Add Color Here but Please Not There
February 23, 2023 § Leave a comment
Color is back in season as we watch the light neutrals fade off into the distance. Here are 5 areas of your home where you can add color with a paint roller or a brush. But scroll to the bottom for a gasp of OMGosh please do not do this!
ADD COLOR TO STAIRS
I am a huge fan of painting the stairs — pretty much anything but white. The ombre effect on the stair risers creates a fresh relaxed look and is a great way to bring in an accent color. Or you can paint the whole stairway. The stained wood treads look spectacular popping off the dark gray woodwork.
ADD COLOR TO SHELVING
This color application has been around awhile, but I am still a fan! Painting the back of your display shelving is such an eye-catcher. And it can highlight your collections. What an opportunity to add color — and so easy! Or you can paint the whole inside of each display cube a different color for a playful focal wall.
ADD COLOR BEHIND THE TV
It doesn’t have to be black, but camouflaging the TV is a great idea. Any dark color will help. Or if you rather like a large touch of black, make the TV wall a colorful focal point.
ADD COLOR TO THE CEILING
Whether you want to paint just the ceiling and molding around it as an accent or go up over the ceiling with the wall color to enlarge the room, painting the ceiling will add drama. But white in the room offers a fresh contrast and keeps the room from feeling like a cave.
ADD COLOR TO A WALL OF BOOKSHELVES
Your painter will love you (oh, that’s you?) if you decide to paint the entire wall of bookshelves the same accent color. For one thing, the sheen on the paint will stay the same. And there is no cutting-in or taping-off required. In a light-filled room or a library, this color application will set the mood for sure.
WARNING! DON’T DO IT!
OMGosh… please do not try this last one at home UNLESS you are a designer, your ceilings are high already, and you have enormous windows. Yes, it’s dramatic, cool, and trending to paint walls, trim, and ceiling all one dark, dramatic color. And yes it’s quicker and easier when it’s all the same. But here’s what happens:
- You lose all architectural detail (moldings, fireplace, wainscoting — if you don’t have any, you might not care).
- You lose all contrast that helps you see color (because say it with me, “white makes colors pop”).
- You add reliance on light — either from windows or lamps — to see anything in the room.
- You risk the wall/ceiling color influencing the colors of everything else in the room.
- You risk making your furniture look drab.
- You risk triggering your seasonal depression on a daily basis.
- And the elephant in the room: If you want to sell your home anytime soon, dark-and-moody just doesn’t sell. It will cost a fortune in primer to paint over all that surface area.
But as they say in the biz… it’s just paint!
If you need help with color, feel free to comment below, hit the button for a Color Consultation, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would be happy to help you.
Hope you have a Colorful Day!
Barbara, Your Home & Color Coach
Where Color Trends Dare You to Go
February 12, 2023 § Leave a comment
Were you the kind of kid who rearranged your crayon box? Maybe lining up all the cool blue-greens with the cobalt blues? Then putting the grass-greens and sunny yellows together? Or did you make a rainbow or go from light to dark? Just curious.
If you like a color organizing challenge, here’s one — the Color Trend Palette for 2023 from Benjamin Moore.
Okay let’s unpack this crayon box
Benjamin Moore calls this paint color grouping a “palette.” Personally, I think of a palette as a combination of hues and hue values that coordinate together and tell a story or express a mood. Something that signifies a color direction or coming design trend. But I looked it up anyway.
Googled “color palette”
“A color palette refers to the actual colors that you’ve chosen, based on your color scheme. A color scheme is based on color theory, like a monochromatic scheme. ” Diana Hathaway Timmons
So if you decide to paint your living room blue and you have all different shades of blue (navy blue sofa, light blue chair), then you have chosen a monochromatic color scheme for your living room. The actual color palette might include the paint color Starry Night Blue, but it would not include all those other paint hues because your color scheme is monochromatic — just one color.
Painting on canvas versus decorating a room
If you paint on canvas, not walls, your palette may look like this!
Artists can mix paint colors and create art. But decorating a room is different from painting a picture. Colors in a room are not blended — they are placed next to each other, in front of each other, and over, behind, and on top of each other. And depending on the light in the room, one color can influence the color next to it. And sometimes, they just don’t work (see discussion of clean and dirty colors in What Color Trends Don’t Tell You).
