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Color Guard | Christopher Coleman

An interior designer shares his best strategies for using strong colors.

"Color puts a smile on the face of the room," says Christopher Coleman, a New York City­-based interior designer known for his use of bold hues and clean geometric shapes. To play off the brightly colored glass collection in a 1980s Lloyd Schwann grid cabinet, Coleman chose a cobalt-and-orange "Simdu" rug from Odegard (to the trade only; 800-670-8836). Echoing the curves of the glassware are the strong oval shape of the Eero Saarinen pedestal table from Knoll ($3,130; 800-343-5665) and the elegant backs of the 1940s Italian rosewood chairs.

Collector's Cabinet

Coleman adored the Lloyd Schwann cabinet, purchased at Property (917-237-0123), and thought it would make a perfect showcase for the owners' collection of vintage glass. He mounted the cabinet on a sideboard of his own design (with a drawer to store tablecloths). Most of the glass, including a 1960s red flared vase, from the Danish company Holmegaard's Carnaby line, from the End of History ($850; 212-647-7598).

Paints and Stains

The extra wide, stained wenge wood door frame provides a neutral transition between the "Pear Green" walls of the dining room and the "Amethyst Cream" purple of the hallway landing (paints from Benjamin Moore; 800-672-4686). The espresso-colored stain, a custom mix of ebony and brown, reappears on the mahogany sideboard and matches the color of the rosewood dining chairs (from Antiquarius; 212-343-0311) to create a more unified look.

Stylish Plastics

The kitchen also highlights strong color ("Sunshine" paint from Benjamin Moore) and 1950s design. The "Ant" chairs by Arne Jacobsen ($310 from Apartment Zero; 202-628-4067) and "Star Light" lighting fixtures by Eurolounge ($350 from Totem; 212-925-5506) are stylish and sturdy.

Published February 2004
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