Color Your World: Tips to Take the Leap from Boring Beige

29 Jan 2011

[Companion article to Beyond Beige]
In a color quandary? Here’s how to take the leap from boring beige to beauteous color in your home:
  • Pick colors that create a mood or atmosphere. Ask yourself, “How do I want to feel in this space? How could color support this room’s purpose?”
  • Consider the relationship of wall colors to other elements in the room (flooring, trim, furniture, area rugs, light sources, etc.), and to other spaces in your home.
  • Think of your home as a whole and compose a color palette that creates flow from room to room.
  • Let the things you love inspire your color choices. Take a look at your closet, favorite pillows or art. Gather examples from magazines of rooms and styles that appeal to you. A pattern of your personal color preferences will emerge.
  • Beware of relying on trends for your color choices.
  • Always live a few days with larger paint samples to see how the colors behave in different lighting and with your furnishings.
  • Give yourself time to let your color-choice process evolve.
  • Take a chance. Kick it up. Step out of your comfort zone.
  • Paint colors don’t have to “match” existing furniture and fabrics, they just have to “go together.”
  • Reassess lighting. Inadequate illumination makes any room feel dull and dark, regardless of the wall color.
  • Be prepared to experience “the shock of the new.” Fresh wall color can be startling at first, especially without the furniture and accessories that bring balance.
  • Use the best-quality paint, painters and tools possible. It saves time, money and stress in the long run.
  • Go green. Support your health and the planet’s by choosing low- or no-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint.
—Cathy Rivers
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