Color Me Silly

Sometimes the most simple decision can stop people in their design tracks.

What color?

What color to paint. What color to accent. What color to emphasize. What color to highlight. What color is too bold.  What color will make a statement. What color can I live with.

For those of you that have no trouble choosing your favorite shade of green for an accent wall, or matching your linens to your furniture, you may want to skip ahead a bit.  Choosing a color palette is not as scary as some think.  Remember back when you were a kid and at the start of each school year there was a fresh, untouched box of crayon sitting in front of you.  Oh the possibilities!

Colors Galore

Maybe you could draw a purple dragon, or a yellow frog.  A blue and pink castle might be the ticket, or a colorful family portrait.  No fear, just grab a crayon and let your imagination run wild.  Tap into that! I know that come the end of the school year there were always a couple crayons that had been worn down to the nub because they were my favorite.  Let’s start from there, shall we?

The Drab Age is over. Color is coming into its own again. Until very recently people were literally scared out of their wits by color. Perhaps this was a hangover from our Puritan ancestors. But whatever the reason, brown, grays and neutrals were the only shades considered ‘safe.’ Now we know that lovely, clear colors have a vital effect on our mental happiness. Modern doctors and psychiatrists are convinced of this!

-Dorothy Draper

If you look back at my desk picture, you will see that the office was painted a gray-blue.  That was the original inspiration starting point for my home office.  I often sort through catalogs and home decor magazine, ripping out pages that catch my eye.  Then I can recycle the rest of the magazine, and keep a collection of pages to look back at later.  I had ripped out a page with the most beautiful blue room, with white accent furniture and vintage artwork throughout.  Now finding the perfect shade was easier said than done.

Color Chip

I will be the first to admit that the color on the paint sample, is not always the color that ends up on your wall… and that was the case with my original selection.  While I was searching for dusty, muted, gray-blue color I ended up with more of a dark turquoise.  But the great thing about paint is that it’s no permanent!  After about a week of hemming and hawing, ‘Do I REALLY hate it?’, I gave it another shot.  Lucky for me, I had yet to remove the painters tape, so no additional prep work there.  Finally the right color was up on the walls, and the room was on the right design track.

Typically, I start my rooms with a base color or pattern (blue for the office) and build the palette around that.  It was time to consult my design color wheel, and in this case I chose a complimentary scheme introducing yellow.

The primary color wheel starts with blue, red and yellow.  I chose to use blue and yellow to compliment each other.  When the secondary colors  of orange, green and violet are added, your options are expanded.  Let’s explore the color wheel later…it makes a great art project!

My new color palette looks like this:

Office Palette

Blue walls and creamy, yellow accents, are mixed with my new, white desk and dark stained buffet (next edition of Spruce News). Black and white are really neutrals, sometimes not considered colors even, and can be integrated into almost any design palette. It’s a work in progress, but I’ll follow-up with some photos soon.

So tell me…what’s your favorite color?

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2 comments

  1. Well well, I love that you reference our childhood and choosing color from our spankin’ brand new box of crayons. That was definitely inspiration for me 🙂

    As for my fave colors – now if you’ve seen my house in person (see blog too folks), I love green!!!! I also love red and black. I got a little crazy this year and painted the bathroom purple, thanks to a rug from Urban Outfitters (again with inspiration pieces).

    COLOR is fun – don’t be afraid out there!

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