Throughout the 30 years I taught and was executive director at the Willsey Institute for Art and Interior Design, I often told my students that change can be effected most easily and inexpensively by painting the walls a new color and adding a few color accents in pillows, lamp shades, area rugs, and accessories. Now I tell my seminar attendees. Whether a fledging designer getting started, or a nervous homeowner with a limited budget, color is still your best friend.
SOME COLOR TIPS THAT CAN HELP YOU GET A NEW LOOK:
- Choose colors you’ll want to live with (not what’s “in” which will soon be “out”) and start with an area rug, some lovely new bedding, or just a special item you want to focus on. (You all know how I usually start.)
- Consider different tints and shades of color (called value) to make the room interesting and easy to co-ordinate, flowing into adjacent spaces.
- Use color “mini’s”- (the smallest portion of paint you can buy) and try it on your walls with your lighting before you commit.
- Repeat the color a few times in the room for continuity.
- Paint architectural obstructions and awkward areas all the same color so they will disappear and flow into the rest of the wall space.
- Keep hallways, especially narrow ones, neutral by using the new neutrals: golds, sages, beiges, greys, and sea foam, and add interest with architectural trim.
- Contrasting darker colors to molding trim is a great design statement, but “control” the dark colors by not using too much, especially if the room doesn’t get much natural light.
- If you start from the floor up, it’s easy to pull a color from an area rug or broadloom.
- Create color schemes using fabrics that blend and coordinate, not necessarily match.
- Bedrooms are “islands” unto themselves when it comes to color, although common or open areas to one another need to flow with a pleasing “go with” color palette or “monochromatic” color scheme.
- Get over your “fear” of color and try something a little daring for you. It’s the easiest design element to change if you don’t like it- but give it a little time to grow on you.