Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

COLOR YOUR LIFE – Guest Blogger Week: Glassybaby

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: Marissa Brooks, Art Director at glassybaby.

Comment on this blog to make a $1 donation to glassybaby’s non-profit of choice, The Nick Wilson Charitable Group — a non-profit that provides compassionate financial support to children and their families undergoing cancer treatment.

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Marissa Brooks is the art director at glassybaby. Marissa’s background in visual arts and design helps her oversee all color selection for glassybaby marketing and store merchandising. glassybaby are hand blown candle holders created by artists in 400+ colors. The company was founded by a three-time cancer survivor who found great healing in the color and light of a lit, handmade candleholder. The company has donated more than $1.3 million dollars from sales to charities dedicated to healing. It takes four artists to create each glassybaby at a Seattle studio and they bring color and light to people all over the world.

We use color as a language at glassybaby. Color is a language we can all speak regardless of where we come from. Words can sometimes be hard to find, so color becomes a solution.

As art director at glassybaby, I am inspired by this colorful language every day. Whether I’m creating a vibrant color palette for our road shows, or finding a soothing color for a quiet space, I love how the simple use of color can write that story. I’m inspired by the way a table full of glassybaby color can bring life to an entire room. Conversations are sparked, stories are told, and favorite colors are pointed out. Color is cherished for the emotional connection it instantly creates. But I also love how a single color, just one glassybaby, can create an overwhelming calm when I need it the most. Just the other day a customer emailed me a picture of her ‘peter pan’ glassybaby. She mentioned specifically how it helps her “relax on cloudy days when reading”. I love this part of my job because I get to hear stories from people all the time about how they connect with their glassybaby color.

The glassybaby founder was fighting cancer when she first dropped a tea light into a hand blown, colorful cup. She describes that moment as magical. She hired glass artists to create more and began lighting glassybaby everyday. That color and light helped her heal. Whether I’m looking for healing or just a perfect color in a fabulous space, both make me smile, both inspire me.

The possibilities are endless, just like our stories. We talk to our community with color; we connect to each unique story, sometimes without having to say a single word. It’s simply the power of glassybaby color. This video shares that power:

As we turn the corner into spring, I am naturally drawn to soft pastels; colors that make me think of spring buds and a time for renewal.

The YOLO Colorhouse colors SPROUT .04, SPROUT .05, SPROUT .06, and SPROUT .07 happen to match perfectly with one of my favorite images of glassybaby for spring.

- Marissa Brooks

For more inspiring images from glassybaby, visit our Color Your Life Pinterest board!

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Monday, March 18th, 2013

COLOR YOUR LIFE – Guest Blogger Week: Angela Adams

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: designer Angela Adams.

Comment on this blog to make a $1 donation to Angela’s non-profit of choice, North Haven Arts & Enrichment at Waterman’s Community Center offering a wide range of programs and events for all ages including after school programs, concerts, art exhibits and much more in North Haven, ME.

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For the past 20 years, partners in life and design, Angela Adams and furniture designer, Sherwood Hamill have cultivated a shared visual language that marries nostalgia and modernity in a way that is both grounded and quite unexpected. Since founding angela adams in Portland, Maine in 1998, they have been dedicated to celebrating a natural lifestyle by creating well-crafted modern home furnishings. They have launched several complementary collections of furniture, area rugs and tapestries that have established them as international leaders in contemporary design.

Sitting here at my desk, I am feeling a little stifled at the prospect of writing about color. I do not know where to begin – or if I will ever know where to end. Color is my first language and its what makes me feel at home.

Living on the Coast of Maine is a color-loving persons dream. The palette here changes every hour with the seasons, the weather, the tides… its ever changing and rain or shine – it’s always beautiful.

The things that most inspire me are: Dense foggy mornings with wet green grass… it’s almost as if the color keeps your eyelids hanging low and sleepy till the fog burns off.


A whirling big blizzard that blankets Portland in snow, casting blue shadows and soft pillowy acoustics softening everything.

Dead low tides in the fall, when the sea weed is draped over the ocean floor like gold, pearly pink winter sunsets that cast a soft glow on the waterfront. Its endless and feeds my inspiration every day.


