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.


    • says

      Hey Michelle,

      Total accident. Isn’t that funny? Scroll down to see when we realized that (just a few comments back on this post). We’re still giggling about it!


  1. danielle says

    Go for the dark colors! We painted a wall in our master bedroom a dark purple like that, with the other walls a light gray color – makes for a very sexy bedroom!

    Our bathroom is white and a bright teal, like the one above.

    We get a lot of compliments on both :)

  2. Lynn says

    Love the colors and Sue Sylvester. You might also check out dill pickle – it’s a Ben Moore paint. Not sue what it says about us but most of the colors in our house have food names. In addition to dill pickle in the den we have nacho cheese in the kitchen and there’s October pumpkin in the livingroom. Also, yesterday we painted the brick in our livingroom. Inspired by you – we did it! Six hours later and with a few destroyed brushes – we love it! Thanks and keep the inspiration coming!

    • says

      Hey Little Miss Eclectic,

      We’re planning to include every color that we mentioned in this post (along with some elements from each of the tear sheets that are inspiring us) so there’s no need to vote. It’s all gonna get in there someday. Just not tomorrow. We like to take it slow and let rooms evolve over time instead of rushing into things!


  3. Meagan says

    Hi guys,

    Just as another data point: I saw Caponata from BM on Apartment Therapy a while back and LOVED it… until I painted a swatch on my bathroom wall. Way more of a brown hue than I was expecting. Obviously you guys’ll do your research but just thought I’d throw that out there. Can’t wait to see whether you’ll end up using it or not!

    And loving the teal behind the shelves, by the way. That might end up being my new bathroom color. (Again thanks to AT:

    • says

      Hey Meagan,

      Colors definitely read differently in every lighting scenario, but in some rooms of our house it’s definitely plummy looking (and brownish, a nice mix of both actually). We might get a test pot of paint just to make sure we like the look before fully committing though!


  4. tarynkay says

    I really wanted to paint our window-seat nook that aubergine color, but I couldn’t find one that read as purple on the wall- no matter how purply the swatch was, once on the wall, it looked grey or brown or anything but purple. Now I am down to just painting the outside of the front door that color- it reads better in the outside light. Maybe my house is just too dark? Anyhow, I am looking forward to seeing you make aubergine work (b/c I know you can make anything work.)

  5. Andrea says

    This is exactly the approach we’re using with our house palette. We travel around with a pillow case from a discontinued multi-colored honeycomb duvet cover from Company Store that we LOVE but that has seen better days. And when we’re done using it as our handy guide to picking our paint colors, we plan to revamp our beloved duvet set into DIY art, pillows, and who knows what else. And now I feel so validated, since I know you all do the same thing. :)

  6. Kitty says

    I totally got the Brady Bunch reference from the subject line, but I don’t get the “Sue Sylvester” reference. I’m off to Google that.

    • says

      NO THAT IS AWESOME. Comment of the day goes to Michelle. Just for being random and weird like me.

      Heeere’s the story, all about how, our napkin twist-turned upside down…


  7. Ana Silva says

    I am really liking the colors. I cannot wait to see how it all comes together. I am having to go the opposite direction a little because we might eventually rent our house and need some more neutrals to work with peoples things.

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