Gil Walsh’s Color Story
Famed Palm Beach Interior Designer Hues Poetic in This Exclusive Interview
The pandemic brought us inside both literally and figuratively. For many of us, we were left facing four white walls. Or perhaps they were gray or taupe, part of the neutral trifecta that has dominated social media feeds for the past few years–along with a kilim rug and a fiddle ficus tree. Taking inventory of Benjamin Moore’s top-selling colors, they include 50 shades of neutral– the majority of them off-whites.
But guess what? More and more Americans are bored of the blank slate. They’re craving warmth, freedom, and yes–a little color in their lives. “Life is too short to live in black and white,” says designer Gil Walsh. “We are surrounded by color every day in nature. It inspires us and invigorates us. Bringing color indoors is the most natural thing to do.”
For many homeowners, the idea of picking a color from a palette of 5,000 shades is daunting. White is a safe haven. But safety breeds a neutral pandemic. It’s the salad order instead of the lobster fra diavolo. It’s painting by numbers and often boring. Picking a color or color scheme requires risk. And we all know high risk equals high reward. “Being surrounded by color is a natural part of life, and should be celebrated,” adds Walsh.
Splitting her time between offices in Martha’s Vineyard and Palm Beach, Walsh has always been a fan of threading hues into her textiles, walls, accessories and art. If this recent lockdown taught us anything, it’s that life is precious and we need to embrace every shade of it. “Color brings out the passion in life,” says Walsh. “It enhances your senses and state of mind.”
Exclusive Q & A with Gil Walsh
Has the white-washed trend reached a saturation point or will it continue?
Throughout history, the white look has been celebrated, and will always be in style. People are learning how to add color to white through accessories, accent pillows, art, and rugs, and throws.
Do you find that your clients are initially afraid to use color?
Initially they are hesitant, fearing they are going to get tired of a color. Yet. we wear color on our bodies every day. I tell my clients to look at nature. Color is everywhere in nature and we never tire of it. Nature is the greatest designer and her outside world inspires us with beautiful color schemes that the skilled eye of a designer can translate to the indoors.
What are your top 3 favorite colors?
Red, shades of red, and more red. Many ancient civilizations used red for a reason. They believed that every room needed red. It’s been a powerful color throughout history. And depending on the shade, it can stir a range of emotions.
What are the baby steps that the color-phobe can take?
Anyone that is hesitant to use color should use it in the accessories, artwork, and accent pillows. They can start with a hint of color, and start from there. Accessories are the easiest way to control the color in a room. And when they get a little daring, we can dive into painting a room. The right paint color can be transformative.
How do you figure out what colors to bring into a home?
First you figure out what is the client’s favorite color. Then you need to look at the natural lighting of each room to determine how that color reads in the room, and if the light compliments the particular color.
The pandemic has enticed people to take bold and colorful choices in their homes and personal lives. I know you just took the bold choice to get married last week. What was that like?
Johnny and I knew we wanted to get married, and having gone through the pandemic we said to each other, “Why wait?” It was a a whirlwind, but at the end of the day it’s about the quality of life, and enjoying our time together.
About Gil Walsh
Gil’s ingenuity is rooted in the thoroughness of her nature. She leaves no stone unturned before unleashng the magic of her creatiivey to transform dreams in to reality. Then there’s her relentless drive to find a better way, even after a good one has been found.
5505 S. Dixie Highway Suite #2
West Palm Beach, FL 33405
P.O. Box 9000
Edgartown, MA 02539