The Freshest Summer Palette — And It Isn’t Blue and White!

Recently, we vacationed with my husband’s family in Hilton Head. The company was fantastic, the shore gorgeous, the water warm, and my kids emerged sans the blue lips they usually sport while swimming up here. Then, one night while we were eating some ice cream before bed, a TV special about the beauties of New Hampshire came on. The heat index was 110° in South Carolina, so seeing our gorgeous state in all its glory kept me glued to the TV for a few minutes.

Squam Lake Inspiration — Blue and Green

The narrator began to discuss the Lakes Region and showed Lake Winnipesaukee, with bustling, crowded (albeit lovely) Meredith and lots of boat traffic, and then … nothing. That’s IT?????!!!  What about Pleasant Lake, Newfound Lake, and (IMO) the crown jewel, Squam Lake? (You know, the one where Jane Fonda speeds all over in a mahogany runabout and a bikini in On Golden Pond.)

Then I thought to myself, what am I thinking?? It’s AWESOME that nobody outside of a few very well-informed people with great taste in outdoor wonders know about Squam. Because then, you see, my family gets to enjoy this:

Handsome Husband and Things 1 & 2, on our 30-year-old outboard dubbed "The Zipper"

Handsome Husband and Things 1 & 2, on our 30-year-old outboard dubbed “The Zipper”

I’m not being dismissive of my children in that caption. It’s a Dr. Seuss thing.

Anywho, who could argue with those clear colors? Crisp, crystalline water (you can see 20 feet down or more), cotton clouds, sapphire sky, emerald islands and mountains — altogether calming and energizing at the same time.

Squam Lake Collage1

And then I thought, no wonder I’m always drawn to greens and blues, especially together! God, Himself, is! And so are a lot of other really great designers. 🙂

Blue, Green, and White. We’ll start out with a neutral backdrop with blue and green textiles and whatnot, head to blue surroundings after that, and end with my favorite color — green! That way you can accustom yourself to the possibilities of this palette slow and easy-like.

Neutral Walls

Now, I know some of you are a little color shy, so let’s start with some rooms with neutral walls and green and blue accents.

I’m an old house lover, and the above is a particular favorite. True to style, but also fresh for today.

Blue Walls

Blue is America’s favorite color, so we’ll go there next.

Photo by Eric Roth

Photo by Eric Roth

Definitely a New Hampshire boy’s room! That’s actually a seersucker-like wallpaper that you can see when you’re closer. Nothing more summery than seersucker.

Earl 5

Photo by Eric Roth

Princess Ann: Can I sleep here?

Joe Bradley: Well, that’s the general idea.

Princess Ann: Can I have a silk nightgown with rosebuds on it?

Home Glow: Will you settle for lilacs on the walls?

(Almost from the film “Roman Holiday,” with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. If you haven’t seen it, please do. You’ll be glad you did!)

And back to our regularly scheduled program….

As seen in the old Domino magazine. One of my favorite rooms of all time. There are so many interesting things going on, from the daybed, to the bust, to the cornices on the windows. I love it.

Green Walls

I’m a green girl, and I would paint everything green if I could. I love almost every shade. (Except army, I don’t think anyone wants a room in army green.)

Another great example of how a really old house (by U. S. standards) can still be comfortable and fresh.

Oh, if only my home had paneling like that!

Miles Redd always takes his colors to the extreme. Honestly, it isn’t just the emerald paint that makes me think of the Emerald Isle. Doesn’t this feel like it could be in an Irish estate house? The British aristocracy do the “you’d-think-they-clash-but-somehow-go-together” style so well, as does Redd. Love the blue and white Chinese lamps with the chintz tablecloth.

Now, these rooms are inspired by the colors of the lake. I would not say they were in “lake house style” (or really anything near!). Perhaps another post for that. But does it inspire you to add some green to your blue and white fantasies? I hope so!

If we hit the lottery, maybe this will be the husband and me in 50 years in our own “camp” on Squam. It would only take a cool million or two. In the meantime, I’ll see you at the lake!


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  • Thank you for including my projects among these incredible designers (many of whom are my idols)! Blue and green is my favorite color scheme too, and there are oh-so-many ways to do it. It’ll never get old for me.ReplyCancel

    • Amy

      I think some of your rooms served as the launchpad for the post in my mind. Love them!ReplyCancel