Saturday, January 24, 2009

Painting your living space

The last time I wanted to paint a room in my house, I went down to the hardware store with a color in mind and not much else. When I was confronted with a rainbow wall of paint chips neatly arranged on paper cards in varying tints and hues, I realized I hadn't given this enough thought. What shade of color? What mood am I trying to evoke? What about the accent colors? What about curtains, soft furnishings, pictures and knick-knacks?
What I needed was our new book Neutral Color Schemes: neutral palettes and dramatic accents for inspirational interiors by Alice Buckley. This handy little book is filled with 200 color schemes, each one featuring a main color (walls); 2 accent colors (woodwork, upholstery) and 2 highlight colors (pillows, vases, picture frames). It starts off with a discussion of moods, textures and lighting and then presents a color directory. You simply pick the main color that appeals to you, and then turn to those pages in the book to see some carefully crafted color palettes. If you're completely open to suggestion and you're looking mainly to create a particular mood, then skip the color directory and browse the themed chapters. Pick from such ideas as Parisian Elegance, Moroccan Dreams, Northern Lights, White Heat, or Stunning Seascapes.
Painting a room - moving the furniture, prepping the walls, taping the windows, laying down tarps - is not something you want to do every six months. You want to get it right the first time, and careful planning will help. Buckley's color guide will help immensely!

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