All the lovely lights

We may be snow free here in San Francisco but we have been looking around to some colorful winter wonderlands for our white Christmas inspiration this year. In lots of cities around the world that lack pine forests beautifully encrusted in white snow architectural lighting stands in and rings in the holiday cheer. Lights, originally candles then white bulb lights then to the more modern multicolored, blinking, fading, etc, have long been one of the corner stones of the Christmas celebration.

Its not hard to see why we celebrate light in a season in which, for those in northern climates and from which the celebration originated, the winter means short harsh days and dark freezing cold nights. Not only have we taken to decorating our homes and trees with the small twinkling lights, some even shaped to look like blankets of snow caught on the eves, but our larger downtown and government building use architectural lighting to create whimsical, beautiful, and resoundingly modern displays.

Denver, Colorado has a long standing colorful tradition for their capitol building as well. They even threw in a Peace on Earth sign in for good measure. Via Flickr

Winter in Ottawa, Canada is especially cold and dark but the are lighting up the cheer with this colorful and bright winter themed lights display on the capitol building via Ottawa Rickshaws

Though we are celebrating these wonderful creating we should also keep in mind the extra electric and resources these displays take up and be mindful of conserving in other areas to compensate.  Keeping the heat lower and wearing a sweater for example. We hope everyone has a warm bright winter season this year. Thank you for reading our posts this year and thank you for all the color you bring to the world. Oh and if you think governments and businesses have the upper hands when it comes to amazing holiday lights, this video will change your mind.



– Emily Eifler, Writer, Colour Studio
– Jill Pilaroscia, Principal, Colour Studio

A Grey Grey Winter

It is winter here again in San Francisco and while we don’t get snow,  cold winds and constant rain,  definitely  can give one the winter greys. And when  life gives you charcoal clouds why not use them to make silver linings.  Grey  offers an alternative when trying to avoid the strict contrast between saturated black or  crisp white.

Slate Grey Kitchen via Jamie and Byron House Tour
Grey Bedroom via Heaven and Home

While we have waxed poetic before on the subject of grey as  an important neutral color when deciding on your home color palette, we have left it out of most of our seasonal decorating schemes. The effects of season changes, like fewer hours of sunlight and dipping temperatures dampen our moods. We have traditionally turned to  reds and greens for temporary colorful relief from the bleak of winter. But in a world where technology makes all colors in season all the time,  maybe we should embrace a bit of grey and fully embrace winter. 

Ghostly White Wreath via AM Growers

There are an ocean of white twinkling lights made to look like snow for those of us that don’t get snow. There are inflatable Santa’s riding on puffy sleighs,  trees flocked with fake snow and snowy window dressings.  This beautiful grey green  winter wreath is made from  lambs ear, a hearty plant with a soft cottony coating.  The the elegant string lights below celebrate the twinkle with a bit of silvery sting. 


Starry String Lights via Restoration Hardware
Christmas tree decorations, glass bulbs, candles, stocking, and garlands all come in graceful grey or charcoal. Last year we may have encouraged the rampant use of gaudy neons sprinkled in with your red and greens but this year we are more in the mood for a quiet contemplative winter. A bit of grey around feels like a warm blanket to comfort us through the cold and never ending rain. What color do you need this winter?

– Emily Eifler, Writer, Colour Studio
– Jill Pilaroscia, Principal, Colour Studio