Painting Dilemma: What Color Do I Choose?

by J on August 5, 2010

You know your room needs a fresh coat of paint, but you keep putting it off, because, frankly, you’re just not sure what color to choose. It’s not unusual to agonize over a color scheme for a room. By default, many of us choose white, ivory, or a neutral beige. It’s hard to go wrong with one of the old standbys; they just go with everything. But they can also be a little boring. Many of us are afraid to take a stand and choose a bright or bold color for fear that it’ll be garish; then, we’ll either have to live with it or redo the whole job all over again. What should you do?

Washington DC painters and designers often take their color cues from a favorite accessory or piece of furniture that a homeowner has and build the color scheme for a room around that item. Hey, it works for designers, why not for the rest of us? And, actually, that’s what many people are doing .

One young professional woman, Amber VanOsdol, had just accepted a job and was getting ready to move into her first apartment. On a tight budget, she was out hunting for bargains at a garage sale, when she spied a large black and white crockery cookie jar from Pier 1 at the sale. She quickly latched on to it, not yet sure how to make it work.  At the next garage sale, she found 3 more crockery pieces in a bright red, and there her color scheme was born:  black and white with red as an accent color.

Finding those pieces inspired her color scheme for the kitchen and living room, since the two rooms are connected in her apartment. “I think that it’s important to find something you like and make it the focal point of the room,” she said. “Otherwise the room becomes mismatched and unorganized.” After her initial finds, it became easy for Amber to add things in matching colors, as she found black plates and silverware and a red rug and lamp. She continued the accent color on the walls by painting one of the walls red.

Ultimately, it could be that the answer to your painting dilemma is right in your house.  When choosing your painting colors, take your cues from a favorite possession. If it happens to be a color that you feel would be overwhelming for all the walls, then try it on just one wall, or use it as an accent color and paint your walls in a complementary color. It’s sure to be a color scheme that you’ll adore.

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