Decorating with Color 101

Just as no two people are alike, no two rooms should be alike either.  Your home should be decorated in a style that appeals to you, that functions with your lifestyle, and that mirrors your personality and tastes.  So why do we have “design rules?”  Because even though every person should decorate in their unique way there are guidelines to follow that will help you make sure your style and room are being put together in the best way possible.

One of the first design principles is Color.  Let’s talk about it!  Let’s start at the very beginning and break down the basics of decorating with color.

The Standard Color Wheel (or Palette Theory) is based off of the three primary colors Red, Yellow, and Blue.  When you combine two of the primary colors together you get the secondary colors Orange, Green, and Purple.  And finally when you combine a primary and a secondary you get the intermediate (or tertiary) colors Yellow-Orange, Yellow-Green, Blue-Green, Blue-Violet, Red-Violet, and Red-Orange.  Note that the primary color is always listed first in the intermediate colors.

Standard Color Wheel

Still with me?  Good.  When you take these twelve basic colors and combine them with black or white and in all their different shades and hues you have an unlimited number of colors to work with.   So with an infinite number of colors to choose from how do you know which colors will work best together?  By becoming familiar with the different color schemes and learning which ones appeal to you the most.  This is not every color scheme but it covers the most common.

Color Schemes

Let’s look at a few examples of each of these schemes starting with Monochromatic- based on one color.





Source: Apartment Therapy


yellow kitchenSource: Better Homes & Gardens

Monochromatic rooms often use lots of white or small amounts of black to counteract the potentially overwhelming use of one color.  They can be calming (blues, purples) or very vibrant and energetic (yellows, oranges).

Next is Analogous Color Schemes- colors directly next to each other on the color wheel.

Green, Blue-Green, Blue-

blue and green bedroomSource:

Blue, Blue-Violet, Purple-

Purple-Living-Room-Ideas-with-Blue-Sofa-SetSource: Zune Top

Analogous Color Schemes work best when one color is chosen as the dominant color and the others are then used in lighter, more subtle hues.

Direct Complementary are colors that are exactly opposite on the color wheel.

Red, Green-

apple-green-playroom2Source: Design Dazzle

Blue, Orange-

blue-and-orange-boys-room-bhgSource: Better Homes & Gardens

Purple, Yellow-

purple-and-yellow-living-room-via-justbesplendidSource: Homestyle Diary

Direct Complementary are often used in children’s rooms because they have a high energy and impact.  They are also often school colors.  When the colors are lightened though, they can provide very lovely, calming combinations.

Split Complementary is one color and the two colors on each side of its direct complement.

Green, Red-Violet, Red-Orange

93Source: Carpet Color

These colors schemes are also high energy and work best when one color is displayed more predominantly than the other two.

Achromatic Color Schemes rely on blacks, whites, and neutrals and don’t actually show up in the color wheel.  They rely on textures and patterns for visual interest and design.  Often we find these rooms to be very calming and relaxing.

DP_Dolgin-Neutral-Living-Room_s3x4_lgSource: HGTV
living-room-modern-Ideal-Home3Source: House to Home

Knowing a few basics of color theory can help you when you are deciding which colors to use in your own home.  Pick your favorite and then play around with the different combinations.  Look at the different hues and shades available within each color scheme and find what works for you.

Does interior design intrigue you as much as it does me?  Leave a comment letting me know!

All Aboard the Party Train!

I wanted to take a minute to share with you my newest party package which has been added to my Etsy Shop or can be purchased from the Birthday Party Package page on this blog.   We have several little ones in our extended family (and among our friends) who are obsessed with trains and so it was with them in mind that I created the All Aboard Birthday Party.

All Aboard Party Package 1 All Aboard Party Package 2

 I love the way this package turned out, I think the colors and patterns really make it fun and exciting.  If you’re looking for an easy way to put together a fantastic party then printable packages are the way to go!  Here’s a closer look at just a few of the elements.

These invitations are your guest’s ticket to fun!

All Aboard Customized Invitation

Party Circles make great cupcake toppers, tags to use as decorations, mini banners, etc.  Very versatile!

