Pops of Color Come to Life in This Cheery House

If you love color — really love it — take a cue from this home, featured in HGTV Magazine, and make a rainbow of hues work in every room. 

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Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

Photo By: Lisa Romerein

The House

Asking Terri Shanahan to pick a favorite color is like asking her to pick a favorite child — impossible. “I recently saw a quote that said, ‘My favorite color is rainbow.’ That pretty much sums me up,” she says. “I love so many colors. Why stop at one or two?” When Terri, a blogger, antiques dealer and grandmother of six, and her husband, Bob, bought this Camas, WA, Dutch Colonial Revival in 2014, Terri pulled 10 Pantone chips — the just-right blue, red, yellow, green, etc. — and carried them around as inspiration while shopping for items for the house.

Her kaleidoscopic approach to decorating isn’t anything new: All three homes that she and Bob have shared throughout their 40-year marriage have been filled to the brim with vibrant pieces. But as much as Terri loves a shock of color, she does have her limits. “I don’t love bright furniture against bright walls,” she says. So she painted every wall in this home Ultra Pure White by Behr. And she took the blank backdrop even further by hanging thick white cotton drapes, choosing lots of white light fixtures, and mixing in a few white pieces of furniture so the spectrum of colors really pops. The result? “It feels like a playground for adults in here.”

The Shanahans

Terri and Bob Shanahan at their front door — the only blue one on the block. They painted the siding Casper White by Miller Paint and the front door Blue Burst by Valspar. 

Dining Room

Having a nearly all-white background lets Bob and Terri Shanahan do color in a big way. For more than a decade, Terri has collected candy-hued glass swag pendants — mainly from Lounge Lizard, a vintage store in Portland, OR — and when she and Bob moved to this house, she hired light designer Scott Schiesel to turn them into a single knockout fixture. The dining set consists of a pine table the couple has owned for years and chairs from an antiques store, both painted Ultra Pure White by Behr. Terri reupholstered the chairs’ seats in white vinyl from Jo-Ann. On the wall behind the table is a plexiglass artist’s palette she found in the trash.

Living Room

“As soon as I saw this blue velvet sofa, I was like, Bingo,” says Terri of the three-seater from Perch. “I knew that color would be perfect in the mix.” That includes two pieces brought from her old house: a gold velvet thrift store armchair (Bob painted the legs white) and a hot pink slipper chair scored on clearance at World Market. The 12-foot-wide pine china cabinet, also from their previous home, holds Terri’s collection of glass and ceramics, which are arranged vertically by hue. A multicolor wool rug from Annie Selke’s Dash & Albert ties all the shades together.

Entryway

Since there are mirrored closet doors on both sides of the entry, Terri didn’t have much space to display art. Instead she hung brightly colored sheets of Nama Rococo wallpaper. She and Bob installed a new custom door by Parr Lumber that resembles the house’s original, and they chose a glass knob by Emtek. Terri’s grandmother gave her the brass shamrock that hangs above the door.

Breakfast Room

The Shanahans have six grandchildren (two live nearby and the others visit often) whose favorite activity is doing crafts with Grandma in this room off the kitchen. One wall features art hung from the original-to-the-home picture rail, and accenting the ceiling is a vintage candelabra chandelier that Terri spray-painted Flat White by Krylon. She bought the wood pedestal table as is at a thrift store, the white metal chairs at Roger and Ives in Milwaukie, OR, and the red velvet wingback chairs — in perfect condition — at a consignment store in Vancouver, WA. “Two kids can fit in each one!” she says.

Kitchen

Bob and Terri had the entire kitchen gutted, adding new cabinets and an island that boasts slab-front doors and drawers. Thick white Corian countertops measure 2 ½ inches on the island and 2 inches around the perimeter. “White shows off my fun dishes, glasses and food better than any color would,” Terri says.

Master Bedroom

The pops-of-color scheme continues upstairs. Terri picked a simple white Room & Board canopy bed and white quilted bedding from Macy’s, then added a flat-weave rayon rug from World Market, a mix of velvet throw pillows and a colorful vintage afghan. A pendant would have made the 8 ½-foot ceiling feel lower, so she installed this custom flush-mount fixture from Lucent Lightshop. The Shanahans’ daughter Lynsey painted the art that hangs on the wall.

Bathroom

Terri says she always wanted a multihued tile floor — so much so that she spent more than five years rummaging through countless boxes of scrap tile at salvage stores to collect enough. After they bought this house, she and Bob used her bounty in their guest bathroom. To get the pattern just so, they arranged the tiles themselves, then had a professional lay them. The color-block canvases were painted by their daughter Lynsey; the pedestal sink is by Toto.

Backyard

On any given evening (weather permitting, of course), you can find Terri and Bob lounging outside. The mismatched furniture — including hollow plastic IKEA chairs, vintage wrought iron rockers and a small table from HomeGoods — hold together like a unified set because they’re all white. Terri thought the trunks of the peanut butter trees looked bare, so she wrapped them with colorful yarn. “It took a while, but it’s been really fun having them to look at,” she says.