Interior Design: Coloring Outside the Lines

I have a story for you. A story of how we saved a piece of art from a remodel. Get your beverage of choice (a la Chris Brogan’s newsletter. Nod and grin to Chris.) I am having water without ice because said-9-year-old ate the ice, and a little lemon–one of the few things not quickly devoured by a household of boys.

The time  had come to convert the room to a studio. Happily, I need a larger space. You know it’s true when half your bed is devoted to love, but not that love. I mean, your passion, yes, but it’s your business/hobby!   Choosing NOT to sleep with my paintings, I sought a larger room.

The beautiful warm rust walls in the space competed with the colors in my head for designs, and I wanted brighter light.

The room in it’s previous incarnation, as a showroom for my open studio art show.

Art Show Tiffany tihany Harris






Painted Tote bags by Tiffany tihany Harris

On rolled the white paint. I felt like a heretic.



My help listened when I said, “An artist always signs his work.”


I always ADD color, not take it away. The household residents had a fit. Mom? Are you sick? White?  But when they saw me painting first thing in the morning, in my nightie, with my coffee (beverage of choice at that hour), they knew I was serious.  Or seriously… Something. Nevermind.

You may remember this AMAZING door and the silly cool story behind it.  Get the facts HERE.


(Read the story. Shameless second plug)



How to save it? With an all white room, it would just fade into the heavenly glare. So I decided to have the designs LEAK onto the WALLS.

People, I ask you. WHY NOT?  Why do you have to only paint a room following the lines. Who made that rule? The Mattress Police People who said you can’t take the tags off your new pillows. I am giving you PERMISSION to make swirls and to let your art flow on the walls.  Go for it.

Don’t do it perfectly. Wallpaper is for that. Dip your brush and flow, swirl, twist, box, outline, doodle. Remember, you likely have 2 extra gallons in the garage from 5 years ago when you painted the room last.  You can revert to safe mode.  But you won’t want to.

This is how my project turned out.

room2 room3

Ready for it’s next life, as a WORKING studio.





  1. I like it that you left the rich tone in parts of the room…contrasts nice with the white and then the wild side shows up with a wander out from the door. Nothing like an artistic wild hair here and there. Nice job!

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