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True Colors

Three of California’s top design tastemakers share the hues that inspire their world.

Justina Blakeney

Clay Day

Justina Blakeney strikes a pose with her latest release: Justina Blakeney for Inside Out Performance Fabrics. 

Justina Blakeney

Clay Day

Pomfret pendant in aged brass, $264, Hudson Valley Lighting  

Justina Blakeney

Clay Day

Claypot 3-by-6-inch tiles, $28 per square foot, Fireclay Tile 
 

Justina Blakeney

Clay Day

Pressed Terracotta candle sconce, $68, Anthropologie 
 

Justina Blakeney

Teal Time

Interior designer Jay Jeffers at home in San Francisco 

Justina Blakeney

Teal Time

Cenote lamp, $11,500, by Leslie Nix at Coup D’Etat  

Justina Blakeney

Teal Time

Artisan Design Series stand mixer in sea glass, $440, by KitchenAid at Crate & Barrel  

Justina Blakeney

Teal Time

Pair of Leon Rosen pedestal swivel lounge chairs, $5,950, DECASO 
 

Justina Blakeney

At First Blush

Black Lacquer Design’s Caitlin Murray blends right in at a recently completed project. 

Justina Blakeney

At First Blush

Art deco sofa in rosewater, $2,895, Modshop  

Justina Blakeney

At First Blush

Colorado footed bowl, $48, Anthropologie 

Justina Blakeney

At First Blush

Flowerpot VP3 table lamp in beige red, $580, by Verner Panton at Danish Design Store 

Clay Day
When it comes to color, Justina Blakeney does not hold back. “I love all the colors and love mixing [them] to evoke different emotional vibes,” says the L.A.-based designer and Jungalow founder. To ensure harmony and balance, she typically works within a palette of three shades—one dominant and two accents—then incorporates neutral tones pulled from plants, rattan, wood and more. “Terra cotta is a natural neutral that is soothing, uplifting and warm but also goes with everything,” Blakeney explains. “I can layer it with pastels and it has a grounding effect. [And] it doesn’t hurt that it looks so dang good with plants—my favorite accent.” The shade is surprisingly versatile. “It looks amazing on walls, especially when brought in with chalky paints or lime washes, and also as upholstery. I love it as a base layered with other colors like teal, a mellow yellow and aqua.” Here, the artistic entrepreneur shares her favorite terra-cotta pieces.

Teal Time
“I have always loved color,” says San Francisco-based interior designer Jay Jeffers, whose second book, Jay Jeffers Be Bold: Bespoke Modern Interiors, is due out this September. When it comes to a go-to shade, Jeffers often reaches for an emerald-tinged teal. “It’s a beautiful color that pairs well with cool neutrals like charcoal gray and taupe,” he notes. As for incorporating it into your decor, Jeffers has some ground rules. “Don’t use it everywhere. I tend to stay very monochromatic with a room. If teal is your color, pair it with a neutral and then use other colors very, very sparingly.” After all, that’s how to make the biggest statement. “In my eyes, decor doesn’t have to be forever,” he quips. “So why not have fun and take some risks?”

At First Blush
Caitlin Murray may have established her SoCal firm Black Lacquer Design on the notion “that almost every room can benefit from a bit of black and a little lacquer,” but let’s not jump to conclusions. The interior designer is unequivocally color obsessed—she even has a cocker spaniel named Color to prove it. Often drawing palettes from artwork, she recently punched up a client’s abstract painting with a pair of midcentury slipper chairs in soft pink. The feminine shade was “versatile enough to play nice with the room’s yellow and blue tones,” she notes. “Telling a well-conceived color story is a fun way to elevate a design,” Murray says. “It also brings a happy dose of warmth and adventure to the lives of the homeowners.”