COLOR YOUR LIFE – Guest Blogger Brett Bara

Congrats to Luz A Perdomo., winner of Tuesday’s COLOR YOUR LIFE kit! Luz, you will receive an email from us shortly. Thank you everyone for your comments, we are sending $100 to Sinergia! Keep checking back, there are more chances to win all week!

Welcome to COLOR YOUR LIFE – Guest Blogger week! We have invited 5 vibrant contributors to the YOLO Colorhouse blog to write about how color inspires the creative work they do and beautifies the world we live in. Today’s guest blogger: Brett Bara from Manhattan Craft Room.

Comment on Brett’s blog for your chance to win a COLOR YOUR LIFE Kit – 1 gal of YOLO Colorhouse paint, set of YOLO Colorhouse fan decks, and a 100% organic cotton canvas YOLO tote. Your comment also counts as a $1 donation to Brett’s non-profit of choice, Sinergia, a New York City-based organization that assists adults and children with disabilities.

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Brett Bara -

Brett Bara is a TV host, author & designer who is crafting, DIY-ing, cooking, eating, sewing, decorating and thrifting, in Brooklyn, NY. Brett is the author of the book Sewing in a Straight Line and creator of the blog Manhattan Craft Room.

Color inspires me in every way, every day! An unexpected pop of a bright color just grabs me, no matter what I’m doing. As a crafts and sewing designer, my work is all about color. I’m a big believer that projects don’t have to be difficult or time-consuming, so my process usually starts with very basic shapes and constructions, which are brought to life with great color.

Brett Bara -


It’s amazing how a simple silhouette can really sing in an eye-catching shade. Basic curtains or a simple throw pillow are suddenly a major statement if you choose the right fabric. A plain knitted scarf or a simple cake become showstoppers in the right shade. Color is an amazing tool for adding impact to DIY projects, without a lot of effort.

Brett Bara -


Nothing inspires me more than the color of raw materials. I love going to a fabric store, yarn store or paint store and just soaking it all in… my mind instantly fills with more ideas than I’ll ever have time for, and I get a total creativity-excitement buzz.

Brett Bara -


Brett Bara -


These days I’m into a palette of contrasts: I’m all about a background of grey, black and white highlighted with bold pops of bright pink, yellow and green. Sometimes I have to laugh at myself because these colors keep popping up over and over again in all aspects of my life.

Brett Bara -


I’m decorating my new apartment in this palette, most of the desserts I make end up fitting in this color scheme, and even my cat matches (hello, grey fur and yellow eyes)! And yes, my outfits usually fit the bill, too. I swear I don’t plan it this way, I just gravitate to the same color story over and over again. But why fight it? It’s a fun, playful palette that makes me happy every day.

Brett Bara -


Brett Bara -


Sinergia is a New York City-based non-profit that assists adults and children with disabilities, including a great program that teaches participants arts and crafts, which are then sold at special crafts fairs. This group holds a special place in my heart because I believe so strongly that crafts and arts can empower us all and bring great meaning to our lives. I grew up with a mentally challenged uncle and for that reason I love to support groups that work to enrich the lives of the disabled community.

Let me know how color inspires your daily life in the comments below — each comment counts as a $1 donation to Sinergia (up to $100) and enters you to win a COLOR YOUR LIFE kit!

- Brett Bara

For more inspiring images from Brett Bara, visit our COLOR YOUR LIFE Pinterest board!

COLOR YOUR LIFE Kit: 1 gal of YOLO Colorhouse paint, set of YOLO Colorhouse fan decks, and a 100% organic cotton canvas YOLO tote

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76 Responses to COLOR YOUR LIFE – Guest Blogger Brett Bara

  1. April says:

    I love the bright pink. I have never been a big pink girl but with the birth of my daughter and all of the pink things that soon flooded our house I am learning to embrace it!