All Aboard Party Circles

Putting together a pennant banner is a fast and easy decoration that also makes a big impact.  This one has lots of colors and patterns for a major punch.

All Aboard Pennant Banner

I also wanted to just show a couple of the custom party packages that I have done for my customers recently.  (Note that the names, addresses, etc. have all been changed.)  First was one for Mandy who wanted a “classy” construction party for her little one who was turning three.

Construction Birthday Party from Darling Doodles

I also worked with Amanda on her wedding invitations for her upcoming wedding in June.  She was looking for a simple, modern look with trees and butterflies.  I love her colors too, they are so fresh and pretty.

Modern Butterfly Wedding Invitations from Darling Doodles

Those are just a couple of the things I have been working on and I am so appreciative of everyone who is helping me grow my business.  I really want to focus on adding more party packages with lots of varieties in the coming months so be on the lookout for even more choices!  I love to create custom packages (it’s actually my favorite part) so if you have a party coming up I’d love for you to consider working with me to create exactly what you have in mind!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Re-purposed Sparkling Cider Bottles

I am one of those people who is not afraid to grab something that is on its way to the trash or that someone else has cast off on the side of the road.  Besides being free, I love transforming old and used pieces into something new and beautiful.  I’m always looking out for pieces large and small that can be re-purposed into something else.   So with that in mind I saved these old sparkling cider bottles that were left over from our night ringing in the new year.

Re-Purposed Sparkling Cider Bottles

Bottles are actually something I save a lot.  Everything from spaghetti jars to salsa jars to bottles like these.   The shapes are unique and they can be used for so many things.  I wanted to turn these bottles into some pretty vases so I started with removing the labels.

Re-Purposed Sparkling Cider Bottles

Some labels are more stubborn than others and simply pulling off the paper won’t work.  So I broke out my De-Solv-It, which I always use to remove sticky labels.  You can tell I use it a lot since this bottle is almost out!  After spraying the solution on and letting it sit for a few minutes the label was much easier to scrape off using a razor blade.

Re-Purposed Sparkling Cider Bottles Re-Purposed Sparkling Cider Bottles Re-Purposed Sparkling Cider Bottles

It did take a little bit of elbow grease, but in under five minutes both of the bottles were clean and ready to be painted.

Re-Purposed Sparkling Cider Bottles

I took advantage of a very unusually warm day to go outside and do some spray painting.  Since it was so nice I took care of quite a few projects at once and I’ll share some of those next week.

Re-Purposed Sparkling Cider Bottles Re-Purposed Sparkling Cider Bottles

I have yet to tire of painting things a fresh coat of white.  I just love the clean, simple look.  After giving these bottles-now-vases a few coats of white spray paint I embellished them with some charms I found in the dollar bins at Michaels that I strung onto some twine.

Re-Purposed Sparkling Cider Bottles

To think that these were headed for the trash… what pretty little vases they turned into.  I’m also in love with these charms.  I’m kind of wishing I had grabbed more.

Re-Purposed Sparkling Cider Bottles Re-Purposed Sparkling Cider Bottles

And just to prove that I mean it when I say I’m not above decorating with discarded items the frame, the clock, and all those books were pieces that other people were throwing away.  I’m more than happy to give them a new home.

Re-Purposed Sparkling Cider Bottles

 Post divider

Just a reminder you have until Friday to use the code DOODLES20 to receive 20% off your order in the Shaggy Baggy Etsy Shop.  Lots of you have already taken advantage of this deal so for those of you who haven’t be sure to check it out!


Cheese Tortellini Soup

If you follow me on Facebook then you might have seen a little glimpse into our weekend.  If you missed the picture then here are a few more of images of our very snowy and chilly weekend here in New England.

Snowstorm Pictures - Blizzard 2013We got hit by a major snow storm and were pretty much snowed in.  Sam didn’t have to work Friday through today (which was good since there was an executive order banning all driving)  so we had a lot of time to cuddle up in blankets, watch movies, and enjoy being warm and toasty inside while the weather raged outside.