When I design, I almost always start with the question “How do I want this to make me feel?” Very often, it seems that I am striving for a feeling, such as the one you might feel when you are looking out into dense fog first thing in the morning. That is a calm, comforting feeling. Fog makes you feel private and introverted. It’s not distracting, because its all one big beautiful thing visually (the other senses are also stirring… the smell is salty, wet and fresh… the sound is thick, muffled and soft). So if I am designing a rug that I want to feel like fog, all those things shape the process and the outcome.


On the other hand, when I want to try to capture the feeling of looking at an amazing sunset, it’s a completely different feeling. The colors are much louder, in the way you almost hear a boom when you see an intense sunset. The delineation among the colors can be very defined. Sunsets are bold and confident, so the colors need to blast off in a way that feels good and powerful, without making you feel like squinting. You want to soak it all in and not miss a thing.


My favorite colors are always changing, but a few tend to always bubble at the top. Dandelion yellow makes me happy and reminds me of my Grandmother. Aqua blues feels like home to me, because I grew up on an island and live on the coast. Grassy greens and soft greys bring the outside in and create mossy woodland areas in our home. My Grandmothers rule was that if two colors grow together in nature – then they go together in fashion or the home. So I still go with that – since that counts every color in!


- Angela Adams

For more inspiring images from Angela Adams, visit our Color Your Life Pinterest board!

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Friday, March 8th, 2013

Color Your Life – Guest Blogger Week

Color is an integral part of what we do at YOLO Colorhouse – it brings us joy, fills us with passion, and surrounds us with beauty. From putting together trend palettes to creating the perfect color combinations for your home, color inspires us! We know that we are not the only ones that color has this effect on, and that’s why we have something very special in the works for our Color Community.

The week of March 18-22, we have invited 5 vibrant and creative people to share their ideas on how color inspires the work they do. On the YOLO Colorhouse blog, we are honored to be able to share their unique perspectives on color with you during Color Your Life Guest Blogger Week.

Each of our guest contributors has picked a non-profit to partner with for this series. Your comments on each of their posts count as a $1 donation to their chosen charity, up to $500 per charity.

Here are amazing contributors to this year’s Color Your Life:

Monday, March 18: Designer Angela Adams
Dedicated to celebrating a natural lifestyle, Angela creates well-crafted modern home furnishings and lifestyle accessories inspired by the timeless beauty of nature and the ever-changing landscape of Maine. Non-profit of choice: North Haven Arts & Enrichment at Waterman’s Community Center offering a wide range of programs and events for all ages including after school programs, concerts, art exhibits and much more in North Haven, ME.

Tuesday, March 19: Art Director Marissa Brooks
Marissa is the art director at glassybaby. Marissa’s background in visual arts and design helps her oversee all color selection for glassybaby marketing and store merchandising. Non-profit of choice: The Nick Wilson Charitable Group – provides compassionate financial support to children and their families undergoing cancer treatment.

Wednesday, March 20: Designer Sibella Court
Author of Etcetera, The Stylist’s Guide to NYC , Nomad&Bowerbird, shopowner of The Society inc, interior stylist, product designer, globetrotter. Non-profit of choice: Cancer Council – advises the Australian Government and other bodies on practices and policies to help prevent, detect and treat cancer.

Thursday, March 21: Designer and Blogger Caitlin Flemming
Caitlin Flemming is a designer and stylist living and working in San Francisco, California. She is also the founder of lifestyle and interior design blog Sacramento Street. Non-profit of choice: Shelter Box – supplies an extended family with a tent and essential equipment to use while they are displaced or homeless during disaster.

Friday, March 22: Kinfolk magazine editors Nathan and Katie Williams
Nathan and Katie are the founding editors behind Kinfolk Magazine. Non-profit of choice: Work Activity Center – provides day, residential, employment, and health services to enrich the lives of people with disabilities by actively providing opportunities for independence and individual growth.

As fellow “color nerds”, we hope you are as excited about COLOR YOUR LIFE Guest Blogger week as we are….we can’t wait! To see more inspiration from our contributors, visit our Color Your Life Pinterest board.

In color,

YOLO Colorhouse

Posted in Art, Color, Home Decor, People in their Spaces | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments
Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Color in Full Bloom!