  2. Pingback: help me raise money for a great cause | Brett Bara

  3. Meredith says:

    Your apartment is lovely! You have found such balance between the neutrals and the pops of colour. Love it!

  4. Alicia DiRago says:

    I’m definitely a color-lover. My favorite lately is everywhere – mint green.

  5. Fran says:

    Love color!

  6. Laurie says:

    Good to see you as a guest post. I follow your blog and have your “Sewing in a Straight Line” book. Basically, I think you are AWESOME!
    My day starts with walking my dog, and the color of the sky inspires me each morning. Right now trees are budding out and the little bits of green are also inspiring. You guessed it, it’s the beauty of nature that gets me going!

  7. Fran says:

    Color both dramatic contrasts and subtle variations enrich and add pleasure to life.

  8. jennie says:

    what an excellent charity to contribute to – happy to help! i’m primarily drawn to interior & clothing colors that remind me of my most inspiring natural sources of color, especially oceanic/sky blues & grey, sunset oranges, and woodsy greens & barks.

  9. Emily says:

    I love the colors you have here! Very springy and fresh. Color really does define something- it can be a simple shape, but the color is what makes it special.

  10. Sarah Goldschadt says:

    Great photos and colors! I love the Petal .02 and Stone .07 combo.

  11. Pat Doucette says:

    I love the softer colors for my home. Love the color combinations!

  12. Stacy Dykes says:

    I too have a family member with a disability and color is one way of catching their attention and holding it to teach something. This is a great cause and I love seeing programs like this!

  13. Aj Blake says:

    Great ideas for decorating…love your
    big splashes of color on a neutral “canvas”.
    Very inspiring premise of rqual color consideration
    for all projects-walls, crafts and food :-D

  14. Vicki Blizzard says:

    I’m all about color in my crafting – the more the better; same with decorating, and I’m influenced by all the colors of nature. But when it comes to my wardrobe, neutrals are the way to go (especially black) accented with pops of bright, attention-grabbing shades.

    Great cause, Brett – my oldest grandson has Down Syndrome, and he is captivated by vibrant shades of blue and green.

  15. Allyson says:

    COLOR! I love color and people are so scared of it! I’ve been told I beat knitters in the head with color until they get with my program. I’ll take it!

  16. Jenni says:

    I’ve always been a fan of pink and grey, but I am really digging the yellow-green and grey combo. Thanks for posting such lovely pictures of your home and your adorable cat!

  17. Rebekah says:

    I have been interested in trying yolo for some time now. I really love the Stone and Thrive combo!

  18. Susan I says:

    Thank you for being such an inspiration to both the DIY-ers and to the cause you support! And I can’t agree with you more about how color impacts a person’s life. After years of beige and white apartment and military housing living, I bought my own home. The first cans of paint I bought were all in the beige palette. It finally dawned on me that I didn’t have to play by those rules any more. I went right out and bought a variety of blues and let loose. Being able to explore “color” was both fun and liberating. The blue is long gone but I’m now breaking the next rule of no dark colors in small rooms. I’m just loving my burgundy and gold bedroom.

  19. Emily Furda says:

    For me color influences my mood & my mood influences the colors I surround myself with. It’s a strange circle! I Find that even in my journal color is a major theme. The outside has to feel cozy & calm. When I write the color of the ink usually gives away the mood. I also notice how just a slight change in shade can change how a color makes me feel. Love your designs Brett & FiFi is always adorable!

  20. Christina Fortier says:

    Color is definitely an empowering medium. It design your outlook for the day.When you are feeling blue, you can put on a vibrant yellow. When your life feels empty and grey, you can create teal skies and a warm sunset feeling in a hand craft. I love colors. I love rainbows. They inspire me.

  21. Gloria Valenti says:

    I love vibrant colors. They make me feel more alive.

  22. Margaux says:

    Color manages to transcend all borders and connects us all. My dad is an at-risk high school student art and history teacher. So you can imagine, color has always been a fundamental part of life for me and my family. You know we’re drawn to color when some of the only arguments we have with each other is how to describe a certain hue and mood a color has.

