Autumn is here, and leaves are turning and falling. The riot of color outside changes a bit every day. Brown, red, rust, orange, yellow, and ochre leaves are mixed with green grasses and shrubs, and collect in piles when they fall.
from green to red to orange to yellow
Last week as I stood on the deck and looked at the trees in the back, it struck me that the colors used in the house are perfect complements to the colors in the fall landscape. Although white is the predominant paint color in the house, there are two other colors used on walls that can’t be seen from the main living area. The bedroom and bathroom each have an accent wall in golden yellow, and the swing space and loft each have an accent wall in reddish orange. Both colors match leaves hanging on to some of the trees around the house; the visual continuity of the outdoor and indoor is pleasing to the eye.
bedroom & bathroom
swing space & loft
Because the colored walls are balanced by white walls, the light coming in through the windows creates a reflection of that color on opposite walls. The photo below shows the effect—the only wall that is painted is the one down the middle, and the color faces the left. The light entering the skylight on the right has a much cooler tone since it is reflecting off a white wall. (View the original photo here.)
The furniture cushions and pillows are a light leafy green and buckskin, with one pillow in a contrasting reddish orange fabric similar to the paint color. The floor and kitchen counters are made of wood, with the floor a red oak and the counter a lighter more yellow oak. Houseplants have leaves ranging from chartreuse to dark green. Tile in the entryway is blue slate (although not visible from the house, reminiscent of the expanse of water on Norris Lake). All these interior colors have easily identifiable foils outside, and bring nature into the house this autumn.
red oak floor
The New Norris House is a design/build effort from the University of Tennessee's College of Architecture and Design. Began in 2009, the home was designed and built by UT students in collaboration with Clayton Homes. The built project is now complete and the final phase of the project has begun. A team of 4 people (2 living in the home, and 2 graduate researchers) will rigorously document the experience via qualitative assessments and quantitative measurements, posting results to this blog.