This soup is delicious and absolutely perfect for a chilly winter day like the last few ones we’ve been having.  It is easy and yet so tasty and full of flavor.   One small bowl completely fills me up, which is too bad because I always want to eat seconds of this soup.  It also stores and freezes really well so it is a great make-ahead meal.  I can definitely say this is one of my very favorite soup recipes!

Cheese Tortellini Soup from Darling Doodles

The ingredients: Chicken Broth, Cannelloni Beans, Balsamic Vinegar, Black Pepper, Basil, Frozen Tortellini, and Roma Tomatoes

Cheese Tortellini Soup from Darling Doodles

The first step is to rinse and drain the beans.  Then in a large pot mix together all the ingredients except for the tomatoes.

Cheese Tortellini Soup from Darling DoodlesCheese Tortellini Soup from Darling DoodlesCheese Tortellini Soup from Darling DoodlesPut the pot on a back burner and simmer on low for one hour.  Every time you walk by give the soup a little stir, nothing you really have to worry about but stirring occasionally is recommended.  After the soup has been simmering for one hour chop up the tomatoes and add them in.

Cheese Tortellini Soup from Darling DoodlesCheese Tortellini Soup from Darling Doodles

Simmer the soup for another 30 minutes on low.  And then enjoy a hot bowl of this right away.  It is delicious with a thick slice of bread or served with crackers.  This recipe makes a ton of soup too, so it really is a great one to add into your rotation.  Especially if you’re going to be buried under three feet of snow.  :)

Cheese Tortellini Soup from Darling Doodles

Cheese Tortellini Soup from Darling Doodles


Download the PDF Recipe


Cheese Tortellini Soup from Darling Doodles

Random Acts of Kindness Cards

A couple months ago around Christmas I shared some Service Gift Tags  and some ideas on how to give a little bit more during the holiday season.  Well…Sam and I had so much fun doing some of those acts of service that I decided to change the tags up a little bit so they can be used all year long.   Like most times we give service, I think we were the ones who received the most.  It’s funny how that works isn’t it?

This post must have been meant to be because while I’ve been planning on doing this post for weeks now, I also just learned that next week is Random Act of Kindness Week!  Perfect timing!  So whether it is at Christmas, next week for RAOK Week, or just any ordinary day get out and do something good for someone else!

Random Acts of Service TagsDownload the PDF

Here is how to use the tags:

Tag #1: The next time you and your family are out enjoying dinner pick another table in the restaurant and anonymously pay their bill for them.  Ask the server to present them with this card instead of their check and watch their faces light up.

Tag #2: This one is similar to the dinner idea but it is more budget friendly.  If you don’t have the resources to pay for an entire meal then think about just sending over a yummy dessert instead.

Tag #3: Go into the gas station and ask them to put $10 of gas on pump __. (whatever pump you are by.)  Then tape this tag onto the pump and drive away leaving it loaded with $10 for the next person to pull in.

Tag #4: Put a few quarters into a Ziploc bag and tape the bag and this tag to a vending machine.

Tag #5: The next time you go to the movies buy an extra bag of popcorn or box of candy and ask the cashier to hand it to the next person in line, a family with lots of kids, etc.

Tag #6:  Be creative.  Think of someone who could use an extra smile or some act of service you can give.  Make this one all your own.

The Write Valentine

Putting together small gifts and Valentines is easy to do with fun little treats and the plethora of candy available at this time of year.  I love making tags that can be attached to a candy bar or packaged up with some yummy cookies.  But maybe you’re looking for something that is not full of sugar and won’t send the kids into a full on sugar high?  Then how about these cute pencils? I found this package at the dollar store and you can either add the tag right to the package or break them up into groups of 2 or 3 pencils for even more Valentines.

Printable Pencil Valentine's Day Tags

There are two different tags available to download.  One says “You’ve got the WRITE stuff” and the other says “You’re just WRITE for me.”

Printable Pencil Valentine's Day Tags

Easy, cute, and sugar-free!  Download the PDF

Printable Pencil Valentine's Day Tags

  • You may also be interested in: