this multi-functional work space.

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You’ll have no problem finding the ingredients for your next meal here. WOOD .02 adds spice to what would be otherwise be a mundane pantry. Glass jars filled with baking staples and white ceramic dishware pop against the rich, warm background.

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THRIVE .05 adds some unexpected vintage charm to this closet. A bright hue like this adds a visual surprise and lends a pleasing effect when the closet door is left open.

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Laundry could actually be fun in a space like this. WOOL .01 is a slight, light blue is that evokes the airy feeling of a fresh breeze. This is fresh and clean personified.

Try a Fresh + Clean hue out in your home with our new 8 oz Colorspot paint sample! Having a color meltdown? We are here to help with FREE color help!

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