    My recent color inspiration was creating my vintage spring wedding that took place on March 4th. I pulled together a palette of navy & rustic blue, ivory, even pale yellow (yellowed ivory lace). For my bridal pedicure, I chose a subtle rose pink on the warm side, hich has now turned into my “Spring Obsession” color. I’ve found a nice spring top in this color and I am watching an auction for a soft leather purse in this color. That’s a bit of my daily inspiration with color for you. Thank you for the donation to Sinergia!

  23. Darlene says:

    Living in the northwest, I really notice how color (or lack there of) affects me. As soon as the sun comes out, I start thinking about working in my garden — just think mind you! I crochet and watch Brett’s show regularly. I love going into a yarn shop and seeing all the different colors of yarn. We have one yarn shop in Seattle that has all their yarn by color — not yarn type or weight. It is beautiful to walk into!

  24. Kelli Barkema says:

    Brett! So happy to see you on here today. Also happy to see that color is in!!! I LOVE color!! I am low vision and have always been drawn to the bolder hues. So glad to finally be a part of the crowd! :) I especially love your bright pink picture in the the living room!!!

  25. CatnipToyworks Sallianne says:

    I love that you’re doing this for charity. And also that even the CAPTCHA Code was in color!! Superb inspiration.

  26. CatnipToyworks Sallianne says:

    Love that even the CAPTCHA code is in color! What a wonderful way to provide inspiration and help charity too!

  27. patty watson says:

    colors can make alot of ideas

  28. Heather Ferrante says:

    I loved this post! Color is so important and so fun! Color can lift our moods, inspire us, comfort us. I love the colors from Yolo! The paint is both beautiful and well made.

  29. Tagati says:

    Hm, being of Asian persuasion, most of the time I lean towards black and red. But, I have been known to enjoy a shade of jade now and then. I love my moggies and doggies, so do have an art collection that features critters with some nice mats (good thing the shop I use has a great artist in residence to help me select mats and frames!).

  30. Addie says:

    I too am constantly inspired by color everywhere. Right now I am reveling in the soft and bright pinks of the fruit trees blooming in my neighborhood. In interior design I am drawn to the soft greys paired with almost any fresh or bright color: sunshine, fuchsia, kelly, mandarin. I am going to check out your blog right now.

  31. Donna B. says:

    I see color through the eyes of my 7 year old daughter, who solicits my input on origami paper selection, creates her own palettes for Perler bead designs, and asserts that her favorite color is rainbow. My house is neutral at best, boring beige at worst, and I am dying to soak it in the bright, energizing colors that make my daughter’s wardrobe and artwork come alive!

  32. beverly pettengill aka Grammy says:

    Great job as usual Brett….love ya bunches….

  33. Vince says:

    I love the yellow …. and that you snuck in a photo of you cat!

  34. Kris says:

    I’m always drawn to the earthy colors. I love to mix greens and browns and throw in an animal print for contrast.

  35. Paula H says:

    Some people think it’s odd that I don’t have a favorite color, but I’ve never been able to narrow it down to just one color, or even one color palette. Maybe it’s because I grew up with an artist for a dad. I do tend to go in cycles, though. A couple years ago I kept choosing soothing blues and greens for everything, then I warmed into sunset tones. Who knows what colors I’ll be using next!

    It’s fun to see what colors inspire other people, like you Brett. Having a neutral background is smart – when you feel like a change you just need to switch up your accent pieces.

  36. susan b. says:

    I live in the Pacific Northwest too and I love sewing or wearing colorful things in the fall and winter here. Fresh greens, corals, yellows, oranges and turquoise are my favorites right now! And I love gray (after 15 years in Portland I better!).

    PS Brett, love your book and those wonderful fabric bowls… so fun to make.

  37. CelticRose says:

    Can’t live without color!

