Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours Is BACK. by Shanna Shryne

Centuries after naturalists used it to define the colors they saw in the natural world, Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours is back.

Color swatches seem like a modern invention. Yet more than a century before Pantone and standardized paint palettes, there was Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours. And it’s officially been redesigned by Nicholas Rougeux into an online resource for all to use.

Published in 1814 by the painter Patrick Syme and geologist Abraham Gottlob Werner, Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours is a working dictionary aim to illustrate and identify tones found in the natural world. The book is complete with paint swatches accompanied by handwritten descriptions and examples of where a particular color can be found in the wild.


For example, “Greenish Grey” or no. 15 “is ash grey mixed with a little emerald green, a small portion of black and a little lemon yellow.” You can find it on the “quill feathers of a robin” or “bark of ash tree” or “clay slate wacke.”

[ IMAGE SOURCE:  Greys ,  Robin ,  Clay Slate . ]

[ IMAGE SOURCE: Greys, Robin, Clay Slate. ]

“Red Lilac Purple” or no. 43, “is campanula purple, with a considerable portion of snow white and a very little carmine red.” You can find it in “light spots of the upper wings of a peacock butterfly”, red lilac” or “lepidolite.”

[ IMAGE SOURCE:  Purples ,  Butterfly ,  Lilacs ,  Stone  ]

[ IMAGE SOURCE: Purples, Butterfly, Lilacs, Stone ]

“Wax Yellow” or no. 64, “is composed of lemon yellow, reddish brown and a little ash grey.” It can be found in the “larvae of large water beatles”, “semi opal” or the “greenish parts of a nonpareil apple”.

[ SOURCE:  Yellow ,  Opal ,  Apple  ]

[ SOURCE: Yellow, Opal, Apple ]

While Werner's Nomenclature of Colours may seem like a relic of the past and a less than practical way of how color is defined today, there is still something intriguing about its definitions and specifications about the colors that surround us. Have fun exploring the 110 swatches of color here. See if you can find the color that matches the fur of a polar bear or human skin.

And if your feeling really like a design enthusiast, you can also purchase your own pocket-size copy here.

YAY! It's Patio Season. by Shanna Shryne


Here in California we enjoy patio season all year round & it's finally patio season for those of you in cooler climates now too! I recently went to Mama Shelter Los Angeles and instantly became obsessed with their colorful patio & vibrant plant life (as well as their rose sangria.)

Not only were the cocktails on point but also the rooftop design. An important element when designing patios is to create areas to gather around with family and friends. Other important design elements to incorporate on your patios are umbrellas and large plants, palms are some of my favorites. These items are both aesthetically pleasing & functional as they provide shade from the summer heat. If you have the space, adding an outdoor game or a swinging chair can be fun accents. 

So, without further ado I present my favorite patio ideas with a hope that they inspire you to make your outdoor space the best spot in your home this summer.

P.S. Please enjoy the recipe to my favorite Mama's Shelter cocktail below. Cheers!