We love this time of year when the earth starts to come out of its chilly sleep. The greys, browns, and whites of winter’s neutral color palette are being replaced by bright budding greens, bold-colored blossoms, and brilliant blue skies.

As the earth’s color palette changes, it is only natural that we start to crave more saturated, vibrant hues in our own spaces. Sometimes it can be challenging to incorporate bright color in interior spaces without it becoming overwhelming. Often times, a little bit of a saturated hue goes a long way, which is why the white of IMAGINE .04 is so important in our Spring 2013 palette. This warm white brings balance to this color group and becomes the perfect backdrop for the more intense hues of DREAM .05, PETAL .01 and PETAL .02.

Here are some examples of how to incorporate our Spring 2013 hues into interiors in a way that adds just the right dose of brightness. Be confident, be colorful, be yourself!

For more inspiration on using these colors in architecture, check our our Spring Color Trends 2013 board on Pinterest.

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Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

The Color of Inspiration

The days are getting longer, the rain is being gentler, and the air is feeling warmer – that means Spring is around the corner! No surprise – this is an easy time of year for us to feel inspired and we are back in the studio working on our Spring 2013 Color Trend palette.

When we sit down to create a new palette, we look at a lot of stuff. In fact, we are ALWAYS looking at the world around us – that’s what inspires us! We pay attention to new products, what’s trending in fashion when we visit our fave boutiques, we keep our eyes peeled for cool window displays that have interesting color combinations, we attend inspiring art exhibitions, and even check out passing bus ads as we are walking down the street. Anything and everything that has good design grabs our attention, and we consider the colors used. On a recent trip to NYC, Ginnie and I snapped some shots of items whose colors seem to be making their way into our Spring palette!

Besides looking at visual cues when developing color trends, we also consider the emotional effect color has on all of us. The season of Spring is filled with cheer and renewed energy. Colors that reflect feelings of confidence and a desire to go bold are showing up all around us. Here are some examples of what we are seeing on one of our favorite spots to be inspired – Pinterest!

We are looking forward to the release of our Spring 2013 palette the week of February 25th! In case you forgot, here’s a reminder of what 2012 looked like. You may see some similarities in 2013, but without giving too much away – THINK BRIGHT and BOLD!

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Thursday, January 31st, 2013

The Color of Cool – Beam & Anchor

Tucked under the Fremont Bridge in industrial North Portland is a pretty cool place. Founded on a passion for great design and the desire to support local makers, Beam & Anchor transformed a once-neglected 7,000 sq ft building into an inviting retail space with workshops above including studios for upholstery, soap-making, and all things leather.

I had heard about Beam & Anchor for a while, but just recently found my way down N Interstate Ave to check it out. As soon as I stepped inside I asked myself “Why did it take me so long to get here!?”. From handcrafted ceramics by local potters to repurposed chairs with Pendleton fabric, I was in design heaven. Here is a tiny snapshot of the visual nirvana waiting for you at Beam & Anchor.

Explore more of the work shown above:
Pendelton Fabric
Hickory Mertsching
Portland Growler Company
re-Beam planters
Stone & Honey
Suzanne Sullivan

Posted in Art, Color, Garden, Green Living, Home Decor, Portland, OR, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

The Color Of Craft Saké – SakéOne

Tucked in the northern part of wine country in Oregon’s Willamette Valley is an unexpected surprise – a saké brewery (or “kura” in Japanese). Located in Forest Grove, SakéOne is the first American-operated saké brewery in the United States. Originally established as a partnership with Momokawa, a centuries-old brewery in Aomori, Japan, SakéOne is now the leading producer of premium saké in America. Chosen for the purity of the water in this part of Oregon, SakéOne opened it’s doors in 1992 and has been crafting delicious sake ever since.

Saké is produced by a brewing process more like that of beer than wine, as the sugar needed to produce alcohol is created from the starch of the grain. In the case of saké, that grain is rice. The quality of the rice and the amount of hull remaining on the grain determines a saké’s quality. Restaurant grade saké usually is made from rice that has much of the hull still intact, leaving levels of impurities that can affect the taste. At SakéOne, each batch of rice begins in the mill where 40% of the grain is polished away leaving the leaner starches found in the remaining 60%. At SakéOne, you will find sakés labeled with names like Ginjo and Daiginjo denoting rice polished between 51% – 60% and therefore considered premium level saké.

