Q&A with Will Taylor of ‘Bright Bazaar’

In Will Taylor's new book, "Bright Bazaar: Embracing Color for Make-You-Smile Style," colorful chairs placed around a white table make the dining room a focal point.
In Will Taylor’s new book, “Bright Bazaar: Embracing Color for Make-You-Smile Style,” colorful chairs placed around a white table make the dining room a focal point.
(Andrew Boyd)

Cerulean Splash. Candy Crush. Citrus Twist. These are among the nonalcoholic “color cocktails” design blogger Will Taylor offers as design inspiration in his new book, “Bright Bazaar: Embracing Color for Make-You-Smile Style” (St. Martin’s Press, $32.50).

Whether it’s white-washed Scandinavian interiors accessorized with colorful painted dining chairs or warm pink-toned color palettes influenced by his travels to Spain and Italy, Taylor offers tips and strategies on how to create interiors that showcase personality while altering your mood for the better.

“Color definitely affects me personally,” Taylor said. “Several years ago, I was staying in a hotel in New York and everything was beige and brown. I could not wait to get out of that hotel room. It really affected my mood.”

Taylor took a break from his book tour in New York to weigh in on color and where he seeks his design revelations. He will sign books at West Elm on Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles on Thursday, May 8, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and at Mecox Gardens on Friday, May 9, from 1 to 4 p.m.


Why is color so nerve-racking?

People are afraid it will make their home look like a nursery school. It’s all about balance. You don’t have to get your inspiration from interiors alone. My advice is to remove yourself from your home and look elsewhere. You can find inspiration in your neighborhood, your wardrobe, your travels. Take yourself outside of your home to naturally find the palette that speaks to you. Maybe it’s a color scheme in an artwork. Or maybe it’s something that has a personal memory for you like your wedding day. Your personal stories are significant things that you can call on to bring color in to your home and make you feel comfortable.

You recommend people add color slowly at first. Can you offer tips on getting started?

I think it’s really good to feel that when you start to decorate a space, you don’t have to do it all in a weekend. Be patient and you’ll be less likely to make mistakes. If you’re going to paint walls, I would suggest choosing a color in three shades, both light and dark. Paint them on the wall a foot apart. Move them around the space to see how the colors actually look in natural light, artificial light and in the dark. Light is really what affects color. Some things that look great in a store will look different at home. Paint is flexible.

Black plays a surprising role in your book.

I love black. It is such a foil to bright art and textiles and is such a great way to showcase your personal style. Black tempers colors and gives them a richness. It serves as a great background. The same is true of white. Scandinavian style is a favorite of mine. With all white walls you can mix and match colorful cushions and other accessories. You can make it a real wow space and you didn’t have to dramatically change the physical structure of the room. People think you have to paint the walls to add color. You don’t.

Some of your color combinations are unexpected and successful – a bright blue fireplace is paired with lime green walls and orange accessories. How do you come up with your color palettes?

I often seek something out on holiday or just walking to work. If color combinations inspire you, bring it back in to your home. If you see a color that you like, try it out. Color doesn’t change. If it works in one place, it will work in some format in your home.


Is it safe to assume there is no beige in your house?

There is 100% no beige in my house, although I’m not against neutrals. Your home is such a personal space. I view it as an amazing opportunity to use it as a canvas to express yourself.