Back to the Color Trend Palette for 2023
In case there is some confusion, the hues in the Benjamin Moore Color Trend Palette for 2023 (above) were not chosen because they all go together. The paint company is not expressing a particular mood or design style we can expect to see or even create in our own homes in 2023.
They have simply compiled eight separate hues (ideas, if you will) that their designers have determined, from global trends and design tea leaves at home, will hit the paint stores and home goods stores this year.
But to soothe my Kindergarten color-arranging sensibilities, I will rearrange their paint color palette anyway.
First up? Raspberry Blush
The first color, Raspberry Blush, is the Benjamin Moore Color of the Year for 2023. What a lovely stand-alone color for a dining room wall or an accent wall behind a white fireplace.
It can be paired with Wenge from this Color Palette.
Next up? Conch Shell.
If you saw the previous post, we talked about clean and dirty colors. Conch Shell is clearly a “dirty” color that does not pair well with any “clean” colors. So in this palette, other than pairing with a neutral, I would line it up with New Age, and that’s it. These two “dirty” hues look great together. And Conch Shell would be a pleasant hue to add to the palette of a gray paint color scheme in your home if you’re trying to add some warmth for 2023.
Next up? Cinnamon.
Cinnamon is a rich warm color that conjures up a timeless Southwest palette so it is fitting to pair it with a teal like North Sea Green that reminds us of turquoise.
Flash Back and Flash Ahead
Lastly, I would flash back to the blue & green decades from the past to pair the last two sultry hues. And I’m not talking about the ’70s. Art Deco (from the 1920s and early ’30s) with its rich jewel tones and luscious velvet textures is on trend at the moment, and these two colors will fit right in.
But if you dare to go there…
If you are not afraid of color and have an eye for modern, eclectic, live-what-you-love design, then throw out all those color-matchy-matchy Crayola crayon pairings and toss the whole batch of 2023’s trending paint colors into the room.
Because when it comes to loving YOUR home, there simply are no rules.
If you need help with color, do not hesitate to comment below, hit the button for a quick color consult, or shoot me an email. I would be happy to help you.
Hope you have a Colorful Day!
-Barbara, Your Home & Color Coach
What Color Trends Don’t Tell You
February 10, 2023 § Leave a comment
It’s that time of year when people toss out the old and refresh their place with something that will breathe some Spring into the Winter blahs. Some people pore over seed catalogues for inspiration. Others turn to paint companies for the hot new color trends. So off we go to scour the internet for how the color experts see us living in this year’s creative new palettes.
All the major trend-makers and influencers weigh in. Everywhere, it seems, you see the new colors pop up in linens and bath towels, art and accessories, and furniture. Experts offer an array of options for incorporating new color ideas into your home.
And THAT’s where we hit the design wall.
Sherwin Williams chose the paint color Redend Point for their 2023 Color of the Year.
They show beautiful rooms with the color applied in all kinds of spaces. And they even give you trim colors and other hues that will complement Redend Point.
But what each of these trend-setters tells you is how to use the new color in a complete room makeover. Unless you have a room that is essentially a blank slate, like this one,
you end up trying to incorporate this color into your existing space. I am here to tell you when incorporating this dusty paint color will work and actually more importantly, when it will not.
First a note about colors and mixing. Quite simply, there are two kinds of colors: Clean and Dirty. Clean colors can be described as clear and identifiable as a particular hue. Right out of the crayon box, you might say. Dirty colors can be described as muted, mixed with other hues to make the color appear grayed down and kind of dirty next to its clean sibling.
Benjamin Moore’s Shades of Green 537
Benjamin Moore’s Mesquite 501
And Redend Point, with all due respect, is a dirty color.
It goes great with neutrals like off-whites and grays, and other muted “dirty” colors like worn terra cotta, dusty grape, and cool rustic wood brown.
But wait a minute!
Butted up against clean colors, though, Redend Point looks worse than dirty — it doesn’t belong, whether it’s the wall color or a pillow on the sofa. So let’s look at what does NOT work with this color.