  38. Vikki says:

    I love living in a home filled with color. I find that my apple green kitchen lifts my spirits or that golden yellow walls brings the sun to a north facing room. I also like contrasts, and even when they don’t work out I have fun trying new combinations. I wish I could do a bright pink wall like you did, but I don’t think I could get my husband or two sons to agree. Maybe I’ll paint out my closet in the dark of night ;) .

  39. Julie C. says:

    My friends say that my favorite color is glitter! It’s true! But a ‘real’ color that inspires is purple!
    Purple glitter never fails to put a smile on my face!

  40. Lynne says:

    I love your blog and all your DIY ideas. My day isn’t complete until I check to see if you’ve put up a new post. Fifi is the cutest cat with a lot of personality.

  41. luz a perdomo says:

    color is the scent of life, it represents us in every aspect of it whether we are under the weather or cheerful like a rainbow, it represents us in totality and every color has the power to communicate on it’s own how we feel,from how we decorate our homes to how we dress our self’s and even the colors that are around us at work can affect our performance and alter our perceptions.I love all shades of purple because it calms me down, it makes you think and feel at peace but it can be unexpected.

  42. Rachel says:

    I love your blog. I enjoy your decorating posts but cat lady fridays are my favorite and I’m not even a cat person!

  43. Vicki says:

    Color makes me smile! For years my favorite color was red but lately I’m very drawn to teals. My stacks of fabric and balls of yarn inspire me. Brett, love your blog and all your great ideas! I also have a soft spot for special needs folks (think elementary school teacher)and think the picture of your uncle is a very special photo!

  44. Mallory says:

    Love Brett Bara’s stuff and this cause touches my heart as well!

  45. Arlene says:

    Hi Brett, I love the colors you use in your apartment. I can’t pick a favorite, maybe the dining chair cushions!! I am not a pink person but I love your living room walls, drapes and artwork above couch. I dearly love that you never forget Uncle John, he loved you lots. xoxo

  46. Joanie says:

    Love all the happy colors

  47. Maryann says:

    Bright colors help me feel cheerful. On gray days I’ll often go for a walk and look for colors–maybe some flowers, a bird, or some leaves–to brighten my mood.

  48. Andrea aka SpringSplndr says:

    My favorite color is purple. Many of my crochet projects that I make for myself contain shades of purple. Much of my home is in shades of blue. I have been trying to branch out into using yarns in other colors but I always come back to my favorites.

  49. Erin says:

    I have a gray pet too! (He’s a rabbit.)

    Thanks, Brett, for your thoughtful support! We were using your sewing book today. So far we’ve made the planner, the gathered skirt, and are now working on a purse.

    Thank you to everyone who posted a comment to help raise money for our programs!

    -Erin and the Day Hab Artists at Sinergia

    PS. You can see what we’ve been doing on our Facebook page:

  50. Julie weaver says:

    I love all of it!! I can’t wait to decorate my new house with tons of color!

  51. Jacky says:

    i’m a photographer, so i notice pops of color EVERYWHERE. it’s especially funny when i find a great colored wall and force whoever i’m with to stop and stand in front of it.

  52. Stephanie - DIY&Craft Giveaway Blog says:

    Color inspires my life for cooking! When I see a bright color I want to find a recipe to match it. And I love bold colors in decor!
    I’m in an apartment so don’t count me in for the giveaway, I couldn’t use the paint, but wanted to support the donation :)

  53. Gabi says:

    I couldn’t agree more – color brings that special touch in our lives – it makes us smile when we see a combination that for some reason or another, pops up.

    I have an affair with orange – especially the earthy tones. It’s a color that is present in my kitchen and wardrobe! It makes me feel good and brings me a sense of happiness. People even say that orange suits me well. (Uff – what a relief! :)

    Color up your day it’s my say!


  54. Debra Lee says:

    I just love all the bright colors!

