Fawn Galli Shares Her Surprising Secret To Successfully Filling A Room With Color

In her first book, Magical Rooms: Elements of Interior Design, New York City-based designer Fawn Galli shares her favorite projects and close-kept design secrets for readers to create magical rooms of their own.

Read an excerpt of the book below, in which Fawn talks color, and how to successfully harness it in design.

magical rooms cover by fawn galli

60% Grey

In case it hasn’t been made abundantly clear, I love color. I love color about as much as my younger son loves candy, and (as he would do if he were in charge) I dole it out liberally. But the secret truth is that walls of pale gray — the kinds of gray that bounce light and look like air — are often the largest feature of the rooms I design. I may come on strong with a vibrant print or a moment of clash, but in my book, it always works best when these punches are contained within an overall atmosphere of sophisticated airiness.

Pale gray walls (Benjamin Moore’s “Tundra” is a favorite) bring light and a sense of spaciousness to a room, allowing patterns to become more vivid and colors to take shape. Against pale gray walls, furnishings own the space they occupy, defining the topography of a room. Silhouettes emerge so that two exaggerated wing chairs upholstered in Designer’s Guild fuchsia velvet become animated, like butterflies in a cloud.

A pair of yellow chairs with lines like race cars are in full swagger against pale gray walls in a Manhattan high-rise apartment. Behind them, a row of iris-purple dining chairs with zippers up their backs pop like a chorus line. A silvery silk and wool rug also bounces light, enhancing the contrast of the color-blocked furnishings.

When beginning with a pale gray background, the overall balance in a room is all the more crucial. I look for just the right amount of pop — in color, texture, and pattern — for the feeling I want to create. A family living room filled with art, furniture, and textiles could easily become chaotic and visually messy, but feels cohesive and composed against a pale gray background. Pops of color lead the eye in a dance around the room, and a deer figurine has its own majesty standing on a mantel beside a striking image of a house in the woods.

ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is honored to have Fawn Galli as a featured Archetype in our upcoming color-themed Summer 2019 issue. Stay tuned for more from Fawn, and more tips and ideas on utilizing color, as the issue hits newsstands in just a few short weeks.

And be sure to get it first with a subscription to ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine.

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ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is seeker and storyteller of the sublime in living. It is a global guide to in-depth and varied views of beauty and shelter that stirs imagination; that delights and inspires homeowners as well as art and design doyens. Collaborating with emergent and eminent architects, artisans, designers, developers and tastemakers, ASPIRE creates captivating content that savors the subjects and transports with stunning imagery and clever, thought-provoking writing. Through lush and unique visuals and a fresh editorial lens, ASPIRE explores what is new and undiscovered in art, interiors, design, culture, real estate, travel and more. ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is an international narrative and resource for all seeking the sublime.