Here’s The Story, Of A Lovely Napkin

Please tell me you sung that title to the tune of the Brady Bunch? If not I’ll give you a minute to get to it. Feel free to play the video below if you prefer some back-up vocals like I do.

Now that we have that out of the way, I thought I’d share our inspiration command center when it comes to the new house. It’s this napkin that we scored on clearance from Crate & Barrel (which you might recognize from this post of yore).

I kid you not. That napkin is like the Sue Sylvester of Casa Petersik when it comes to picking colors and pinning down that ever elusive whole-house-color-scheme. She’s loud. She’s totally in charge. And she’s fun to watch. Thankfully no bullhorn though. That wouldn’t go over well with Burger.

When it came time to choose a color for the back of the built-in bookcases, Ms. Napkin was the inspiration. Same with the master bedroom walls and the artichokey green color that we’re thinking about in the kitchen. We literally pull swatches, hang them on the wall in each room to see what we like, decide on a favorite, and then make sure that they look nice next to El Napkin before running to the store to get paint. We definitely haven’t been holding swatches up to the napkin to find a perfect match to every color or anything (we’re picking based on what looks best on the wall in each room, and then just making sure it “goes” with Sue). Look, here we have some of our favorite swatches with her:

Not all of the swatches are reading exactly as they look on the wall (which of course is par for the course, so always hold something up to the wall in your space to see how it looks depending on the lighting sitch), but the top swatch is our blue-green-gray bedroom swatch (looking quite tame next to all that color and pattern): Catalina Crescent Roll Carolina Inn Club Aqua by Valspar (get that joke here). The second swatch (which is reading less dark and moody in this pic) is the color that we used on the back of the bookcases (Dragonfly from Benjamin Moore’s Affinity line). The third one is the color we’re contemplating for the kitchen walls… when we finally work up the momentum to tackle that room (Agave from Benjamin Moore’s Affinity line). The fourth one is a deep aubergine plummy tone with chocolate undertones (Caponata from Benjamin Moore’s Affinity line) that we’d love to work in somewhere when I put on my big girl pants and grow some cojones). And the bottom swatch is a super layered and moody deep teal (the photo does its depth of color no justice) that I’m working up the guts to use in the hall bathroom (Benjamin Moore’s Teal Ocean). Yeah, it should be interesting to say the least…

What is it about that napkin that speaks to us? We have no idea. Other than the fact that we like the colors and we like how they look together. So if they can work on a square of fabric why shouldn’t they work in a house? It might be a foolish plan of attack, but we intend to see it through either way. And it’s so easy to pop Sue in my purse and keep her with us when we’re out shopping. Because even though our colors don’t match her to a T, they definitely “go.” So if we see something that goes with El Napkin, it probably will go with our house. Look, it even looks good with my Christmas teapot from the hubs. Nicely done Mr. Petersik.

Who really knows where we’ll end up. We’re just taking things one day at a time and are definitely dedicated to taking more risks with bold color and pattern than we did in our first house. Especially with the bambino around. We’re just feeling the more-playful-splashes-of-color approach over the whole beachy-airy-neutral thing that we did last time. Should be fun.


  1. Kaitlyn says

    Have you seen the new end-cap stuff from target? It’s like they released an entire line just for you! Lots of inky blues. I would totally snatch up the blue glass lamps
    but then I’d have to redecorate my whole living room around them…

  2. beth says

    As someone stressing over a color scheme for the house we’re moving into in less than 2 weeks, I love that you took your inspiration from this napkin :) For the new house, I want to create a little notebook with swatches, etc. so that when I’m out shopping I can get a better idea of what will work with our paint, textiles, etc. (in my imaginary world where I’m that organized ;) ). So do you carry the napkin around *with* you places? Or have you already just internalized the colors going on there and kinda know what goes/doesn’t go? I realize you don’t really aim to *match* the napkin, but how handy to be able to pop it into your bag while out shopping!

  3. says

    I think the napkin plan is a great one! I did a similar thing with our wedding – we found a photo that had all of the right colors, emotions and lines that we wanted the decor/ambiance of our wedding to have. We checked everything back to the photo before we finalized it to make sure it fit with the feel we wanted for our wedding day.
    Although we aren’t doing the exact same thing with our house – we are doing something similar. Picking out paint colors that work well with our other rooms, bringing accents from adjoining rooms in to give the whole style a better flow.. it works well! I have the similar plum color on my radar too – it’s currently in use in our living room with faux-silk drapes, a glass lamp, and the spoon/tong container in our kitchen!
    Can’t wait to see how things turn out!

  4. Stephanie Phillips says

    Since I’m at work today while the rest of the world is off, I vote you jump into the hall bathroom painting so I have something to read about this afternoon. ;) Thanks!

    I love the Avocado color!

  5. says

    I think you mean “plummy” if you’re talking about color. No b. :-)

    That napkin looks great. I love it!

    You guys have inspired me to do some drastic things in my bedroom recently, so thanks for going bolder! :-)

  6. Hanna says

    That is certainly one in-charge napkin! And it has sparked some really awesome color choices. I am very interested to see what you do with the dark plummy one!

  7. Ali H says

    I love your colors! We have a kitchen with a eat in “nook” and we painted the kitchen a wheat-y color and the nook and back of the island a similar artichoke – it’s a great pop without being too loud. And, we also based all our downstairs color around an inspiration piece, a painting of Tuscany we got as a wedding gift that hangs in our living room. Has all the fall-type colors we love :)

  8. says

    Wow! That napkin sure is bold. Your colour choices have been gorgeous so far. I’m so excited to see where you go from here. I love the mirror in the second inspirational photo!!!

  9. Maya says

    I love all those colors, and I’m really starting to feel the new color scheme! I LOVE the dramatic inspiration pics.

    I’m really wondering what else you’re going to do in the bedroom, since the pattern on the blanket seems like it would stymie me… it’s so pretty, but I wouldn’t know what other patterns I can match to it.

    Also, love the plummy aubergine– I keep buying shirts/scarves/sweaters in that color!

  10. Ann says

    Fun and bold colors! I too have a fabric swatch for my house colors. Keeping something with your colors on hand eliminates problems because the swatch will keep everything from furniture to walls to accessories flowing nicely through the house. I gravitate to warm colors and once in awhile, I’ll totally fall in love with something on the cool side. I pull out the swatch, and say ‘no’.

  11. Corley says

    I had a blue bathroom that color when I lived with my parents. I Loved it! It had previously been hunter green, navy, and maroon (pre owners) but the bright blue with flowers and white trim was so bright and welcoming. Loved fixing my hair in there for school!

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