Color or Off White
We are having a design challenge or a color conundrum and puzzle. We just completed a new custom built home (furniture and possessions arriving from Michigan in April). I want color, my husband wants off white walls so we are looking to your column for information on how to overcome our conundrum.
- Ed and Lacey, Prescott, AZ
This is a challenge that should probably be a combined effort with you, your husband and a design professional. I will start by saying that most people have a misconception that using a design professional is going to be way too expensive. “That is not at all the case” says Amy Favour, of Amy Favour Interior Design. Being involved at the front end of your project can save a lot of money in the long run and in your case, inviting a design professional into your home now, with all white walls and exploring colors and getting to know you is the way to go. A painting project is “like a puzzle” said Dave Berry of Century Painting, you need to know how each color fits together.
Do you favor neutrals; do you like vibrant and exciting color? There is certainly applied color psychology said Amy when working on any project and then of course the room that you are painting with its lighting conditions and furniture is all part of the plan. Designers will be in synch with your goals and will be there to guide you during the selection process.
Color represents something different for everyone. For example I just painted my bedroom a deep red and find it relaxing and restful. The color psychology reports say red makes our heartbeat quicken, our blood pressure rise and we should consider avoiding red. I like red, it inspires me with warmth and I sleep like a baby. My laundry room is a vibrant sunflower yellow – they say that yellow means warmth. It is a bright color that represents the sun, light, happiness and joy – is that why I love doing laundry?
Color can also give meaning to your life, such as embracing a change or a new state of independence.
Everyone has an idea of what they like for color and it is a designer’s job to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Doug Noble of Douglas E Noble Painting said that color is as “unique as each and every one of us are” and he has seen some stylish colors over the years that have looked really great. Don’t shy away from colors that seem to swerve and stray from the norm – there really is no norm – just remember color is unique just like we are. Color defines who we are and the ultimate goal for using color in a home reveals the personal side of who lies there.
Whether or not we want to follow them, ignore them or even rebel against them, we cannot deny that color exists. Color in a home influences and is changing. There are not set rules or laws that govern color. If you love a color, wear it, live in it and embrace it, of course with the help of a designer that can offer advice on how to use color. Amy said to keep in mind that color changes our moods and there are so many sumptuous colors and trends for 2014.
There are what designers call the “new” neutral palette of colors and these are beige's, light grays and parfait type colors – light and soft. Another palette that is taking hold according to Amy are the warm saturated colors that are green, gold and brick colors and of course a color palette that will never go away are the medley of whites, the oyster shell and rolling sandy beach kind of whites. You can create inspiration and comfort from color – any color so take leap with your designer in hand and work together to create a sensation of a heavenly look on your white walls. Remember, color can be playful, silent, sumptuous, spiritual, beautiful and emotional.