Thomas J. Story

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Choose matching tones. Start with a color you like and select other items in lighter and darker shades. Here, variations of yellow-green liven up a neutral sofa and wall.

Lead the eye with color. Don't concentrate all your color in a single area. We began with the green rug on the floor, positioned pillows and a tray at midlevel, and placed a lamp slightly higher. The eye travels from one spot of color to the next.

Group objects of varying heights. A collection of vases in complementary tones, heights, shapes, and finishes is more dynamic than a row of objects the same exact height and color.

Use eye-catching hues judiciously. Too much of a bright color can be jarring; small clusters of orange set the scene here without overkill.

Bring in accents from nature. A tray of oranges serves as a decorative element. Let unexpected objects add to the decorating scheme. The owner of this home has several books with orange spines, which are grouped together to make an impact.


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Angela Adams rug from Zinc Details (415/776-2100)

Lacquer tray from Lounge, San Francisco (415/563-2200)

Table lamp from Z Gallerie (800/358-8288).

Polka-dot glass and tall vase from Crate and Barrel (800/996-9960).

Striped glass from Zinc Details (415/776-2100).

Pillows in solid orange, from Crate and Barrel (800/996-9960)

Pillows with pattern, from Zinc Details (415/776-2100).

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