How to Create a Flow of Color and Pattern in a Home


Am THRILLED to feature a free home decorating tutorial by celebrated interior design veteran, published author, and loyal Fine Craft Guild-reader, Betsy Speert. This free interior design tutorial on living room colors is to celebrate Betsy winning the fourth ‘A Stitch Above’-award for superior DIY & Craft blogging.

After a successful interior design career, Betsy, now retired, is enthralled by DIY. In this new-found sharing attitude, Betsy here is giving away her ‘gold’. How to handle the flow of color and patterns when home decorating is her trade secret upon which she has built her very successful career.

Betsy is a sought-after expert on this topic; magazines feature her work on their covers. Betsy has written two books: Great Color and Pattern Collection (Better Homes & Gardens Decorating) and Great Bath Ideas.  I’ll showcase her books at the end of this article, but first I want to talk more about Betsy’s ‘A Stitch Above’- award.

Betsy Speert ~ A Stitch Above

Betsy is receiving the ‘A Stitch Above’-award, because of her superior ability to design homes. Anyhow who has seen her metamorphoses from a blah-condo into a gorgeous country cottage interior, which I have featured before, would agree with me.

Furthermore, despite being really talented and celebrated, Betsy is far from arrogant!  In fact, she is remarkably personable and fun.

You know she has a sparkle eye when she writes her blog. Her tone and delightful sense of humor makes you feel like you are having an interesting conversation with a fun friend.

But what is most significant to me, in the context of all of this, is what is only told ‘between the lines’. Betsy’s incredibly generosity with which she shares her designer talents and abilities. One story that comes to mind is Betsy designing monograms and then hand-embroidering them on a set of chairs for her friends (see here) and you know this is a true labor of love that would have cost her days of work. These gorgeous chairs are fit for a prince and a princess…

So, today, in the the spotlight, the wonderful interior designs by Betsy Speert to help you transform your home into a

Managing Interior Design

Living Room Colors

It’s time to share Betsy’s gift for you, my readers, in her usual generous and whimsical manner. Here is her free interior design tutorial.

living room colors



What fun to visit Rose today, I hope you all enjoy my guest post.

So here goes…….

When I work on a design’s color scheme, I always start with one major pattern or color to mark as my jumping off place.

It doesn’t have to be on a main piece of furniture, it could be nothing more than one or two toss pillows. However, it works as the beginning of my palette.

In my own home, the starting point was my dining room chandelier.

living room colors

I saw it in an antique lighting store, and just had to have it…..

Next thing I know, the blue is what set the tone for my whole downstairs in the new condo I had just bought.

It just so happened that the cabbage rose chintz that I already had from my old home, had the same color blue in it, in the leaves of the roses.

living room colors

So, I chose this color as my main hue, and ran with it!!!!

I found the same color in linen draperies at Restoration Hardware, so I used the panels for the window treatments in both my living and dining room.

living room colors

In the dining room I found a wallpaper that was the same color as the draperies, to repeat the blue above the wainscoting.

living room colors

I used the cabbage rose chintz in both rooms too.

In the dining room it was on two of my dining chairs, and in the living room I used it on a couple of arm chairs as well as toss pillows, which brought some pattern onto my white slipcovers.

living room colors

I found a wonderful bookcase that was already painted in tones that were perfect for my room.

living room colors

Off the dining room is my kitchen (what a surprise!!!!!)

I had floral wallpaper put up that continued the feel of the chintz in the two other rooms.

living room colors

This way, I was able to change the scheme over to green in this room, but still have it relate to the other spaces.

living room colors

I used the same green stripe on the sofa in the family room that’s part of the kitchen, as I have on some of my dining room chairs.

living room colors

This picture shows the flow from the living room into the dining room.

living room colors


The three main rooms of my home are all inter-related.

Sometimes I just wander from room to room, and pat myself on the back.

The most important thing in ANY HOME… that the person, (or people) who live there, love what they have. This isn’t a competition; it’s all about what makes you feel like you’re REALLY, REALLY, REALLY home. (Of course, the most important consideration, is, that the one who cleans it, likes it.) (What am I going on about…..I have a have a house cleaner…..) (She’s wonderful) (OK, I’ll end here…..)

Thanks for welcoming me to Fine Craft Guild! I would love it if you would visit me at my blog, but fair warning…: I tend to make a lot of jokes and tell some silly stories… you’ve been cautioned!



Well, now you can see why Betsy’s work was featured on the cover of design magazines, right??!! Her house is a gorgeous country cottage retreat.

And if you even think for a moment that it’s not spectacular, have a quick look what her condo looked like when she bought it:

country cottage

I know. This picture did it for me. I realized she’s a magician!!!

OK. Now that you realize too how fabulous she is, realize too she is helping you to do the same for your house!!! When you read her tutorial above, oh, she makes it sound so simple. Insignificant almost. ‘Oh, you just continue that color here and there.’ But study these photos, folks, and let your eyes tell you the story in full details.

Furthermore, since her books are now ridiculously inexpensive on amazon, get them both! Worth every penny. In fact, they are just one penny each!!! Crazy… Some book warehouse is unloading stock. Take advantage of this.

Books by Betsy Speert

This book explains more on this topic of this article and helps you choose new living room colors and so transform the interior of your humble abode into the one of a gorgeous, luxurious mansion.

Great Color and Pattern Collection (Better Homes & Gardens Decorating)

Great Bath Ideas

While this interior design book focused on bathrooms, her tips and way of looking at things will be useful throughout your home.

Both interior design books are published by Better Homes and Gardens, so they are ‘the good stuff’.


Thank you, Betsy, for your beautiful inspirational photos of your country cottage home to help us determine our living room colors.  And to my readers:  If you like this article, G+ it / Pin it / FB like or share it/ Tweet it, or Share anyway you like it (buttons are bottom left and top right of this page).  Do visit Betsy Speert’s blog and buy her interior design books.  You will enjoy it all. I am sure!

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