Your existing room decor matters.
If you bought a new cognac leather sofa when it was all the rage, then that orangey brown leather will make your newly painted Redend Point walls look dirty. So nope.
Your hardwood floor matters.
If your existing hardwood floors have yellowed over the years, then do not consider Redend Point for your room. (Tip though: if everything else in the room works, then a large rug will definitely help.)
Clean color matters.
Yellows, vibrant blues, and other clean colors are coming back too (I’ll talk about them later), but they do not go with Redend Point, please! Again, that paint color (or pillow or side chair or rug) is going to look old, faded, and ready to toss next to any clean, clear colors and especially yellow. No to these!
Questions? Just ask.
If you have questions about color, do not hesitate to leave a comment, click on the link for a quick color consult, or shoot me an email. And thanks for the chat.
Hope you have a Colorful Day!
-Barbara, Your Home & Color Coach
What Color Brings You Joy?
January 23, 2019 § Leave a comment
As I type the title into this blog post, I am struck by how nearly impossible that question is to answer for somebody like me who loves almost all hues. How would I ever pick a favorite? But some people have no problem.
In the latest House Beautiful (Jan/Feb 2019 issue) amidst the usual articles about paint color trends and new wallpaper patterns, a spread jumped out of the magazine when I turned the page. Designer Kristen McCory and editor Emma Bazilian lay out a color palette that I would not expect to see in a Connecticut home.
There in a high-gloss fuchsia fiesta was a fireplace surround and mantel popping out of the living room wall. And there was more! A hot pink antique secretary and a raspberry velvet settee left no doubt as to the intentions of the designer. The homeowner wanted Pink. (That’s Benjamin Moore’s Gypsy Pink on the mantel.)
But the story gets so sweet when we discover that the pink is a tribute to the homeowner’s 99-year-old grandmother whose favorite lipstick was Revlon’s Parisian Pink. And that is what brings me to ask “What color brings YOU joy?”
For me? I guess I’m kind of in a Pink frame of mind these days — it’s bitter cold outside and that warm pink hue brings joy to my heart when I stare at it long enough. Witness my Facebook page yesterday —>
But by Spring I know I will have put all the warm colors into the closets and brought out blues to cool the house down and bring me newfound joy. I’m not sure what it is about turquoise, teal, and aqua that I love so much but maybe it’s what those colors represent to me: in this case, last year’s vacation with my precious sister! When I see ocean blues now, I think of her and it brings me joy.
Whatever color brings you joy (always or maybe just right now) … embrace it. Wear it, decorate with it, and share it with others. Don’t worry about keeping up with trends that make others happy. When clients tell me they want a color for their kitchen that is the same color as their best friend’s kitchen, I always push back a little. It never fails. What looks good in somebody else’s house is inevitably a big fail somewhere else. Don’t pick a yellow front door because your neighbor has one. As we say so often these days… You Do You.
What Color Brings YOU Joy?
Escape from the Blues
January 4, 2018 § Leave a comment
This is a perfect January day in New England. We are completely snowed in, and nothing is more relaxing than hunkering down in a cozy house as the wind howls outside and the snow banks pile up around us. I love winter!
But that doesn’t mean I like the wintery gray, the limited daylight, and the bitter cold that comes with it. The longer winter goes, the more I yearn for an escape to somewhere warm — even if it’s only in my imagination.
Enter the Sherwin Williams Color of the Year for 2018.
It is an opulent teal that conjures up the ocean and all the warmth of summer at the beach. If a midwinter break in Bermuda is not on your calendar, there are other ways to escape the winter cold — visually. Here are some:
Plan Your Spring Projects. It’s never too early to think about Spring projects, and painting your front door is a doable one. Remember to tie the color in with other accessories and furniture around the yard.
Paint the Fifth Wall. Don’t overlook the ceiling when you’re adding color. Since cool colors recede visually, painting the ceiling a medium teal blue will raise it — like rolling a Utah sky onto your porch.
Splash Color Under Foot. Now I’m making it too easy. Add a gorgeous rug and transform your space instantly. There’s something about the combination of blues and greens that soothes and comforts us all. And a rug adds not just color but texture.
