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Color has such an impact in a room. If the color is not right, the room does not look right. Color does make a room harmonious and beautiful.
For some it can be difficult to choose, for others they just pick a color because they are frustrated and just make a choice because there are so many available. How do you narrow it down to make the color work?
It can be hard to find the right color. But when you do find it the room looks fantastic. Think of images that you love on Pinterest, or pictures you drool over on Instagram. Those rooms resonate with you because the color is done correctly. It is balanced well, and makes you feel something, whether relaxed, excited, or falling in love with the way it is presented. The color is probably working well in that space.
To start, look at the fixed elements in a room. Those are the things that you cannot change. Think flooring, cabinets, tile, and counters. Each and every one of those has color in it. Those items will not change in your design, unless you are starting from scratch or redesigning a room. Fixed elements will dictate what colors will work well in the space. Mixing too many of these elements can make a room not feel cohesive. You need to pick one main element and coordinate the color with it throughout the room. Due to fixed elements being expensive and difficult to change, serious consideration in the choices need to be made.
For instance, you chose travertine flooring. Identify the color family first. On the walls the color needs to complement those fixed features that are not changing. Your whites should be on the warmer scale also to complement the browns. The reason neutral colors work so well in spaces is that it allows the elements of the room stand out, not the color. Every neutral has an undertone and can coordinate with your finishes. It can be difficult to see these subtle colors but once identified, the room will come together and feel harmonious. The accent colors that you pick up and use can vary in saturation that will give the mood to the room that you are trying to achieve.
Choosing color can be challenging for some. That’s when I suggest having someone come in and assist you. They should be able to narrow the array of colors and assist you in finding the perfect shade for your space.
Trends. What’s going to be popular, or showing up as popular as decorating trends? After attending the NY Now –which features vendors, and Architectural Digest 2017 featuring everything for the home and highlighted artists, there were reoccurring trends that should be noticed.
For 2017 the soft gold tone continues to still popular and showing up in furniture, lighting, and finishes for the house. It is not the brass of the 80’s but a softer look which is warmer. This trend I think will continue because the gray tones are starting to subside, while the taupe colors are becoming more popular, and will continue to trend.
Back to nature, things made of wood, live edge furniture, wall gardens and plants all very popular. I have noticed these for a few years and due to their organic nature, they will probably continue trending for a few years. I see this because people are looking for healthy ways to live, more in-tune to their environment. Being connect with the environment they will include these elements in their homes.
Speaking of the nature trends, animals are a big influence with decorative items. Hides, horns and lambskin are big in accessories for the home. This fabric from Coral and Tusk of embroidered feathers would be a beautiful addition to a room. If you want to update a room add a hide pillow or fur pillow into the mix. This trend is whimsical as well as luxurious to the eye.
Both the natural elements and animal influence relate to the bohemian trend that is popular in design. Although I relay it to the 1960’s hippy days of growing up, LOL, it has a fresh flair to it. A little more organic a little less quirky.
Deep rich colors are also trending. Think of deep navy, rich emerald green in couches, walls, cabinetry as well as accent pieces like pillows and art are showing up repeatedly. The deep colors are a switch from the dark grays, a little less moody possibly a more optimistic feeling. Bolder colors will be seen in the coming years for home décor but of course mixed with neutrals or softer shades to balance the entire look.
If the last time you decorated your rooms was when you moved in five or more years ago, now is the time to consider something new and fresh to update your spaces!
When you are selling, the colors on your walls can affect buyer’s. Either buyer’s react by falling in love, or pass up a house based on the wall colors. Yup, bad colors matter. The colors on your walls need consideration when preparing your house to sell. You may not like a more neutral color, but you’re moving, so having freshly painted neutral walls is the biggest bang for your buck because they will leave a more positive impression than crazy colors or worn walls.
What are the bad colors to have when selling, and what is the best way to prepare your house with color when you put it on the market?
There are bad colors when selling due to multiple reasons. One of the primary reasons are because colors are so very taste specific. While you may be in love with your red dining room, the next person coming into your house might abhor red. When you are selling your house you want to protect your equity. You want to make sure there is not a single reason a buyer would turn away from your house. If you knew it would only cost you the price of a can of paint versus a price reduction in the thousands wouldn’t you opt for the can of paint?
