Somewhere between a full-on-rainbow concoction and a vast expanse of white space lies the perfect amount of color for your home.
Choosing colors for your living spaces can be a daunting task. It’s one that often ends with, “Oh let’s just go with the eggshell white, then.” But it doesn’t have to be that way: Even if you are nervous about illuminating your bedroom in saturated magenta, there are ways to experiment with color that don’t involve you breaking down sobbing in the paint department of Home Depot, wondering: “IS MUSHROOM A COOL OR WARM COLOR? AND DOES IT GO WITH EGGPLANT?!”
That said, exploring paint options is certainly one way to add color, and the experts at British luxury paint company Farrow & Ball have some wise words when it comes to choosing a new look: The company is renowned for its saturated, super-pigmented colors with intriguing names: (Sulking Room Pink and Dead Salmon are personal favorites). Their best advice? Consider your compass. Factors such as time of day, quality of light, and time of year can affect how colors appear on your walls. However, the most important element is whether your rooms face north, south, east, or west. Rooms that are north-facing tend to have cooler light and more shadow, so avoid grays or greens and opt for warmer colors. An alternative for rooms with northern exposure is to embrace that coolness. In that case, you’ll want to go with something deep and dark to create a cocoon of coziness. At the other end of the spectrum, a south-facing room will be drenched in light from daybreak to sundown. Choose softer tones like blush pink or pale blue to both embrace the light but also tone down the brightness when it might otherwise become too harsh. See the Farrow & Ball helpful website with suggestions for every room in the house.
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Remember: paint is not your only option. Adding paper or tile to a nook or backsplash can add an accent of color without making a design commitment to an entire room. Wallpapers have changed dramatically over recent years. (This is not your mother’s dining room floral!) Digital printed patterns on removable vinyl papers can add visual interest that looks and feels modern, but is also temporary enough to change when the mood strikes. Ready for Technicolor? Try a wall covering like Cole & Son’s Prism paper, from their Geometric II collection.
While white is often the default color for a kitchen or bath, an infusion of color might be just what the doctor ordered. Color can enhance emotional well being, and there’s no better place to do that — whether it’s a room that is all about washing your cares away or revving up for the day with your morning coffee. In a white kitchen, why not spice things up with a bright orange or red tile backsplash? And tile is not just for the kitchen and bath anymore. Companies like Casa Ceramica offer geometrics like Ornamenta Opera Decó, a suite of tiles that comes in panels and can be assembled to create a color-saturated art deco feature wall in any room.
In the bath, fixtures like tubs, toilets and sinks now come in every different hue as well. Lighting and accessories can also satisfy your urge to splurge in color without requiring a major investment. An otherwise all-white bath can easily be rejuvenated with a cheerful, bright marigold or soft pink pendant lantern like the Leigh Lantern by Mitzi. Don’t be afraid to experiment with accessories, and even art or sculpture. Accent pieces are a great way to dip your toe in color before diving into the deep end, as they can be easily switched out or removed the moment you change your mind.
That’s simple truism about most things décor: You should try a series of experiments with touches of color that appeal before committing to a full complement of cherry red appliances or a room full of over the top wall coverings. You can always continue to add splashes and pops of color, until you finally arrive at your own personal saturation point.
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Last modified: July 12, 2019