Open daily from 11-5, SakéOne offers factory tours that bring to life the history and technique needed to make this special beverage. Using equipment imported from Japan, California-grown rice, and local Oregon water, every bottle at SakéOne is carefully handcrafted using age-old techniques. On the tour you will learn all the steps in the process of making saké – from milling the rice to remove the hull, soaking and steaming the rice, to adding Koji-kin (the enzyme added to the rice that digests the starch and converts it to sugar). From there, the rice is transferred to 4,000 gal fermentation tanks where each batch reaches its unique flavor profile and alcohol content. Once fully fermented, the saké is pressed to remove the sediment, pasteurized, aged, pasteurized once more….and then finally bottled!

True to the spirit of craft, each step in the saké-making process is carefully guided by the senses. Changes of the rice are observed through the eye and felt by the hand, while the shifting smells and tastes of the grains signal the evolving flavor of each batch. This human connection is the key ingredient in the Oregon craft saké produced at SakéOne.

Posted in Color, Food & Drink, Portland, OR | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment
Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

The Iron Horse Hotel – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin – the smaller city on Lake Michigan known for its beer (Miller, Pabst, Blatz, Schlitz), sausage (Usinger’s), summer festivals (Summerfest). . . and of course motorcycles (Harley-Davidson). Milwaukee is a working-class town, with foundries, factories, and warehouses seemingly on every corner of the south side neighborhoods known as the Third and Fifth Wards. During the 1960’s and 70’s manufacturing declined and instead of thriving with industry, these buildings sat vacant.

Opened in 2008, The Iron Horse Hotel is an integral part of the urban revitalization of the Fifth Ward. Used only for cold storage for over 50 years, the Iron Horse Hotel transformed the factory and warehouse of the Berger Bedding Company into a modern luxury boutique hotel that captures the spirit and heart of Milwaukee.

Much of the distinct architecture of the building designed by Milwaukee architectural firm of Buemming and Dick in 1907 remains intact. Thick pine and hemlock posts and beams, exposed Cream City brick and original metal fire doors serve a dual design purpose. These elements and more give the current hotel it’s industrial-chic aesthetic while preserving the history of the original building.

In addition to using reclaimed materials in the hotel, other sustainable features include the use of post-consumer rubber as flooring and sound abatement material between the guest room floors. Energy-efficient operations like occupant-sensing systems were installed in each room that control and power down heat, electricity and AC. Water consumption is reduced through low-flow toilets and efficient bath fixtures, resulting in a potential reduction of water consumption by 25 percent.

Collaboration with local Milwaukee artists reinforces The Iron Horse’s industrial feel. In the lobby, an American flag by Charles J. Dwyer made out of 32 pairs of blue jeans pays homage to the factory’s hard-working past. Sculptures by Amber Van Galder constructed out of recycled aluminum and molded to resemble metal spills found commonly on foundry floors in the area are displayed in guest bedrooms. Inspired by downtown Milwaukee, photographs by Cindy Lesky give off an urban vibe.

Located across the railroad tracks from the Harley-Davidson museum, The Iron Horse Hotel is the only boutique hotel in the country geared toward motorcycle enthusiasts. On-site motorcycle parking complete with rag bins and check-in carts make it easy to transport saddle bags to rooms. Designed with durable tile entrances, rooms have custom hooks for hanging heavy leather and a bench for removing and storing boots and helmets.

So – next time you are in the friendly city of Milwaukee, be sure to stop in the Iron Horse Hotel for a dose of design, history, and straight-up Midwestern culture. See you there – I’ll be on the patio! (If it’s not snowing of course).

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Thursday, December 20th, 2012

The Color of Marfa

So what’s all the hubbub I’ve been hearing about Marfa, Texas?  I mean, I grew up just a 4 ½ hour drive up the road, and I had never been there before.  Now it seems that you can’t pick up a design magazine or read a blog these days that doesn’t mention Marfa.


Marfa is in the middle of nowhere, a 3 hour drive from the nearest airport, either El Paso or Midland.  Marfa first got attention when someone discovered mysterious lights in the sky, now referred to as the “Marfa Lights”.  Remember this image from the movie “Giant” featuring James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson– it was filmed just outside of  Marfa back in the mid 50′s.

