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Friday, April 8, 2011

Famous Name Behind New Paint

Cynthia Rowley's Runway to Room

Fashion designer Cynthia Rowley has a new line -- but this time, it's for the home.

We've been a little obsessed with fashion-inspired rooms lately, so when we heard that designer Cynthia Rowley was teaming up with Devine Color's Gretchen Schauffler to curate a paint palette based on her fall 2011 ready-to-wear collection, we knew we had to sit down for a chat.

Rowley's no stranger to the world of interior design, having flexed her decor muscle as a judge on HGTV's Design Star. And Schauffler's no newbie either, launching her own paint line 13 years ago. In fact, Schauffler's been honing her color sensibility since her childhood in Puerto Rico where it's customary to repaint your home for the New Year.

When fashion meets home furnishing (and in one case a paint color called Flamingo), beautiful rooms abound. Here's how they did it.

Which came first...the clothes or the paint?"With every collection, the first thing that we do is put together the color palette," Rowley says. "We started off for this season with these really decadent, luxurious, rich colors, then layered on these pops of bright." On her model it's the salmon-colored jacket and olive-green belt, at home it would be this Flamingo paint. Rowley says she couldn't resist.

Fashions come and go, but are paint colors trendproof?
Rowley says it depends on how much of the color you use. She's all about experimenting, mixing two unusual colors even. "That's a big trend on the runway," she says. "I don't think trendproof is really a big deal when you're talking about paint. It's OK to be a little trendy because it's just paint and it's a wall and in a few months if you want to change it, just change it."

It's not so much a seasonal proposition in fashion and the home, Rowley says. "The same way people wear boots in the summer, it's sort of the same thing." Above: A flowy olive jumpsuit pops against a hardwood runway, while Devine Iguana paint brightens up an entryway.

Is inspiration really everywhere, as they say?
"Definitely. For me, it never really comes from other clothes or other fashion. It comes from a lot of contemporary art, bits of fabric, travel," Rowley says. "If you see something, whether it's a flower or a matchbook cover or a painting, you can jump from there into a color that you want to live with in a bigger way." Above: Picking up on the colors in a pair of velvet boots, left, Rowley chose Devine Spray, right, a watery blue paint that's the perfect counterpoint to a lit fireplace.

Do any of these colors work better in certain rooms of the house than others?"Gretchen talked about using Flamingo maybe in a bedroom or a bathroom, but I think there's no boundary," Rowley says. Schauffler says she's seen it in a kitchen with beautiful white cabinetry and touches of lime and dark chocolate. "The colors just allow you to be effortless in your self expression," she says. Above: A chocolate-colored jacket grounds an otherwise light ensemble. At home, Devine Canyon has the opposite effect, adding an airy pop of color to the dark, heavy furnishings in a living room.

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