Design Library

Design Library

I hope you will enjoy this sampling of some my favorite resources on color and other topics of interest.
Other favorite related items will be here also, among the books.

Note: entries are shown alphabetically by title, so be sure to see the entire list!

Of course I have to enter my own book, Windows to Imagination .

Contact me if you have favorites you’d like me to consider for this page!

Book List

  • What more is there to say about color?

    So, it’s been a while since I’ve written a post here. “Been So Busy…” is what people often say. I guess it’s true that I have ‘been busy.’ But here’s the thing. So much to think about color, so much to say, so little time, and so forth.

    I just decided to Ask! What would you like to hear about?
    It could be one of these topics but feel free to add your own requests!

    • Interior color ideas?
    • Exterior color ideas?
    • Paint or other materials?
    • Color Theory?
    • Client questions?
    • Full Spectrum Paint color questions?
    • Coordinating paint and furnishings?
    • What is supportive color?
    • Applied color psychology?
      …and more?

    My own list of potential posts is much longer than that of course, but sometimes it’s also good to ask for suggestions.

    Let me know, and let’s share some color stories and tips.

    New England Peaches

    Yes, it’s a bowl of peaches!

    Just the image to inspire a dramatic “Fall” palette for interior and exterior house colors.
    Take your pick, and make the most of how you use them.
    Warning: A little bit goes a long way!

    Meanwhile, enjoy the end of Summer. I know I will.

  • A Maslow-Inspired Thanksgiving Color Palette

    What are the colors of Thanksgiving?
    So much more than paint, decorating, or  “trend palettes.”
    I wanted to offer some color-reflections for the holiday season, and beyond.

    Maslow's Hierarchy - reinterpreted as Thanksgiving colors

    Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – reinterpreted as Thanksgiving colors

    What’s important?
    Please share your own inspirations and color-reflections!

  • Fashion in Colors

    The spectrum of color: content, interest, application, social meanings, trends, materials (to name just a few) naturally includes textile design and fashion. Even if we’re not “fashionistas” (one of those questionable words that somehow actually means something), “Fashion” is in our lives.

    Fashion in Colors - the book

    Book cover: Fashion in COLORS

    Might as well enjoy it!  And to do so, check out Fashion in COLORS, published for the exhibition, “Fashion in Colors,” at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum at the Smithsonian Institute, 2005-2006, curated by Akiko Fukai.

    According to the inside cover, the origin of the book was the original exhibition organized by the Kyoto Costume Institute, that was shown at the National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto, 2004.

    One unique aspect of this book is in the presentation. Sections on artists, designers, and color families make it a unique exploration of color and design. Works by the iconic designers whose names you will recognize are fascinating and the photography is simply astounding. It’s a complete immersion in color, shape, texture, textile design, and information.

  • Color Creates Light: Studies with Hans Hoffman

    “In nature, light creates the color; in the picture, color creates light.”
    –Hans Hoffman

    Hans Hoffman

    More than ‘color inspiration,’ looking to fine art is a dynamic way to experience color. Hans Hoffman exemplifies the word “colorist.” This book offers an in-depth exploration of his theories of color as well as gain as sense of the man—his life, teaching, and art work—in a biography. Also included are many illustrations of work by other artists, some of whom were his students.

  • Indigo Textiles-Technique and History, by Gosta Sandberg

    Seriously, I had no idea when I wrote the recent post about Mood-Indigo that this color was going to be such a big thing!  In West Elm, Crate and Barrel, and even Home Accents Today, all have some mention of this mysteriously beautiful and infinitely variable color and dye.

    Dare I predict…(even without a crystal ball) that we’ll be seeing a lot more of this very old dye color in mainstream decor, and not just in denim.

    INdigo Textiles TEchnique and History

    Right here, enough to get started, with numerous great pictures.


    So, to hearken back to my long-time fascination with traditional surface design techniques and materials, I found this on my bookshelf.

    Dyeing to Try?
    For those of you who might take your interest in Indigo to the next level, I encourage you to check out this little volume. You have the instructions Right Here, to do your own Indigo dye work.

  • Carlo Scarpa

    Check out the ColorViews Blog post for more about this subject.

  • Got Color? No More Neutrals…Get Gaudi!

    A long winter..”neutrals” got you down? Fret no longer, Get energized with Gaudi.

    Antonio Gaudi

    No, it's not a dragon—it's a building. From: Complete works: Gaudi / by Aurora Cuito, Cristina Montes. This image from the book is by Pere Planells

    Exquisite photography and detailed descriptions of sites provide a compelling entree into the Gaudi world. As an architectural color consultant I particularly enjoy Gaudi’s bold, personal style of color in architecture. I’m happy to have the English edition so I can actually read the text!

    Next stop…Barcelona!

  • Ikat Textiles of India

    Ikat Textiles of India by Chandra Desai

    No image on, so I offer this image of my own copy of Ikat Textiles of India, by Chelna Desai

    A contemporary view of Ikat textiles in India.  Shown are designs in a wide range of colors, from simple everyday styles to complex, rare examples. Includes the history and technique of Ikat with a very useful glossary.

