Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

Color Inspiration Compliments of Paul Klee


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
6 Comments » | Published in Art and Artists, Color Palettes  |  6 Comments

Do you ever get in the design doldrums? Clearly you are a blog browser – do you ever get style ennui? Sometimes I feel very overloaded with so much information that I fail to see freshness because my brain is short circuiting. How do you get the juices flowing again?

One thing I do is climb up and take down one of my many art and design books (I’m a bit of a book hoarder and I’m starting to get a little scared for myself after watching this crazy show called Hoarders on A&E the other night (by the way, this show is really good at inspiring you to clean out the attic, the basement, the fridge, and any other place clutter can gather!). Last week it was this charming little book on Paul Klee that I picked up at my favorite used bookstore on the planet for two bucks. Not only was he a master of form and composition, but Paul Klee mastered color baby! Next time you are in the design doldrums, I highly recommend going to the library and checking out a monograph. For now, I’ll show you a few that jump-started my creative engine:

The next time that I fear picking out FLOR tiles is overwhelming, I’m just going to grab some that make this pattern:

Or this pattern:

This color palette is very Don Draper’s office:

Hmm, in a room this combo might come out looking a little 1980’s Miami, but it could still be great in a nursery or used with the just the right amount of each hue:

Seriously, if you are a clutterbug and you want to be scared straight, check out Hoarders over here.

About Becky:
Hi, I'm Becky. I live in Atlanta. Besides acting as the Editorial Director here on Hatch, you can find me talking design over at Houzz. Make me happy — leave a comment!

About Becky

has written 1620 post in this blog.

Hi, I'm Becky. I live in Atlanta. Besides acting as the Editorial Director here on Hatch, you can find me talking design over at Houzz. Make me happy — leave a comment!



  1. French furniture says:

    August 24th, 2009 at 5:44 am (#)

    I love Paul Klee paintings! The colours and the light are fantastic!

  2. visualingual says:

    August 24th, 2009 at 6:06 am (#)

    I completely agree about information overload. Sometimes, having easy access to so many of the latest trends and sources of inspiration can be paralyzing. Although I feel like I need to keep up with what’s going on in my field, I try to focus more on finding inspiration in other creative endeavors, like architecture or film. That way, whatever cue I might take has to be digested and translated into work that then feels more my own.

    But back to Paul Klee, whose work I love — I have a painter friend, Cedric Cox, whose work manages to be both contemporary and very much rooted in Klee’s use of color and geometry.

  3. Emily says:

    August 24th, 2009 at 7:50 am (#)

    Not sure I saw the A&E version of Hoarders, but did catch TLC’s “Help! I’m a Hoarder!” some time last week and was duly repulsed/terrified. I took a few old boxes out of the basement immediately and began sorting before the urge wore off.

    I agree about the information overload, but I think my biggest blog-based/design publication-based frustration is the lack of options/info for those of us actually living in tiny rental spaces – where our bedrooms serve as offices, sleeping quarters, storage, all and painting the walls really (no, really) isn’t an option. Just hanging a $25 shelf for much-needed storage/display can take $50+ off your deposit. I wish there was more out there for people like me – interested in design but on a limited budget and with limited flexibility in my space.

  4. Becky says:

    August 24th, 2009 at 11:07 am (#)

    FF and Maya, Even just scrolling down to the comments made me happy as I went through the Klee. I definitely need to remember to hit the galleries and museums as often as possible for inspiration.

    Emily, I think you should get a blog started for people living in small spaces! I’ll try to keep that in mind for future blog posts. I used to love “Small Space, Big Style” just for some of the ingenious storage solutions and multipurpose pieces people used in their homes.

    Side Note: I don’t mean to make light of true hoarders – it is a mental disorder that needs a lot more treatment than a call to 1-800-GOT-JUNK and a trip to The Container Store! It is majorly inspiring for clean up – I can’t believe the places I found to dust this weekend that I hadn’t even noticed after watching it this weekend!

  5. liza says:

    August 29th, 2009 at 3:47 pm (#)

    Wow! You picked some great ones. These definitely lifted me. I’m especially drawn to the first one. Thanks, Becky.

  6. Calvin Pipher says:

    June 19th, 2012 at 11:57 pm (#)

    Thanks so much, Becky. I was googling Paul Klee’s work and I found you. Cool… I’ve always loved his work and its so interesting as to why he’s not as well known to the general public as many of his contemporaries. And the interesting thing is he wasn’t confined to one certain style. The ability to paint in many different styles, throughout the years is very unusual and shows true talent. Many great artists have periods where the y do one style but Klee was truly unique. Thanks again and I’ll use a couple in one of my photo albums at Socal515 on Facebook. Take care and have fun. Sincerely, Cal

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