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CRAZY ABOUT COLOR

We have talked a lot about color here at SHOPSICLE. It's because color is very important to us. When it comes to expressing yourself in your home décor, color is by far your most basic and important means of creating an environment which not only feeds your soul, but also makes a clear statement about who you are.

Color is one of God's greatest gifts. Just look out the window. It's the gift that keeps on giving… delighting… soothing… stimulating… amusing… astounding. Color is elusive. It is seductive. It's flirtatious. It's magnetic. So why, then, are so many people afraid of it?

We tend to fear color because we worry about making mistakes with it. As children, we approach color with boldness and wild abandon. We own the territory. Then something happens. At some point we develop a fear of what others might think. We are terrified of looking foolish. Conformity moves in to replace the pure, primordial JOY of color.

While there are, of course, many mistakes one can make when one takes the leap into color exploration, the worst one, by far, is the practice of playing it safe.

 So, re-claim your birthright, and take some chances. Play with color swatches and trust your own instincts. Forget what your neighbor might say. She will be emulating you before this is over. Allow color to instruct you as you experiment by trial and error.

Make a point of challenging yourself to exercise some bold strokes in your home. You will be amazed and delighted by the fun you will derive, and the distinction you will bring to your interiors. You will discover that it is more difficult to make a mistake than you thought.

Ideas abound everywhere. Use magazines as a guide. Find photos of rooms you would love to live in, and emulate them. If you love bright shades, go for it. Choose one or two of your favorites as accents, in an otherwise neutral room. If you decide to go bright on the walls, choose light neutral shades in the furnishings and accents, with another bright color of your choice for a pillow or two. There is drama in simplicity. If you are one who resonates with soft, nature tones, don't try to be someone else. Nature has generously provided us with millions of gorgeous hues from which to find inspiration. Use natural accents in the room: shells, baskets, foliage, sisal, terracotta, stone, to emphasize the color look you want. Become a color collector.

Most paint stores are equipped with color-matching computers. Save colors you love as you come across them - a scrap of wrapping paper from the baby shower (the exact shade you envisioned but couldn't find in the paint stores), for the walls of the Guest Room. Or borrow your friend's scarf in that Pompeiian Red shade, and let the paint store's computer scan it to create your own custom Library walls.

How about a Hershey brown candy wrapper? A chocolate room!

Or perhaps the Hershey Bar itself?

You need not be limited by the 100,000 colors already available at the paint store. There are millions more which you can create yourself!

As you work with color you will observe the "tricks” it likes to play. You will note that the color your eye perceives is entirely relative to those colors in close proximity to it. A case in point: any color will appear darker when paired with white. As an extreme example, a very pale tint of color, almost white, will have a distinct chroma when trimmed in white. On the other hand, the same pale tint will look quite white if used as trim against a darker color. See? It's all relative. An important principle in working with color.

In fact, a color is so affected by whatever is surrounding it, that it is wise to note that in order to see color patch tests, they must be painted on white walls. If you plan to test new colors in a room which already has color on the walls, use primer to white-out the wall before painting on the test colors. Otherwise, the pre-existing color will skew the new test shade and you won't be able to see it properly.

How about starting this weekend? Want to start with the Powder Room? Let's try Canteloupe walls and a pale Honeydew ceiling!

 - Karen Saloomey

 

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