Well I recently went to Marfa, and I’m here to tell you, it lives up to all the hype!  It is a very colorful and textured town, rich with history – where art, architecture, design, cuisine, progressive-thinking folks and real, live cowboys all converge in the dry, rugged and beautiful West Texas desert.

It’s a laid back town, a place where people sit on front porches, porches with nice color and design.  This is the porch of Cafe Q, which is a great breakfast and lunch spot.

My favorite restaurants in Marfa, Cochineal and Maiya’s, both had fantastic food, ambiance and service.  Food Shark is a food cart with amazing food, and after a little two-stepping at Padre’s, we had a late night snack at the Museum of Electronic Wonders and Late Night Grill Cheese Parlor.

Marfa is drawing young artists and designers, chefs, entrepreneurs and dreamers – it’s a place where you can create your own reality.

That’s what Camp and Buck (shown below) did when they moved to Marfa several years ago and opened the Wrong Store, which is in an old church that they bought and revamped.  Buck Johnston is a designer and runs the gallery/store, and Camp Bosworth is an artist who’s studio is in one side of the church, and his amazing wood carved pieces are shown in the gallery side.

THIS, is El Cosmico.  It looks like chuck wagons circled up on the range after a long cattle drive, only the “wagons” are vintage trailers with beautifully restored interiors.  There are also teepees and yurts on the property as well as an amphitheater and greenhouse.  El Cosmico captures the spirit of Marfa for me –  the starry night sky, the bohemian vibe, the creative community.

Below is the Vagabond, where we stayed.

There was a shower inside, but we preferred the one outside.

The cozy wood interiors are decked out with Bolivian blankets and pillows that are available in the lobby.

We enjoyed sitting on the front porch (notice the COLOR of the door and the DESIGN of those killer chairs).

But the REAL reason we came to Marfa (we came to realize), and I’m guessing this is why everyone comes to Marfa, is to see Donald Judd’s boxes.

Donald Judd was a minimalist artist who believed that art should be viewed and installed in a permanent place.  He envisioned creating work for this minimalist landscape, what he called, “the clean, empty desert”.

In 1979, with the help from Dia Art Foundation, Judd purchased a 340 tract of land in Marfa, which included the abandoned buildings on the former army base, Fort Russell.  He envisioned, founded and created the Chinati Foundation that opened in 1986.  It holds a permanent collection of installations by Donald Judd, Dan Flavin and John Chamberlain.

Judd’s goal at Chinati is to bring art, architecture and nature together to form a coherent whole.  And he has done this very well.  These are the concrete boxes, installed outside of the artillery hanger that houses the 100 mill-aluminum boxes, which we came to see.

This is the exterior of the artillery hanger with the aluminum boxes inside.

And these are the boxes.

These photos can’t even begin to capture what it was like being in that room with the boxes.  Sure, there was a stark beauty in the design elements like space relationships, repetitive shapes and exquisite craftsmanship.

But what was most powerful to me about this installation, was how I FELT when I stood still and just absorbed.  It was a very visceral experience,  to stand quietly amongst these boxes, felt like meditation.  I had a pulsating sensation, that put me in a sort of hypnotic state.  Illusions of space and light began to emerge, and I felt like I got it.

And I feel like I get Marfa now too.

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Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

The Thanksgiving Table

It’s that time of year again when the trees give their last hurrah with a big burst of color, as their leaves leave them until next spring.  The magnificent color of the foliage dictate the color palette for our Thanksgiving table.

My mom, a former florist, loves “shopping local”, she gets most of the material for creating her centerpieces from our yard.

She found this great chunk of wood, and I must admit, the antler was found inside the house.  My mom was so excited to use moss, it’s something she never sees in West Texas.

I love the mix of color and texture, and even if the blooms are dried up or dead, they still make the cut.  Everything gets used, no matter what stage of life it’s in.

Here is the artist at work in the Color Shed.  For the past several years, we have had Thanksgiving dinner in the Color Shed, which is in our back yard.  This is where we develop new colors and do most of the color work for YOLO Colorhouse.

Here’s our Thanksgiving table.

Thanks Mom!  You’re brilliant!

Hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving and a beautiful table.

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