Updating your Décor

Use Colors Appropriately to Update your Décor

Color is one of the things that make life meaningful, you can find

a reflection of each one of your moods, preferences and feeling in colors:

they help you reflect your personality. But you do not have to be a

top-notch interior decorator to make colors work for your home. Armed

with a few tips, you yourself can make a colorful difference to how

your home looks, feels and appeals to you.

Neutral Shades vs. Rich Hues

Neutral palettes are of course the safest. A rustic, restful simplicity

may be nice for a time: a Tuscan décor, for instance, but it can also

get boring after a while. With the turn of the century, more and more

people prefer their homes to be rejuvenating and fresh. Colors are in

demand once again, and you should perhaps seriously consider getting

some into your personal space this spring. Blue, red, purple, green,

orange and yellow are the new favorites: when used with consideration

and insight, they can give your home an entirely new image.

neutral decor throw pillows

You need not redo all your white or cream painted walls in order

to reach for color. You could bring in colors by painting a single wall

in a room, and leaving the rest as they are, so updating your décor

need not be either expensive or time-consuming. Neutral colored walls

provide the right background for one wall in rich color, and allow for

a room to be restful despite a touch of vigor. You could consider a

few of the following color suggestions and possibilities for your home:

Romantic Purple

A single purple wall over your bedstead in a white bedroom with purple-accented

furnishings and drapes can introduce a new note of passion and romance

into your life. Avoid using purple in the study or kitchen however,

because this color may lose some of its charm in these areas and not

convey the focused atmosphere of a study or the welcoming warmth of

a kitchen.

Tranquil Blue

A hallway or staircase which gets enough natural light could be your

place for a rich Mediterranean blue. Cobalt or cerulean blues are good

too. Avoid the darker shades like navy and prussian which can make the

space look dingy. Not only does blue look summery and bright with your

cream or white walls, it is a great place to hang up family photographs

with cream, black or silver frames. Hang up tribal masks, prints, pictures

or paintings with a touch of turquoise, or add sheer turquoise curtains

on the windows at the top of the stairs for an airy, beach-side look.

You could also add accents of dull gold in terms of artifacts, or Italian

pottery in Mediterranean colors. Blue does not do very well in living

rooms, bedrooms or kitchens, it is best used in passages or hallways.

Sophisticated Red

Red Walls neutral furnishings

Red walls look awesome with neutral furnishings. A cherry red wall

in your living room would do very well to give a vibrant accent to the

other pale cream or white walls. Use crimson or maroon reds only if

you are very sure that is what you want. You can either go the cream

lacy Victorian way with your sofas and cushions in the living room;

add greenery for contrast and a touch of nature by introducing potted

plants. Or, go sporty with solid blacks, creams and browns, even hot

pinks. This would go very well with ultramodern Italian steel furniture.

A few shiny silver knick-knacks or picture frames, or maybe Murano glass

vases would add that extra dash of exotic color and translucence. The

idea is not to have too much of red, use it only to underline your vibrant,

postmodern personality. An orange and white scheme would have much the

same effect, if you prefer a cheery and young feel instead of edgy sophistication.

Mellow Yellow

yellow wall guest room

Yellow can be a great idea for a study, a guest room or a kitchen.

Three walls painted a very pale creamy yellow, and the remaining one

a honeyed, buttercup shade could brighten up a room which does not receive

much natural light. Pale yellow and green vines or floral motifs on

a wall paper can also be used to denote a sort of Tuscan air while still

retaining an element of energy. For yellow walls it is safer to stick

with white, pale yellow or cream furnishings, and maybe add touches

of dull gold on paint frames and artifacts. Plants and flowers potted

in stoneware would do well in this room as will wrought iron furniture.

A white and bronze or copper Tuscan lamp can add to the serene yet lively

feel of a sedate yellow room.

Soothing Green

Dark, moss, or pale green walls call for furnishings in white or

cream. Also make sure you leave one or more walls in white or cream.

Emerald greens are best avoided. Use browns, beiges, tans, blacks and

traces of pale yellows and yellow-greens for furnishings to make the

most out of a green living room. Dry decorations, or paintings with

beige accents, and rust or black frames would work well. You can go

for shiny rust-colored cushions, and possibly bring in a gray stone

trickling water-fountain to complete a rich, soothing, oriental look.

Do’s and Don’ts for Using Color

While using colors, it is easier if you do different rooms in different

colors. However, do not put more than one vibrant color in the same

room, or you might end up making your home look like a fast food-restaurant!

If you have a small home, you might want to be very careful about introducing

too many colors in your rooms. Choose one room or two in an apartment

to accent with colors so that they stand out and enliven the house.

Too many walls in different colors can look jarring.

The colors in the living room and the dining area would also depend

to an extent on who and how much you entertain, bedrooms should have

colors soothing to your senses, and the kitchen should have warm colors,

and not blue and green. Keep in mind that the shade and tone of a color

is a very important factor in your decision, and give all fluorescent

shades a wide berth. Complete the color update of one room to see how

you like it before you venture into the other rooms. Remember, not all

your rooms may need an update.

neutral colors mantle

The idea is to provide colorful highlights while maintaining the

inherent harmony of the home, not to overwhelm the eyes with a jamboree

of colors. Moderation is key. It is perfectly acceptable to leave a

few rooms of your house with their walls in cream, white or pastels.

They can enhance the appeal of the selectively painted bright walls

by playing up the contrast.

In these untouched pastel rooms, carry out the bright color themes

in terms of furnishings, accessories or paintings, because changing

the color of the wall paint may not be the only way to bring in the

accent of new colors into your home. For instance, you can add accents

of green in sofas, cushions, furniture, paintings and potted plants

in a room with cream walls, and make the room look predominantly green.

A children’s room does not always need extra-colorful walls, it can

have colorful stick-ons and drapes on pale walls and still look vibrant

and cheerful.

Choose your lighting with care, warm yellow lights and white lights

may change the look and color of a room, and that should always be kept

in mind while choosing paint colors for your walls. For instance, it

would be best to provide warm yellow lights in rooms with green or yellow,

as white lights may make them look harsh or sickly. Include the color

and type of flooring you already have into your equation, a green wall

would be great with a wooden finish or white marble floor, but with

a red mosaic floor it can look ghastly.

The suggestions given here are just that: suggestions. They provide

a springboard for ideas on what you can do with colors to your home.

Depending on where you live, the way your home is built, what you do

and your likes and dislikes, you can tailor the use of colors the way

you want. You will never know what would look good till you experiment,

and the best way to do it is color a big cardboard and put it up against

the wall under consideration to see how you like it. So reach out for

color today: depending on your budget, ambitions and preferences, not

only can you update the décor of your home like a professional, you

can also have heaps of fun doing it!

By Damyanti Ghosh

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