Claudia's Corner: Color of the year for 2011

Home Stager with Claudia Jacobs Designs LLC, Goshen, NY

By Claudia Jacobs For the Times Herald-Record

Published: 2:00 AM - 01/02/11Honeysuckle is the color of the year for 2011


Happy New Year!


It seems the older I get, the more time has a way of zooming by. Feels like only yesterday I was so excited to announce that my favorite color turquoise was the color of the year for 2010. Now, I don't live in a turquoise house, but that color does have a way of showing up in my life. From my Fiesta plates to my Roseville pottery to my Thunderbird to fashion and jewelry, turquoise pops into my life and probably always will.


Then there was the turquoise painting debacle. You would think painting my kitchen a beautiful shade of turquoise would make perfect sense. It did not. I hated it. That beautiful color against my white kitchen cabinets made it feel tropical and way too cool (as in chilly) an environment for my Hudson Valley home. The turquoise made it feel more like a place to serve up frozen drinks with umbrellas than the warm, inviting kitchen it should be. The thought gives chills as I write this on the first snowfall/blizzard of this winter.


As a decorator, I am a huge fan of ignoring the trends. What's in today is out tomorrow. So before discussing the 2011 color of the year, keep that in mind. Ignore a trend unless you love it.


That said, the color of the year for 2011 is honeysuckle. And what a color it is! It's bright! It's bold! Unless you are a tween who loves bright pink, honeysuckle should really be avoided as far as making any major appearance or as an investment in your home.


Don't get me wrong. It's a pretty color, just like my favorite color, turquoise. Most definitely I will buy a few pieces when I start shopping in the stores for spring fashion or even for the winter. I already own a beautiful cashmere sweater in that color. But I will tell you now, it's not going in my house.


If you love this color, go for it! But be forewarned: If you paint any room of your house honeysuckle, if you hire me for a staging consultation when you decide to sell, I will insist you paint over it.


The best way to live with a trend is to use small elements of it. If you see this bright color and love it, introduce it through accessories. Smaller items such as pillows, throws, towels, tableware, vases are great, affordable ways to live with a trend without investing too much money. Each item can be cost-effectively replaced when you grow tired of it or fall for the next trend.


Hype for the 2011 color

Here is what Pantone, the world's color authority, says about the color honeysuckle: "It's a color for all seasons. Courageous. Confident. Vital. A brave new color for a brave new world. Let the bold spirit of honeysuckle infuse you, lift you and carry you through the year. It's a color for every day — with nothing 'everyday' about it. A dynamic reddish pink, honeysuckle is encouraging and uplifting. It elevates our psyche beyond escape, instilling the confidence, courage and spirit to meet the exhaustive challenges that have become part of everyday life."


Pantone goes on about how we need something to lift our spirits in time of stress and how honeysuckle will get our adrenaline going and ward off the blues. That's swell, but my suggestion would be to join a gym to relieve the stress, feel better and get the adrenaline pumping.


After a complete walk-through of my entire house, I looked to see if it somehow snuck into my house in some way. There is not one drop of honeysuckle here. There are, however, a few rooms that need to be painted, as well as some rearranging, editing and de-cluttering that need to get done.


Update due every five years

So let's start the new year off with making some changes within your home. Walk through your house, room to room. Take note of everything that needs to get done. It could be painting, replacing some switch plates, purging those unwanted items, a new bedspread, pillows or anything that gets neglected, overlooked and just needs your attention.

Now make a date with your home. Give it the attention it needs. Can't find the time? Make the time, even if it is forced by the next snowstorm. A home should be updated and refreshed every five years. If it has been longer than that for you, it's time.


Let's think "out with the old, in with the new" for the new year. Keep what you love; get rid of what you don't. It can be done affordably, and you really don't have to spend a lot of money. The most important thing to do is to start, even if it takes a blizzard to motivate you, as it did in my house. My kids will tell you it also takes a mother loudly insisting for their own motivation. If you need some motivation, contact me. I promise not to raise my voice.

It is just the start of the winter. We've got four months before the column ends for the season. Let's fall back in love with our homes. Send in your decorating and staging questions to


Winter tips for your home

As I lay in bed during the blizzard, I realized I forgot to shut off the pipes to the outdoor hoses. Yikes!


Here are some tips from Chris Memmelaar of Hudson Valley DKI, a restoration company, on how to prevent your pipes from freezing:


Avoid freezing pipes


The damages caused from water pipe failures are among the most common losses homeowners suffer every year. Second only to hurricanes, frozen and broken water pipes cause more losses in terms of the number of homes damaged and the amount of claims paid by insurance companies in the U.S.


• Be sure everyone in the family knows how to turn off the water supply in the event of a burst pipe because quick action will minimize damage.


• Keep thermostats set to at least 55 degrees when the house is vacant or while you are on vacation during the winter. Have someone check on the home while you are away to make sure it's warm enough to prevent pipe freezing.


• If you plan to be away for a long time, drain and shut off the water system completely.


• Open cabinet doors below sinks to allow heat from the home to circulate.


• Wrap pipes nearest exterior walls and in crawl spaces with pipe insulation or heating tape.


• Disconnect all gardening hoses; install covers on outside faucets.


• Close all windows near water pipes; cover or close open-air vents. Wind drafts can cause pipes to freeze more frequently.


• Heat your basement; consider weather-sealing your windows.


• Insulate outside walls and unheated areas of your home.


• Even if you report the loss to your insurance company, it's your responsibility to mitigate the damages and prevent a larger loss.


• Keep a 24-hour emergency service number on hand.



Claudia is a decorator, professional stager and owner of Claudia Jacobs Designs in Goshen. Visit or call her at 294-8993. Send questions and photos to



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Barbara Michaluk
Weichert Realtors | Silver Spring, MD Phone Direct 240-506-2434 - Silver Spring, MD
Leisure World Specialist / Full Service REALTOR

Thanks for sharing your professional comments about color trends.  I agree with you that honeysuckle should be used in moderation as with any bright color.  Accents work!

Jan 03, 2011 12:00 AM #1
Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind
KGC Properties LLC, Tucson Property Management & Real Estate - Tucson, AZ

GOOD MORNING CLAUDIA!  Ooohhh ... I like it! My house is mostly rich browns, reds and jade so accenting would be the way to go!  I wonder what the color of the year would be for the outside of a house??!!  --Gab

Jan 03, 2011 12:04 AM #2
Kathy Burke
Sensational Home Staging~~Danville, CA - Danville, CA
S.F. East Bay Home Staging

I would have guessed Honeysuckle to be gold....I would be wrong.  LOVE this "raspberry twist" on pink!!

Jan 03, 2011 08:54 AM #3
Claudia Jacobs
Claudia Jacobs Designs LLC, Goshen, NY - Goshen, NY
Decorating, Staging

Thank you all. Could not log in all day yesterday for some reason. I would have thought Honeysuckle to be gold as well Kathy. Turns out the flower comes in different colors. Who knew?

Jan 04, 2011 11:43 PM #4
Debbie Walsh
Shahar Management - Middletown, NY
Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036

Wow this is a bright color, I like it but wouldn't use it myself.   Great post Claudia!!

Jan 06, 2011 07:00 AM #5
Claudia Jacobs
Claudia Jacobs Designs LLC, Goshen, NY - Goshen, NY
Decorating, Staging

Same here. I like it, I would wear it but I just couldn't live with it in my home. Unless the color appears in a vase! 

Jan 06, 2011 07:22 AM #6
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