Fashion Colors and Your Home

October 16, 2015 § Leave a comment

What we wear affects everything: our mood, our self-confidence, our success, and even our home. It makes sense that the colors we enjoy wearing should follow us into the rooms we decorate. And they do. If you take a glance through the clothes racks in your closet, you may see a color trend that pops right out: neutrals like black, white, gray or beige? Brights like reds and purples? Nature colors like greens and blues? What you see in your closet may very well help you pick a color palette that not only looks good in your home but also coordinates with you. Vincesweater

Grays are popular in fashion everywhere now (photo http://www.vince.com). And in the home, gray is still the new Linen White. It provides a neutral backdrop for any accent color and gives young home owners something different from the creams and beiges they grew up with.

One of my favorite grays is Benjamin Moore’s Abalone 2108-60.  It has a subtle warmth that looks great with stainless in a kitchen, white trim in the living room, or dark woods in a master bedroom. A touch of silver metal adds the sparkle.

Next time you’re stuck wondering what to paint a room, think about what colors you like to wear. And go from there. AbalonePaint

Ready to Immerse Your Home in Color?

November 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

redsAs with haute couture in the fashion world, we often look to hotels and other public spaces for trends in home color and design. Look no further than The William, a boutique hotel in New York, where each room immerses its guests in a paint bucket of saturated color punctuated by droplets of white for chroma relief. I am not sure if you can order up a particular color to match your luggage, but nevertheless, your experience there will be unforgettable.

Are we ready to move this color trend into the home? Some already have, but many of us will take a little while to move back into the rich dark hues of a decade ago. I’m just getting used to the freshness and brightness of white walls. But who knows.

BluesIf you are contemplating a project that involves intense color, start with a small space like a guest bath or a guest room where the color will make a huge impact and the cost of painting over it will be minimal. Make sure you have adequate lighting so the color will show “true” and you will not end up in a cave. And remember to punctuate your color with white or cream to make the color “pop” and add bits of black not only to avoid the I-got-lost-in-a-box-of-crayons look but also to add an air of sophistication to the project.

Full color on!

(photos from Dwell magazine)

Color Combos that Excite the Palette

November 21, 2014 § 2 Comments

Like pairing a fine wine to its epicurean delicacy, some color combinations can stimulate an emotional response. Some of my leg-tingling favorites include:

The rich, regal Plum Royale 2070-20 with an icy accent of Colony Green 694 (colors from Ben Moore).

2070-20colonygreen

purplegreencombo(from Horchow.com)

The dark luscious Dinner Party red (AF-300) with a splash of Yellowstone (202)

AF-300yellowstone202

redyellowcombo(from House Beautiful)

And the soft, sultry gray hue (Elephant Gray 2109-50) with a pop of orange (Soft Glow 014).

ElephantGray2109-50SoftGlow014

orangegraycombo

It’s almost a curse to adore color as much as I do. But they love me at the paint store!

House Colors with Personality

November 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

Nothing shy about this pretty pink house. And instead of tempering it with neutral (black or gray for the shutters and door), the homeowners went Victorian bold with a rich blue like Ben Moore’s Blue Macaw 784.

pinkhouse

784

When you have an old house, it’s fun to use old historic color schemes that make a statement. This one certainly does with its two-toned mustard/olive combo clarified with white trim and a traditional brick red door (Ben Moore Cottage Red).

yellowgreenhouse

PM-16

I always love a tastefully done red-white-and-blue scheme, shown here with a blue garage attached to the red house. White (Ben Moore’s Brilliant White) as both trim and accent color pulls the look together.

redhouse1

PM-4

This dark brown house is a classic New England Cape. Its simplicity is what captures the eye. No accent color needed on this traditional solid wood door with black hinges.

brownhouse1

Make a statement in your neighborhood. Tastefully, of course.

Accent Color Ideas for Stone and Brick Houses

November 17, 2014 § Leave a comment

graystonehouse

Choosing door or other accent colors for stone and brick homes is easier than you think. If the stone is uniform like this gray, then almost any accent color will work. This homeowner chose tomato red, something like Ben Moore’s Red 2000-10.

2000-10

With multi-colored stonework, I like to pick a color out of the palette. In this case, the homeowners chose a gray for the siding and a warm golden color for the natural-wood-stained front door. The orange tone in the wood stain, something like Minwax’s Cherrywood, brings out the depth of color in the stonework and makes the front door warm and welcoming.
stonehouse

cherry-wood

For uniformly colored red brick, you can accent with a contrasting color. And the opposite of red, of course, is green. Using a gray-green in a lighter value will prevent the house from looking like Santa’s workshop. Check out Ben Moore’s Louisburg Green HC-113.

BrickAfter1

HC-113

Blonde brick is a challenging palette but consider what hues are in the brick and tease them out. Taupe is a safe bet for the siding and a warm accent like Mayflower Red (Ben Moore HC-49) will warm up the front door.

blondebrick

HC-49

Let the stone and brick of your house speak to you. Sticking to the color palette that’s already there will make your house coordinated and happy.

Choosing House Colors in a Colorful World

November 10, 2014 § 1 Comment

whitegarage“Anyone who claims to be an expert on color is a liar,” assert Joann and Arielle Eckstut in their book The Secret Language of Color. I (hesitantly, of course) agree. Asking someone to pick a color for you is like asking a stranger to describe your personality, your favorite sweater when you were five, and your family tree. But hey, with a series of clues, we color “experts” do it all the time.

The colors you end up with for your home, your clothes, your car and everything else should be a reflection of you. But how we make those choices is dependent upon our associations between colors and objects or feelings (yellow can conjure up sunshine and happiness or anger and agitation), our culture (Americans tend to prefer blue, Asians red) and even our ability to distinguish certain colors at all (some red/green color-blind individuals see only a gray scale).

When choosing a house color, there are even more considerations: neighborhood, age of house, natural environment, and frankly whether or not you want your house to blend in or stand out. For the most part, we tend to use colors in the palette of nature: beiges, taupes, grays, greens, and occasionally reds, yellows and blues. Nature colors can blend a house into the tree-lined landscape in the backyard or the row of stone walls in the cul-de-sac. Red can echo the autumn colors lining the street or the late afternoon sunset. Yellow can fit just as well in a quaint New England town as it does along the coast of Malibu. And blue in all its various shades looks fabulous on a house between the dunes at the beach.

But what if you want your house to stand out in a world full of color? Don’t overlook white. It can be warmed up or cooled down with the seasons and it will never go out of style.  Splashing in a no-color “color” like white into a palette (whether it’s your neighborhood or the front garden) not only makes the surrounding hues more vivid but also serves as a beacon of relief in a multi-colored landscape. When choosing a floral display that I knew would be surrounded by other beautiful, multi-hued arrangements, I chose white. And sure enough, what showed up the most? White. (What color is the bride? White.) You get the picture…

Be your own color expert. Choose what you like. Fit in. Stand out. Or ask one of us to help.

Choosing House Colors: Lime Green?

January 3, 2012 § 2 Comments

In many neighborhoods, the homeowners who chose this house color might be run out of town but not in this neighborhood where the color is prevalent in nature. The lime green (bordering on neon) fits right in! We see it here in the rainforest of El Yunque in Puerto Rico. What a happy, stimulating hue! And how appropriate to borrow it for a house color on that island paradise. It helps to pair this strong acidic color with a coffee brown or even black just to balance out the palette. But it works.

Use your home’s environment as inspiration when choosing a house color. But if you do not see the color in nature’s palette, then reserve the color for inside. Otherwise, your home might become a lighthouse beacon in the neighborhood. Great for identifying your house in the dark, but that’s about it!

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