Color Your World

Color is one of the most important essentials to a well-designed home and choosing color schemes is one of the most exciting decisions a homeowner can make. I have never met a color I didn’t like – or would not like if paired with a complimentary color.  I’ve always had favorite colors.  I remember as early as age 5 always selecting the chartreuse crayon out of the Crayola box.  Still today, I am often attracted to shades of green.  

This year it seems that all you have to do is watch the awards shows like the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild, no doubt the upcoming Academy Awards, to get the current sense of color forecasting.  There seems to be a resurgence of pastels.  Notice the shades of corals, icy blues, turquoise and melon tones in starlets’ dresses.  As corroboration, I recently read a quote from one of Benjamin Moore’s design pros, “The palette is shifting from super-saturated and strong hues to softer, lighter pastel shades.”  Benjamin Moore’s top color for 2013 is “lemon sorbet”. It’s described as “the ideal transition color as we move from the more vibrant spectrum and mid-to-deep tone hues that we’ve been experiencing in home furnishings and fashions.”

In my work, I have read and studied a great deal about color theory. For more than 25 years, I’ve helped clients determine their color schemes for their homes. Through the years, here are some of the things that hold true: 

  1. Always choose colors to which you are naturally drawn.  Do not feel forced to follow the trends.  
  2. If you get bored with certain colors easily, then keep a neutral palette and vary your accent colors. You can accomplish this by changing out pillows, adding new art pieces and through colorful accessories. 
  3. Decide on your neutrals first.  For your trim colors, are they bright white, soft white or off white? Another option with trim is to paint it the same as the wall color but change the finish.  I suggest this often in condos or lower levels for a cleaner, more unifying effect.
  4. Fall in love with something complex. By this I mean sometimes the easiest way to begin a room is to find or design an area rug or purchase a painting that inspires you. It could also be a particular pattern of fabric.  If you are doing new construction or a complete renovation, then your choices of tile, stone, counters or backsplash can be your way to drive a color scheme.
  5. Of particular emphasis, take into consideration the architectural elements of your space to plan your color scheme. As an example, use the colors in your fireplace or flooring to drive other color choices.   
  6. Color trends for homes often follow the fashion industry. As gray crept into the fashion scene, it likewise appeared in the home design industry. 
  7. Be bold in rooms like guest bedrooms, powder rooms or lower levels.  If you’re somewhat timid about flying your color flag, these are spaces where you may dare to be a little bolder. 
  8. Consider the colors that favor you in your personal style of dress for the palette in your home. You are always the star of your living space. Some may be comfortable with the dramatic, while others prefer softer or more balanced tones. 

Your wall and trim colors, kitchen counters and cabinets, flooring, furniture, rugs, art, drapes, pillows and other accessories – think of all the possibilities to bring beautiful color into your home design. Color is your opportunity for self expression. Regardless of your personal color scheme, a well done space will endure the test of time.

Paint cans


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