Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Allure of Color

The use of color frightens a lot of us, but it shouldn't.  Our lives are filled with color.   Yet when it comes to applying color to our walls, we can't seem to decide on a color so we do nothing.  Fall is my favorite season.  I guess that is why I am drawn to tans, browns, reds, oranges, yellows, and golds.  I gravitate more to darker colors.  For me, a room painted in a darker hue grounds the space.  As I am writing this, I am sitting in my living room which is painted SW Coconut Husk.

SW 6111 Coconut Husk
It is the darkest color on the color chart (#16).  I'll admit, I was a little hesitant to try this color.  Once I applied the first brush stroke, I immediately fell in love with the color.  The color is dark, but I consider it a neutral, just as taupe or tan is a neutral.  The richness of this color makes the other colors in the room pop.  Notice how my living room looks painted in its original color, SW Latte.  It's a warm, neutral color but it just says, "Blah" to me.  It's as if the wall color is competing with the colors in my furniture and artwork. 


Now notice how the room looks painted in SW Coconut Husk.  Notice how the artwork and the orange/rust pillow in the chair pops against the dark walls.

My advice to anyone who is thinking about painting a room:  You must love the color.  It has to make you happy every time you step into the room.  If it doesn't, then find a color that makes you happy. 

If you don't know how to paint, don't let this be an excuse for not changing the wall color in your home.  The first time I ever painted was back in the late 1970s while I was still in high school.  I wanted my bedroom painted dark blue.  I hired my neighbor's son to paint the room.  I thought that I would love the color, but I hated it.  In fact, the room depressed me.  So, I decided to repaint it myself and I painted the room peach--it was a happy color.  I loved the color and the walls remained peach until my mother's house sold in October 2005.

Painting a room is not the only way to add color to a space.  Placing accessories in your favorite colors can liven up a room.  Notice how the color orange pops in this room.  This is a very neutral room, but the room perks up through the orange pillows, rug, and drapes.

Find a color that you like and purchase pillows, vases, and artwork in that color.  This works well for a room that has neutral walls and furniture like the room in the picture above.  Adding your favorite color to a space adds instant happiness!  The beauty of adding color with accessories is that you can easily change the mood in a space by changing the accessories.  Or, if you decorate by the seasons, you can change out pillows and other accessories to match the season.  My sister-in-law, Sadie, is the queen of changing accessories.  She has several looks for her dining room based on the seasons.  For fall, she has an olive motif.

If your room needs a pick-me-up, color is the best therapy!   

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