Thursday, March 7, 2013

DESIGN TIP: Color Your World

by Ann Kingon, Southern Showcase

How do you refresh and update your home without great expense?
Color can transform your home! So many people live in white or beige rooms, which can appear stark, cold or display a real case of the "blahs". Just a touch of color can add drama, warmth, and even a touch of sunshine. Color can be bold or subdued; it can be warm or cool.  Your desired effect will determine what colors you should choose.  Here are a few  tricks  designers and decorators use that can help you navigate the world of paint and color.

Make more space without adding a single square foot!
Pale colors tend to recede visually, the lighter the color you choose for walls and floors, the larger your space will appear.  Cool colors such as blues and greens make small spaces appear larger.  You might want to consider using the same color throughout in a small condo, it will make the condo seem larger.

Make large rooms appear smaller!

Deep colors reduce sense of space.  Warm colors (red, orange, yellow) appear warm and cozy (they also simulate appetite)  Large spaces feel more welcoming and user friendly with these colors.  Have you ever been in a large home that felt cold and uninviting?  I bet they didn't use a warm color pallet.

Get more headroom!
Make low ceilings appear higher by painting the ceiling a shade or two lighter than the walls.  You can install crown molding around the perimeter of the room, which will help draw your eye upwards.

Hide things you don't want to emphasize!
Windows, doors or any off-center architectural detail will not be as noticeable if they are painted the same color as the walls.  Air conditioning vents and returns seem to disappear when painted the same color as walls or ceilings.

Get modern!
Paint with contrasting color for a contemporary/industrial look. Pipes, metal work and air conditioning ducts can look like sculptural artwork.  You have to be a little adventurous to go this route, but remember, it's only paint.  Niches and tray ceilings are much more noticeable when painted in a contrasting color.

Optical illustions down the hall!
Paint can make long corridors appear shorter if you use a deep warm color on the far walls. Try this one tip - it works like magic.  To give the corridor a more spacious look paint with light cool colors. And to make the corridor look longer, mount a tall mirror.

Paint is inexpensive, and lighting at the paint store can't be trusted to match your own lighting, so initially, buy the smallest amount you can and try a test area. This will assure you that the sample you fell in love with on the swatch really is the color you want.

Remember, paint is one of the easiest transformations for your home, and can give you a big bang for the dollar.

Stay tuned for our next tip, and most of all, have fun!