American Hardwoods
Real American Hardwoods

Thompson Residence, Milledgeville, Georgia

Thompson Residence, Milledgeville, Georgia

When Washington DC area architect James Rill was asked to describe his design aesthetic, he deemed it “naturesque,” and said that his firm “dedicates itself to creating spaces that are connected to the views and vistas of the outdoors.”

“The environment around you, he said, “provides context, which includes factors like the views, the sun, the wind, the trees, the terrain. Every project comes with its own set of parameters: that keeps things interesting. Taking your cues from the outdoor elements” allows you to “live within your surroundings without having an adverse affect on the surroundings. Influence the site versus ripping it apart and disturbing it.” (

Color expert Ellen O’Neill, Creative Director for Benjamin Moore & Co., also agrees that setting can indeed inspire, and favors bringing the outdoors in. “We’ve done cottages in Nova Scotia where there are angry gray skies and white-capped waves, 80 percent of the year. We wanted to continue that color palette of grays, so we brought that into the house as a reaction.”

For O’Neill, berry hues (similar to Pantone’s earthy wine red, Color of the Year – Marsala) along with citrus greens and yellows, and vibrant blues continue the “connect” with the outdoors. Bring in the sunshine with a fanciful yellow and “painting a room blue,” she says, “is sort of creating an extension of sky and sea. It does something to rest the eyes.” (

(Information sources: American Lifestyle Magazine Issue 69, The Wall Street Journal)


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