When I took my training to become a True Color Expert, one of the very first things our teacher, Maria Killam, taught us are the three most important principles about color.

#1. Color is either LIGHT or DARK (also called value).

#2. Color is either WARM ( Red, Yellow, Orange) or COOL ( Blue, Green, lavender).

#3. Color is either CLEAN or DIRTY.

Maria pointed out that when it comes to choosing a color pallet, the latter is where most people go wrong; they mix a clean (bright) color with a dirty (muted) color.  Now to perfectly illustrate this situation, I need to back up a bit.

My husband and I are fortunate to own a beautiful piece of land in the White Mountains of  NH. When we first owned the land we tent camped. At first it was adventurous and kind of fun, but eventually it got to be too much work and even my out-doorsy husband decided  it was time to upgrade to a Camper. Now I know absolutely nothing about Campers. In fact, I had never even been inside a Camper until we started looking for one. To sum up Camper Interior Design, let me just say they are at least 20 years behind the times. Cabinetry is Oak, carpets are Blue or Green and they all have wallpaper. I finally decided to just “get over it” and left the entire Camper purchase up to my husband; after all, anything would be better than another Summer sleeping in a tent. He was so excited when he finally located the make, model and year at the price he wanted to pay.

Now here is where the Clean/Dirty part comes in. Here is the inside of our new (2007) Camper.The sofa is a dirty Olive Green/cream. The fabric on the funky window treatments are also dirty Olive Green, but the wall paper boarder which goes around the ENTIRE Camper is a screaming bright CLEAN Lime Green!



"Clean" wallpaper boarder, "Dirty" fabric

Here is a close up to show exactly what I am talking about. See how the wallpaper boarder is just not working with the more muddy or dirty fabric? They actually seem to fight with one another.



The more time I spend inside the Camper, the more it bothers me. Over the 4th of July holiday the Camper actually started to mock me. That clean wallpaper boarder taunt me and sang, “Nah, Nah…Nah, Nah, Nah!

Can you relate to  my pain?   Me…a certified True Color Expert…enduring the taunts of a wallpaper boarder. For those of you who say, “just take it down” I will share with you what I recently learned. Unlike in a home where design changes can increase the value, any changes made to a Camper DECREASE the value. Since we plan to build a small vacation home on the land and one day sell the Camper, the boarder stays. In the meantime, cream colored slip covers will be my very  next purchase.  Oh, BTW, I have no idea what to say about those funky window treatments.


If your house has a clean dirty fight going on and you would help making peace, give me a call…Camper Designers are you listening?









Linda Holt | Interior Designer & iPhone Coach

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