The only design element we were sure of when we began to plan our house was that we wanted grey cabinets in the kitchen. Beyond that? We really weren't sure what type of colors to use in our house. This is certainly a problem when you need to pick a color for furniture, rugs, and paint. Grey goes with just about anything and it can be overwhelming to figure out what colors go together well. Enter the pillow.
One day while walking through a furniture store, I came across this pillow. For reasons I can't wholly explain, it basically leapt off the display and into my imagination. Before leaving the store that day, I ordered a sample of this pattern, and it became essential to our decor - I cannot recommend enough finding a palette and having a sample with you all the time!
Dustin wasn't crazy about some of the brighter hues, but he graciously indulged me. I carried the little sample around everywhere - design meetings, furniture stores, showrooms. Everything centered on this color scheme - greys and teals, navies and ivories. It literally set the stage for everything we picked. In the end, we ended up going neutral on the major pieces - a light grey couch, dark grey recliner, ivory circle/swivel chair and an ivory-ish rug. Then we used the blues as accents in our space - a teal ottoman here, a navy blanket there. We used a slightly different color teal for the dining chairs (which are close to the living room in our open-concept design) - that teal isn't in the pillow but it's in the same color family.
I think it was a great compromise for a husband who would have been a-okay with all neutrals (his own townhouse was mostly brown - masculine, and brown). I think using the neutral colors from the palette as our statement pieces made the little pops of color that came from the palette really stand out. I'm not sure the space would have come together quite as cohesively if I hadn't gone into the design with an idea for color.