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Posts Tagged ‘color inspiration’

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Wendy E. Wrzos http://wendyandthebluegiraffe.blogspot.com/

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Years ago, I fell in love with someone else’s bedroom; the furniture, the simplicity, and the color on the walls were absolutely gorgeous. I had been entertaining ideas of painting my Living Room blue, and had never found the right shade, until that day.

After I stopped gushing, my friend gave me three samples of the blue for me to take home.  Lovely, little pots of promise, just waiting for me to paint with them. As soon as I got in the door I grabbed some giant newsprint (not ideal, but what I had) and painted the colors on several sheets of the paper.

I barely waited for them to dry before I had them taped all over my Living Room. As I stood back, I nearly burst into tears; it was horrible. The gorgeous grey blue that reminded me of a serene retreat in my friend’s bedroom, looked like a hastily thought out, baby boy’s nursery in my own home. The blue was too light, and it just looked cheap and silly. The richness of the color was gone, and all I saw was a bad blue.

You see, the light was totally different; my Living Room is larger, filled with too many things, and has a lot of windows. The warm blue became cooler, more basic, and far less important.

I moved the samples around again, and it just kept looking worse. Even as  a decorator, it was hard for me to accept that the color looked nothing like I had imagined. I thought if I stared at it long enough, it would change, and the room would be just as beautiful as hers. But that didn’t work; I took down the colors, folded up the paper, and frowned.

Am embarrassed to admit, that years ago I would not have taken the color pots. I would have asked her for the color that she used, bought gallons of paint, and been really angry at the manufacturer. Then, I would have either gone and bought more, or, still been disappointed, and continue to paint my walls a color I wasn’t very keen on.

I honestly thought that it was just another marketing tool, to make consumers spend more money. But, when you are faced with millions of different color options (yes, millions) how the heck could you possibly choose just one from a small piece of paper in an artificial environment? Even the natural light in a paint store isn’t natural, and it certainly has no relevance to your home, your windows, and your suede La-Z-boy recliner.

I know that it feels like a lot of extra steps, when all you want to do is paint a room, but it is more than worth the effort. Most custom paint colors can’t be returned, so why would you not take the extra time to get it right. Yes, it is just paint, but there is nothing worse than that awful feeling when you roll on the color, and it looks nothing like you had imagined.

Since my blue experience, I have tried lots of other paint pot colors, but still can’t seem to find the right one. My Living Room is still, a very sedate…. Antique White.

Wendy E. Wrzos http://wendyandthebluegiraffe.blogspot.com/

Photograph borrowed from Remodelistata

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Black has always been my go-to color for kitchen appliances, accent pieces, even some accessories and furnishings (I love my little black telephone table in my office.), but I’ve been thinking bigger lately. Chalkboard walls were all the rage for a time, but black walls and accent pieces are just begging to be painted in this deep, rich, mysterious shade sans chalk. Think walls, trim, bookcases, furniture, window panes, chairs… the list goes on and on.

You may think the black bar cart above gets lost against the room’s black backdrop, but look again. Reflective surfaces (the mirror, the glasses, the picture frames), bright accents (lots of brass), and a hint of color (the bottles, flowers, artwork) all contribute to keeping this display from looking flat and lifeless. As I’ve told my students many times, don’t think of black as a dark color, think of black as the night sky. It’s infinite and the possibilities are endless.

Show off collectibles against a black wall if you have bright metal or light wood bookcases.

Small rooms look beautiful in dark colors. Too keep the room from looking like a cave, pay attention to the colors on the floor and ceiling.

Black woodwork is more dramatic than brown. If you’re lucky enough to have built-in bookshelves, consider painting them black instead of white. A room with a good amount of natural light and plenty of artificial light will keep these rooms from disappearing.

Black makes colors pop. Just like white, the contrast between these bold colors and the black walls allow you to choose brighter hues. Imagine if these colors were set against white walls, they wouldn’t have nearly the same impact. (In my classroom all of my color boards are black and the students use black boards for projects.)

Color Inspiration

BM 2132-10 Black, RAL9004 Signal Black, Crown Diamond 7065-64 Black Orchid

Martha Stewart 8415 Lampblack, SW6990 Caviar

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I don’t often write a lot about staging homes here on my blog. I’ve asked myself why dozens of times and I think I realized it’s because a lot of solid design strategies just naturally work when staging a home. But then I realized maybe some of you may not realize that. So… if you read my design and decorating tips, and you’re thinking of selling your home, ask yourself what would you do differently if the room you’ve now decorated needed to be staged. Sometimes it’s just a matter of editing the room’s contents, refining the layout or floor plan, and playing with placement and color. And sometimes it’s a whole lot more.
Color has a major impact on selling a home. But what color do you choose? You want a color that highlights the architecture, wraps the room in warmth, and invites you in. These shades from Benjamin Moore are some of our favorites and should make a prospective buyer linger a while longer.
Color Inspiration
Manchester Tan HC-81, Monroe Bisque HC-26, Camoflage 2143-40, Carrington Beige HC-93, Shaker Beige HC-45, Nantucket Gray HC-111

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Okay all you naysayers… listen up. Give orange a chance. And not just because it’s October. Forget pumpkin orange (although, I rather like pumpkin orange). Try these oranges on for size and read on to find out what this hue can do for you.

Color Inspiration
BM126 Pumpkin Spice, RAL2011 Deep Orange, SW6886 Invigorate, Behr250B-7 Crushed Orange

Orange is the color of creative energy. It lifts the spirits and stimulates touch, taste, and smell. Closely related to red, orange sparks more controversy than any other hue. There is usually a strong or negative association to the color orange—most people either love it or hate it. But… orange is fun and flamboyant, it radiates warmth and energy. Orange can be both warm and comforting, but it’s also an active color so be careful of the shade you choose.

While orange and black are traditional Halloween colors, orange really pops with a medium blue (a classic complementary color scheme). Red, yellow, and orange in the same space can be a fiery combination. In more tamer shades, orange looks fresh just about anywhere you place it. Go tropical and pair it with green, but be careful if you want to mix orange and pink, you mind end up with a room reminiscent of a 60s psychedelic look. Try a dash of orange with deep purple or a dash of purple with a bit of orange tempered by lots of mellow yellow or white for an eye-catching look that’s not overpowering.

Colors make us feel. Orange…

  • Stimulates activity
  • Stimulates appetite and emotions
  • Encourages socialization
  • Makes you feel bolder
  • Allows you to gain clarity and let go of unexpected expectation

Don’t forget to check out all of my color posts and look for even more orange shades to inspire you.

Kim Merritt – http://beautifullivingstyle.blogspot.com/

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