Friday, August 10, 2012

Martha by Mail ~ The Araucana Colors

Everybody responds to color.  It is something which confronts us every single day whether we're conscious of it or not.  Our feelings toward color are very personal and many of us reflect our preferences in our choice of wardrobes, home color schemes and in the living accoutrements we surround ourselves with.  Color can either soothe and put one in a harmonious mood or it can jar one's senses and make us uncomfortable;  those are the extreme ends of how we view color.  In the middle are the colors which make us take note and draw us in for a closer look because we simply cannot turn away.  Those are the colors that make each one of us happy.  We tend to call them our favorite colors and no one can be forced into liking a color or color palette.  They either meet with our approval or they do not.

One of my favorite color palettes comes from the discontinued line of paints hand picked by Martha Stewart and her team of experts for Fine Paints of Europe (through Schreuder) called, The Araucana Colors.  The 22 beautiful colors were inspired by the shades and tones of the eggs laid by Martha's hens at her former home, Turkey Hill.  The swatches were offered through Martha Stewart Living magazine, as well as through the former catalog, Martha by Mail, with guides to retailers who carried the Schreuder line. 

This breed of chicken from South America (Araucana) is known for its remarkable ability to lay eggs in various shades of blues & greens.  I absolutely love scouring the farmer's markets for these eggs and I always buy a few dozen to enjoy at home if I happen to find any.  

When I think of the various homes I've walked into whose owner's have incorporated these shades of colors throughout their living spaces, they are the ones I'm drawn to the most.  A beautiful shade of Porcelain Green with just the right amount of blue is enough to make me feel comforted and at ease.  A color based on Drabware along a hallway is always nice to come home to.  With names like Crevecoeur, Araucana Turquoise, Ameraucana Buff and Salmon Faverolle, these colors are worth a second glance.

In my current home, we have spaces and objects which reflect The Araucana Colors both inside and outside.  I love this palette to no end because it comes from nature, which has always been a source of inspiration to me; Martha is known for surrounding herself with colors that are inspired by nature.  The tones are soothing as well as breathtaking when used in the right manner.  To my mind they are beautiful, timeless and easily adaptable to just about any home.  Explore & reacquaint yourself with this color palette and get inspired to showcase one or two of them in your home, provided they meet with your approval. 

 Images below are courtesy of Martha Stewart Living.
The color selector was available for purchase through the magazine or catalog.

 Schreuder is known for its superior paint.

This iconic image from Martha Stewart Living shows an antique blown glass compote with a few dozen eggs from Turkey Hill.  Such beautiful colors.

A bedroom from the pages of the magazine showing The Araucana Colors.

The Color Palette
For the exact shades, I highly recommend buying 'How to Decorate' which has a color chart insert.
Araucana Eggs in My Kitchen
On my kitchen counter a 19th century British ironstone platter holds a few dozen eggs from Araucana hens as well as a few from other breeds. 
This small porcelain pudding bowl holds some eggs that were isolated for their shades of green.  One can see just how they vary in tone quite beautifully.
Eggs in shades of Oceana, Araucana Turquoise and Araucana Olive sit in this hen dish.  Beautiful eggs.

  The Araucana Colors 

5 comments:

  1. David,

    I love your blog! Will you please post pics of your home so we can see how you have chosen to use these lovely colors?

    Fingers crossed!

    Jeffrey

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  2. The colors are still available through Fine Paints of Europe...they just don't bear the name Martha Stewart or "Araucana" any more. (I guess the contract with Stewart lapsed, but the company still owns the recipes.) They're in their “THE DESIGNER COLLECTION I” line (which also includes the older Martha Stewart “Colors of the Garden” pallet.) There are samples here: http://www.finepaintsofeurope.com/collection_designer1.aspx (They are Palette II, which appear at the bottom.)

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  3. If anyone is looking for the Martha Stewart Araucana colours, I have some good news. I tried several places but nobody seemed to have them, then by chance I thought let me try Lowe's and I hit the jackpot! Lowe's Canada (and therefore I am sure the US stores as well) has the formulas for the Martha Stewart Araucana line. I was thrilled to discover this and I had a few colours mixed up in testers. Some of the colours don't say Martha Stewart, but rather Martha's Fine Paints (which I reckon is a cross between Martha Stewart and Fine Paints of Europe), but they are the right colours. Here's what I have mixed so far and I will be going back for some more colours as I am repainting the entire house. Since my kids are grown up and moved out and their bedrooms are now vacant, it's goodbye barbie pink; hello Araucana Sage! These are the test pots I purchased and this is how Lowe's Canada has the colours listed in their system:

    colour #21 - Porcelain Green
    colour #MS313 - Araucana Blue
    colour #4 - Araucana Turquoise
    colour #MS318 - Araucana Green
    colour #MS199 - Drabware
    colour #MS220 - Araucana Sage

    Don't be put off that some colours don't say MS in front of the number, even the ones with just a number like #21 and #4 are the right colours. I hope this is helpful to anyone out there who is interested.

    Thank you David for your exquisite posts and very thorough knowledge of all things Martha. I have learned so much from reading your blog. I have ordered a copy of Martha Stewart How to Decorate from Amazon.com for a ridiculous price of under $7.00 (hardcover at that!) and I can't wait to get it. Thank you for the suggestion.




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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the information, Florence!! This is great!!!!

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    2. David, I got my book and am busy reading it cover to cover. I have a question that hopefully you can help me with - on page 95 there is a gorgeous jadeite oval dish to the right of the kitchen tap holding a sponge and the head of a brush - do you know which item this is? It would look great on my white porcelain double farmhouse sink and I have white subway tiles too so that gorgeous green dish would really pop on the ledge of my sink!

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