Narrowing down on neutral colors

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

Perhaps it is the rainy weather we’ve been having or perhaps it is my penchant to stick with classics, but I have been finding myself gravitating toward grays, blacks and whites, and shying away from big, bold colors. While talking to a friend about some paint choices and my penchant for neutrals, she made a good point: It can even be really hard to decide between whites.

The options for single hues, even in the white family, are seemingly endless. As my husband and I begin our search for new paint colors to freshen up a few new spaces, I still find myself struggling to pick them in the first place. Luckily, friends, family and other experts have offered some advice for picking paint colors:

• Start with a pattern. In many cases, this is the patterned area rug. However, it also can be a piece of upholstered furniture or a big piece of art. Grab some colors from that pattern and use it on the walls. If you are like me and tend toward neutrals, look at the whites, grays and tans, as these can vary in hue.

• Use the color wheel. One of the lessons I took from art class in elementary school was that complementary colors are opposites on the color wheel. For example, green and red complement each other well, as do blue and orange. Taking cues from this, make it work in more subtle ways. Green and red can look like Christmas, but a softer green with a muted pink can work well together without giving off the holiday vibe.

• Look around. If there are rooms with furniture or other colors that you know will stay, try to pull some of those colors into your other spaces. Of course you want the colors within a room to complement one another, but you also want the same type of flow throughout the home and between rooms as well. And remember, you do not have to match exact colors. You can have a light blue in one room and a darker blue in another.

• Don’t shy away from drama. Just because a room is on the small side, does not mean it cannot handle big colors. I have decided to use navy for an accent wall in one of our bedrooms. I’ll put a crib against the navy wall and continue to break it up with some framed artwork. This will draw us into the room, making it feel even cozier than if we painted the whole thing white.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisin@gmail.com.