Dive into the Pool. Ceramics, art, dishes, pillows, collectibles, throws, lamps… the options for accessories are endless. Be sure when you add a color to your room that you put it in at least three locations to move the eye around the room and create flow.
Enjoy your staycation! With some daydreaming, a little shopping, and a tad bit of rearranging there at home, you can lift your spirits toward Spring and feel warm and cozy at the same time.
Thanks for stopping by!
SW Color of the Year 2017
September 2, 2016 § 4 Comments
OKay then! If you hang around long enough…(as they say…)
Taupe is back. The color we’ve spent the last decade ridding our houses of is now Sherwin Williams’ Color of the Year for 2017. Poised Taupe is the color — SW 6039 — and you have to love the description:
“Earthen brown combines with conservative grey and the result is a weathered, woodsy and complex neutral that celebrates the imperfections and authenticity of a well-lived life.” — Anytime somebody celebrates imperfections, I’m in!
But here’s what you should know about taupe. It can change radically with the light and the time of day. What looks a little brown can turn pink, purple, or green depending not only on the time of day but also on the lightbulb. Just so you know. Taupe can have a pink undertone as well that clashes horribly with the orange of a red oak hardwood floor. Another caution. But paired with white like its fan deck sibling Gauzy White SW 6035, a silver metal (not gold or brass), hardwood with a gray undertone, and fabrics in other light neutrals with a pink undertone like Cultured Pearl SW 6028, and you truly have a soft, restful combination that harkens back to those glorious. taupe-filled 50s. That’s 1950s!
Personally, I’m going to ride this one out, but I can appreciate how we’re moving from the grays into the taupes (without the yellow undertone of a previous color swing). Like I tell my clients, just because it’s the Color of the Year does not mean it’s perfect for your house. If you are considering taupe, make sure you have a lot of natural light coming in the window and (hopefully) some modern furnishings, shiny metals and glass. Try to avoid pairing with cherry wood. If you have concerns, talk to me!
Meanwhile, let’s get painting.
Making Sense of Color Coding
June 1, 2016 § Leave a comment
Organizing your clothes and accessories by color makes a lot of sense to me. You pick out your clothes by what colors you want to wear. Am I right? So going straight to the color of the day seems efficient and not only that, beautiful too. Opening the door to see a well-ordered, color-coded closet gives me joy just thinking about it.
On the other hand, I think color-coding can go a teeny bit overboard. And you’re hearing that from a home stager who lives for color and yes, making order out of chaos. But when I see a bookshelf that has been color-coded, it screams STAGED to me instead of a more sensible, and efficient, order of books by either title, subject matter, or author. How would you ever find a book if you have to remember what color it is?
Having said that, I do like to group books by size on the shelves so they’re not all over the place. Bookshelves tend to look so busy in a room that some taming of the clutter helps.
If you’re organizing your bookshelves, consider breaking up the books by inserting objects you’ve collected, stacking some of the books, and even deleting a bunch of books by donating them to a book drop. If you cannot part with your books, put up floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and organize the books so you can find them again. Like a library.
Just my thought for the day. Happy Organizing!
Making a House Color Splash
March 15, 2016 § Leave a comment
I have driven past this house for years and every time, I do a double take. Situated next to a busy roadway, there is nowhere to stop, get out of the car, and snap a decent photo. But that does not deter me.
The red brick wall is not part of the yard. And who cares about it anyway. It is the roof color and the coordinating front door in a spectacular (guessing here) Starry Night Blue (BM 2067-20) that grabs our attention. The rest of the trim is a quiet brown taken right from the brick. We don’t even notice the window trim at all, and that’s the point.
The roof looks like Vermont Mottled Purple slate, but honestly I have no idea. All I can say is that this house creates, in its traditional neighborhood, a huge House Color Splash. Kudos! And I cannot wait to drive by again.
Don’t forget about the roof color when you are planning your exterior color scheme. It is absolutely fine to keep it neutral, but if you have the personality to withstand the gawking passersby if you decide to add color to the roof, then go for it. Just remember to tie it into the rest of the house with shutters and/or front door to match. I will thank you.