It’s fun to find color inspiration for your home in unexpected places. In previous posts, we’ve talked about getting inspiration for a room from a favorite outfit, movie, or vacation spot. We’ve also talked aboutΒ how to organize inspiration images from magazines, but how about gathering inspiration from the magazine covers themselves? When an editor chooses a magazine cover, it’s important that it jumps out on the stands and tells a story for the reader before they even turn a page. Basically, it’s the cover that sells the magazine. Have you ever noticed that each cover has its own color story? We can draw from these for color inspiration in our own homes. To drive home the idea, I’ve taken a few magazine covers, dissected their color pallets, and gathered photos of rooms that have a similar color scheme.

Funny girl Tina Fey graces the cover of InStyle magazine this month accompanied by an ensemble of bright colors. Throw these colors in a room and you’ve got a pleasantly chic combination of bright and bold:

This month’s issue of Real Simple consists of clean, subtle, Spring colors. Using these in a space would create a calming atmosphere — something like this:

This next cover inspiration fromΒ Vogue magazine is a little more on the eclectic side but when translated in a room, it can result in a fun space with a color combination that wouldn’t otherwise be considered:

Here’s an example using one of the covers of Billboard. I find the color combo used on this cover and in the room to be very soothing, warm, and sophisticated.

The Nest always brings a big color punch with every issue. This particular cover has bright shades of blue and orange that can obviously translate well in home decor — and happens to feature the faces of the ultimate shelter bloggers, and fellow Richmonders, John + Sherry (and you can’t forget Burger) of Young House Love. If you haven’t checked out their blog before… where have you been? Seriously. Where?!

This one is my personal favorite interpretation of using a magazine cover (in this case Elle) as color inspiration and another great example of an unexpected color combo. I wouldn’t ordinarily put these colors together in a room, but they totally work — and without being too feminine:

Do you find color inspiration in unexpected places? We’d love to hear your color stories…

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  • Reply
    April 6, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    I never would have thought of this – but that’s a great place to find inspiration! The Vogue cover and room inspiration are my favorite, I think.

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    April 6, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    This idea is simply awesome! I love the Billboard colors… I never would have thought of using deep purple with browns.

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    April 6, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    LOVE this post! It makes me want to go spend a fortune on magazines now. My fiance thanks you. πŸ˜‰

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    April 6, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    I like the idea… I actually just saw this same idea on another blog though.

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      April 6, 2011 at 1:41 pm

      Oh really? Share the link! It would be fun to see someone else’s interpretation of this idea. It seems like we’re constantly looking for color inspiration in odd places, kind of like what we did here with the Fiest concert poster: Just scroll down a bit and you’ll see the color block comparison.

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      April 6, 2011 at 1:54 pm

      I love EACH of the above color combinations! I’ve seen and read articles and blogs pertaining to mag color combinations before but not with the addition of inspiration photos. Thanks for kicking it up a notch!

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      Lisa M
      April 6, 2011 at 2:26 pm

      Agreed, Kyle! I’m loving this post. Now I need to go to B&N to stock up on some mag eye candy!

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    amy good house
    April 6, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    I love the usage of color on magazine covers. You’ve pulled some awesome images to accompany them – thanks for the inspiration!

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    April 6, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Hi fellow richmonder!!! Love this post!!! Really neat idea! Hope your having a great day! (i know you will with the YHL RT!!! Exciting!

    Erin (

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    April 6, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    What a great post! I will be scouting the magazine aisles a little more closely now!

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    Melanie Greer
    April 6, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    I love your magazine choices:) Hard to pick a favorite but I think I like the colors of real simple and billboard the best.

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    April 6, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    I find inspiration in restaurants! I live in Chicago and we have so many wonderful restaurants with personality. I’ve saw David Bromstad visit a restaurant in Miami once for inspiration on HGTV. If David does it, it’s good enough for me! Lol!

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    Madison C
    April 6, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    I adore the colors used on the Billboard cover!!!!!!!!!

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    April 6, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Good idea. Are you adding color to your home in any of these ways?

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      April 6, 2011 at 2:51 pm

      That’s the plan. We’re getting the basics down first, so we shall see!

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    April 6, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    LOVVVVVVVVE no. 2 with the soft blues and orange accents. works so well with our current palette and tan sofas; I may go with a similar wall color in our future house imspired by this very photo!

    thank you, I LOVE this post!

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    April 6, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    What a great idea! We bought a house 7 months ago and I’m still struggling with the living room. It’s a very open floor plan (with white carpet. ugh.) so I need something that will connect with the spaces attached. The Elle cover has my head spinning with ideas now!
    Thanks for another great blog entry.

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    Carolyn Veigh
    April 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    In looking at these colors I can see them being used (in these combinations) for tablescapes at a dinner party, a baby/bridal shower or birthday celebration as well. I am a caterer who also looks for new ideas at every turn so I thank you for your post.

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    Pia Manuel
    April 6, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    How fun is this! Love.

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    April 6, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    Great job matching rooms to the covers.

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    April 6, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    The bedroom from the Nest is awesome! The blue of the chair along with the blue in the painting looks fantastic!

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    Barb Brown
    April 6, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    How do you do this?! You are simply amazing! You are definitely an inspiration!

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    April 7, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Fantastic post, clever girl! I loved seeing all these color combos lined up. It actually helped me figure out my style a little bit more. Thx!!

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    Cynthia, Beach Coast Style
    April 7, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    ohhhh what a neat and creative post!

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    April 7, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    This is a great idea! I am loving blue and oranges together, lately! πŸ™‚

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