The Power of Color

A bold, coordinated palette creates a cozy vibe and a smooth connection between casual and formal rooms.



It all started with a single swatch of fabric—a vibrant pattern in exactly the colors that Ann Newlin hoped to incorporate in the redecorating of her Sewickley home. A soft green evoked a favorite pair of chairs from the great room that Ann and her husband, Bill, had enjoyed for several years. There was a muted gold, echoing the color of their living room. And there were strokes of a bold red that seemed to tie the other elements together precisely.

“We found that first—the fabric for the drapes in the kitchen and family-room area,” Ann explains, “and it just took off from there.” This fabric, suggested by a designer Tiana Vucina from the Residential Design Group at Astorino, a Pittsburgh-based architecture, engineering and construction firm, was the catalyst that made vivid colors a central element of the Newlins’ year-long renovation and redecoration project.

Bold color, actually, isn’t new for the Newlins. They’ve been ahead of the curve, using vibrant shades years before interior designers made it a current trend. But this unified palette was something they hadn’t experimented with until Astorino’s experts recommended it.

Today, it fills their entire main floor with an appealing energy, conveying “the feeling that you should enjoy yourself here, that it should be fun to be here,” Bill says.

The colors also unite several different spaces. As old walls were knocked down to open up cramped rooms and create the sort of uninterrupted flow the Newlins prefer, the casual great-room area became clearly visible from the more formal living room. In Astorino’s redesign, these rooms are coordinated by color but still retain their individual style.

"It's comfortable to us," Bill Newlin says of Astorino's vivid redesign. "To me, that's the main thing."

The formerly oversized great room, pared down in size and infused with warm shades of gold, red and green, is now cozy and inviting. And the dining room has been amped up even further, with striking red walls and a round table meant to encourage dinner conversation. (The Newlins love to entertain.)

In the kitchen, a small window above the sink was enlarged and replaced with an 8-foot wide sheet of glass, letting in light and maximizing the view of the wooded backyard. The black backsplash was brightened with light tiles, and the breakfast nook became a sunny sitting area.

Even in the main-floor powder room, color reigns. “The wallpaper is so whimsical and fun,” Ann says. “With big prints, you’d wonder if it works in a small space. But it does, and it’s very lively.”

Bill Newlin was impressed with Astorino’s design work, and he loves the finished product. But he credits his wife for knowing exactly what their family needed.

“Ann has quite the flair for this kind of taste,” he says approvingly.
 

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Pittsburgh's Top 10 Things to Do in March

Pittsburgh's Top 10 Things to Do in March

Your 10 best bets for this month.
Jamie Dixon: Winning His Way

Jamie Dixon: Winning His Way

Peers, players, and regular observers know him to be one of the best coaches — and people — in college basketball.
15 Buzzworthy Pittsburgh Salons

15 Buzzworthy Pittsburgh Salons

From east to west — and north and south — these are the region’s salons and services that make our cut. Having a good hair day doesn’t have to be so difficult after all.
Home of the Year: 2015

Home of the Year: 2015

This year’s selections include a Richland Township house built to appreciate its 160-acre lot and Shadyside garage that was renovated into a stunning, modern dream home.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Why Browns Could Take a Few Social Media Tips from Penguins

Why Browns Could Take a Few Social Media Tips from Penguins

It seems the 'Burgh's boys of winter are popping up everywhere on the internet.
Table for 36, Please: Penguins Invade D.C. Restaurant

Table for 36, Please: Penguins Invade D.C. Restaurant

One item on the menu got a lot of attention.
Another Pittsburgh-Area Singer Advances on 'The Voice'

Another Pittsburgh-Area Singer Advances on 'The Voice'

Plus –– who knew? Actor Will Smith's ties to Pittsburgh.
Remembering Ron Tassone

Remembering Ron Tassone

The long-time dance professor at Point Park University died Tuesday.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Pittsburgh's Top 10 Things to Do in March

Pittsburgh's Top 10 Things to Do in March

Your 10 best bets for this month.
Jamie Dixon: Winning His Way

Jamie Dixon: Winning His Way

Peers, players, and regular observers know him to be one of the best coaches — and people — in college basketball.
15 Buzzworthy Pittsburgh Salons

15 Buzzworthy Pittsburgh Salons

From east to west — and north and south — these are the region’s salons and services that make our cut. Having a good hair day doesn’t have to be so difficult after all.
Home of the Year: 2015

Home of the Year: 2015

This year’s selections include a Richland Township house built to appreciate its 160-acre lot and Shadyside garage that was renovated into a stunning, modern dream home.
Review: Tender Bar + Kitchen

Review: Tender Bar + Kitchen

Lawrenceville hot spot Tender, once favored primarily for its libations, now is known as well for its culinary offerings.
Pittsburgh's Top 10 Things to Do in February

Pittsburgh's Top 10 Things to Do in February

Your 10 best bets for this month.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module