  • The Dyer’s Art: Ikat, Batik, Plangi

    The Dyer's Art by Jack Lenor Larsen

    This photo is of my own well-worn copy of this wonderful reference book.

    Anyone who has an interest in the origins of textile design will enjoy this in-depth view into the world of color and design in textiles. Major types of resist dye are explored in this instructional visual resource, complete with numerous photos of textile work in their extraordinary processes, in their original tribal environments.

    Authors: Jack Lenor Larsen: Renowned designer, craftsman and colorist; anthropologist Dr Alfred Buhler; ikat specialists Bronwen and Garrett Solyom.  c. 1976, Van Nostrand Reinhold.

  • Ndebele: The Art of an African Tribe

    Decorative, functional and symbolic, the art of the tribal Ndebele women of South Africa continues to amaze us with its beauty, simplicity, and drama.

    This book was first published in 1986. Many of the buildings shown are no longer standing, giving us even more reason to appreciate these amazing painted dwellings and the people who created them.

  • The Ultimate Painted House(s):are you ready for this?

    Are you ready for this?Tribal art in South Africa - an inspiration
    Beadwork and Painting of the Ndebele women.      Click on the image to go to our Design Library, where you can order this book.

    Decorative, functional and symbolic, the art of the tribal Ndebele women of South Africa continues to amaze us with its beauty, simplicity, and drama.

    This book was first published in 1986. Many of the buildings shown are no longer standing, giving us even more reason to appreciate these amazing painted dwellings and the people who created them.

    I could not say it better, so will quote from the statement of Nadine Gordimer on the book’s flyleaf.

    “Margaret Courtney-Clarke’s book is a revelation…of a glorious continued existence, under the most destructive forms of physical and psychological hardship imaginable, of an artistic culture at the very center of life itself.  The art of the Ndebele women is uniquely rooted in that guardianship; its canvas is the shrine of the home, where children are conceived and reared and family life is housed in the spirit.  The beauty of this book is unsurpassed in its combination of content and meaning. Its art is also the art of life.

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    “Enjoy the Process: Guidelines for Working with a Design Professional.”

  • The Bread Builders

    See the Colorviews blog post that relates to this tasty subject! It’s a stretch, admittedly , but I couldn’t resist.

  • Creating a New Old House

    Here’s a beautiful new addition to the IntegralColor Design Library.
    Please remember that all book in the design library are in alphabetical order!

    Loving old houses for all that is lovable about them—the warmth, style, charm, sense of history, integrity of design—and wanting to translate that to a new building, is not a particularly easy task.

    Subtitled “Yesterday’s Character for Today’s Homes,” this beautiful volume by Russell Versaci with photographs by Erik Kvalsvik will be a welcome addition to your own design library and a great reference for your home design projects.

  • Blue – The History of a Color

    Looking into the history of any color is fascinating, and in BLUE, Michel Pastoureau has created a beautiful book that is rewarding for it’s own aesthetic qualities, both visual and functional (yes, the binding is really stitched and the book lays open at any page!).

    As for content, the color illustrations taken from a variety of historic documents serve to make the educational text entertaining as well as informative.

  • Concerning the Spiritual in Art

    From 1914, the ever-relevant Wassily Kandinsky–prolific painter and writer.

  • Your Brain at Work

    This popular book is a concise-but-comprehensive overview on how to function more effectively. David Rock’s entertaining and informative style makes it reading for pleasure!

    Why do I add it here among books largely concerned with color? I couldn’t resist – you can tell by looking at the cover that it’s a great use of color for the attention-grabbing Green/Yellow, Black, and White combination set on the background of a bright, but friendly, blue-green. Do I hear…Color for 2010, Turquoise?  OK, so it’s  “deep turquoise…”

    If you have not already read it, check it out now!

  • Color in Three-Dimensional Design

    Boston area architectural and interior designer Jeanne Kopacz brings a well-rounded and complete approach to the title’s subject, with the emphasis on how color affects all areas of the design process. I was delighted to be a resource for the section on Visual Color Mixing.

  • Color: a Natural History of the Palette

    The world of color, literally, brought to us by Victoria Findlay. Travel, history, color lore, all combine in this fascinating and educational read.

  • Creating Curb Appeal

    In tough real estate times we need all the help we can get in making our homes attractive. Creating Curb Appeal by Michelle Valigursky & Lisa Vail, with photography by Theresa M. Grant, is a beautiful and affordable resource for anyone interesting in creating a beautiful home exterior. I’m pleased to have been included in the Living with Color chapter of this publication!

  • The Anthropology of Turquoise

    Thanks to my colleague Rachel Perls of Hue Consulting for the tip about this fascinating book by Ellen Meloy. Coincidentally, I found out about it along with the 2010 color forecasts.