  55. Lisa says:

    Thank you for being a guest blogger for YOLO this week Brett. The story of your uncle is very special!

  56. Karen says:

    Amazing use of color! Especially the cat :)

  57. Jenny says:

    Wonderful post! I love color when I knit and find that’s the perfect way to incorporate it into small projects!

  58. Kate says:

    Love your stuff Brett!!

  59. seamus says:

    Very inspiring! I think color has such a profound effect on our mood and creativity.

  60. Jocelyn says:

    Color makes me happy and balanced. There are certain colors I gravitate to. I enjoy using inspiration from nature. I created an artichoke palette for a poster a few months ago. The client felt it was “too Eastery”, I loved it, andother designer friend appreciated it. I’m always interested to see how other people interpret colors. I love bold and bright, but other times muted and a bit worn. I depends on the space and the project. I enjoyed reading your entry! Keep up the wonderful work with Sinergia!

  61. Paula Doucet says:

    Brett- I have your book and I check your blog every single day! I am such a fan.

    Color is such an important part of my life as well. My currrent color scheme in art, life and even in my wedding planning these days is a calming grey as a neutral with pops of bright yellow! I am constantly drawn to bright colors and interesting patterns, which hopefully translates into brightening up my home and my daily mood. Thanks for the inspiration. Sinergia sounds like an amazing organization. My aunt also suffers from a handicap similar to down syndrome and I truly believe that it has impacted my attitude and personality. She shaped who I am today. I can only hope that my home city starts a similar organization!

    Thanks for the constant inspiration :)

  62. Rachel says:

    Love love love the pink wall!

  63. Lisa says:

    I love going to Brett’s blog and being inspired by the graphic use of color in all of her projects. Love that squishy pink yarn!

  64. Stephanie says:

    I love color! We have color everywhere in our home, eclectic & warm & bright & I love it. Much to the chagrin of my mother, who likes all the ‘civil war’ fabric in the quilt store – while I run for Ruby by Moda & she sighs. Ha!

  65. Krista says:

    I love color! It sets the mood for wherever it is… an outfit, a room, etc. The right color always makes me happy.

  66. sydney o. says:

    if only i was brave enough to paint the walls in my apartment, too!!

  67. TGail says:

    Wow! This paint looks great, and no VOC! Thanks for pointing us here, Brett!

  68. Emily says:

    As much as I appreciate a neutral palette in other peoples homes and clothing choices, I always gravitate towards bright, happy colors for myself. My favorites lately have been turquoise, coral, and sunshine yellow- they just make me so happy when I see them! I have a more limited palette in my apartment so I can mix and match with abandon but I love mixing bright colors with grey, white, and black.

  69. Jessibee says:

    I love those pillows you made so much I tracked down the same fabric and made some for me! I love color…

  70. Hally says:

    My life is color. I work at a family owned printing company and people can be very particular about that pantone. I can’t say I blame them! A color can completely change the mood of whatever piece you are working on. I think it’s great also that Brett is sending her donations to arts and crafts for the mentally challenged. Being inspired, creating, expressing, and accomplishing something is so important in life.

  71. Wendy says:

    Just saw your gorgeous book at Barnes & Noble. So inspiring.
    Thanks for sharing your relationship with your uncle. Wishing you and Sinergia the best.

  72. amommaathome says:

    I love the colors you have decorated with! I am not that bold in my own home, but wish I could be!

  73. Ewe says:

    I love how color can transform your mood!

  74. Jill says:

    It is inspiring to see what you’ve done with your apartment. I’ve enjoyed following your DIY journey!

  75. Laura says:

    your projects are always so cool!!! and i feel like i should make them all! thanks for your uber-craftiness and for the simplified instructions!

  76. kenny1 says:

    You have such a lovely house… i really admire the kind of decor you have set for your home, specially the color pink … !! it really makes me feel that i should also have something like this in my new home… that i have bought recently.. thanks for the lovely suggestions :P

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