Woonwinkel owner and color expert Kristin Van Buskirk recently sat down with broker Gabrielle Enfield of Living Room Realty to chat about interior color for the season. The blank slate of bare walls can be intimidating for a new homeowner, but Gabrielle enlisted Kristin to demystify if for her clients by boiling it down to what's hot, and how to get started. Kristin and Gabrielle not only have the love of homes and interiors in common, they met through their sons' school and enjoy spending sunny Sundays chatting about all things design- and decor-related.

Kristin Van Buskirk

Gabrielle: Kristin - thank you so much for doing this! Woonwinkel is, without a doubt, a big favorite of ours. I'm excited to sit down with you each season to tackle design questions and tips for our readers. First question: What's your favorite color and how does it make you feel when you see it?

Kristin: I love color and I embrace change so my favorite color changes a lot. Right now I'm obsessed with terracotta. Ranging from pinkish to rose to orange to brown, it makes me feel warm and soothed. It's very natural in it's paler tones and when it's deeper and richer it evokes the natural world.


Gabrielle:  Trends for spring 2018 - what color does everyone need to paint their accent wall this year?

Kristin: Without a doubt, it's green. The world's antidote to the digital world is a celebration of lifeYou might remember that a very leafy, bright green was the Pantone color of the year in 2017, and it was NOT much loved. We have to admit, we prefer a richer, deeper botanical green like Thrive.06 by local paint company, Colorhouse, or a dark neutralized green. 

green interior
Pedestal Plant Stand, Minimal Curved Planter, Crinkle Throw, Storage Basket, Blah Blah Mini Blanket, Farmhouse Lounge Chair, Curved Mirror

Merkled StudioBrass Hooks. Photo by Ali Gradischer, courtesy Merkled Studio.

Gabrielle:  What's the most popular design and accent piece in your store?

Kristin: One of our strangest items is also one of our most popular: a plastic resin pineapple light that comes in tons of colors. Pineapples are the sign of hospitality so some people have bought them for their entryway. Others use them as a nightlight, and one customer was in the midst of a tiki room renovation! 

Gabrielle:  How can people embrace color at home in 3 easy steps? 


1. Think 60% neutral. Even a colorful home needs a good grounding in neutrals.  Don't feel like you're wimping out when you choose a simple neutral backdrop. Then you can mix up the accent colors in different ways at different times.
2. Find colorful items that can work in different rooms. Afraid of color commitment? Then buy colorful things that can travel to different parts of the house easily. Cushions and throws can travel from living room to bedroom to den. Storage baskets are useful in many different rooms, and planters can find a home in just about any room.
3. Find one place to go wild. Find one place where you can really experiment. I like going super bold in rooms that we tend to take in smaller doses, like an entryway or a guest bathroom.

colorful accentPedestal Plant Stand, Paradise Throw, Minimal Curved Planter

Gabrielle: What do you read/follow/listen to that inspires you?

Kristin: Okay, this sounds really cheesy, but what really inspires me most right now is the sound of nothing. Or just the wind in the trees. I've been getting my best ideas lately when I've been able to enjoy some moments of true quiet, which is a luxury that's totally worth seeking out.

Kristin is the owner of woonwinkel.

Gabrielle is an agent at Portland's Living Room Realty, working out of the Northwest office at 17th and Lovejoy. She loves making people's dreams come true and specializes as a Buyer's agent. Thinking about making a move? She'd love to hear from you.