What colors are bad when selling besides red? Orange, purple, some yellows and other bold colors. Why? Aside from being taste specific, buyers will find those colored rooms difficult to envision themselves living in them. Many sellers will tell me that’s crazy, a buyer should look over that! A buyer won’t look over the color, they will just move onto the next house. The buyer attention will be focused on the color, not on the size of the room or the attributes of the room. Yes, a professional stager can do wonders to a room when sellers refuse to paint, but once the staging is removed, it is a room with an objectionable color.
Neutrals are preferred colors when you sell because they highlight the room. Ensure the undertone of the color complements the hard finishes of a room. You could have a beautiful gray color but if the undertones are not complementing the other finishes in a room, it will look off, an off colored room is off-putting.
Color can be used when selling a house, but use it to complement and assist the flow of rooms from one to another. Using color more as an accent, is a better choice then as the primary focus. Buyers are more drawn to a houses features when the colors are neutral, then they will be to someone’s décor. If the two complement one another, not over power, then you have a winning combination.
If you are not sure how to put this all together, or how to find the perfect color for rooms, it is a wise investment to have a professional stager trained in color to come in and review your house prior to selling. A professional stager has an unbiased eye that will help you create your house into one buyers are dreaming of living in.
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It’s that time of year when the paint manufactures announce what they believe will be the popular color for the upcoming year. They predict these colors based on trends they see not only in the design world but also what people are navigating towards. Color is like fashion, it will be cyclical but when the color comes back it will have a different fresh twist to it. You may have seen the predictions on my Facebook feed already, but I think it’s nice to see them altogether in one place too.
I noticed that the colors seem to leaving the neutral ‘clean’ trend that we had seen in 2016 with Alabaster and Simply White being the big news from Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore. The colors this year have purple undertones, and have a relaxing feeling. Isn’t that what we all want at the end of a busy day, to just sit back and relax? Having these colors in your rooms, if you like them, will allow you to do just that.
Sherwin Williams says Poised Taupe will be the color for 2017. Interestingly enough I have seen the trend to more beige than gray lately in décor, and articles about décor. So this one is not too surprising to me. It is a cross between gray and beige but with purple undertones. Being a versatile color for those that were not enamored by the gray’s that have been so popular for the past ten or so years.
Notice how the room has the gray and beige in the rug, lots of light neutrals also, giving the room a relaxed feeling.
Instead of the gray trend for cabinets, taupe looks beautiful in this kitchen. I especially like taupe with black it makes it look so rich.
Those that like to purchase their paint at Home Depot, and now Walmart I understand; Glidden chose Byzantine Blue (50BB 32/117). It is a purplish blue. PPG the manufacture of Glidden said “Byzantine Blue is truly a purple in disguise. It stretches the boundaries of purple to borrow all of best qualities of blue and gray…”
Soft purply blue mixed again with neutrals is such a relaxing combination. So I wonder is gray slowly fading or just morphing into a softer feeling…
What do you think of the predicted colors for 2017? We still need to see what Benjamin Moore (October 2016 they announced Shadow as their color for 2017) will come out with, which I am sure will be soon. Do you think you will be jumping on the trend, or have you been using similar colors in your decorating all along? I love to hear your feed back
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Maria Killam wrote a blog Introducing the Understanding Undertones® Colour Wheel yesterday, which is so simple to see how and what colors work with one another. For those of us in the decorating industry we are all gaga about it. Back in May I took her intensive three day course; let me tell you it was chock-full of information and how colors complement one another.
She easily breaks down how colors work with one another by their undertones. When you look at a room and it’s fixed elements i.e. the floors, cabinets, stone on a fireplace… they all have a color right? The area to concentrate on is what the predominate undertone in those elements are. Some people can see it, others can not, and if you are in the can not group then it is worth every penny to have a certified True Colour Expert™ help you out.
You may think that a builder for a new home knows what they are doing when they paint the walls, but I have seen many new builds that have cooler toned fixed elements and the walls painted in warm tones. They do not work together. Color not only translates to what is on the walls, but also all the other elements throughout a space in a room. When we see a room pulled together correctly we drool over the space. The design is complementing the colors through the space. There are many professionally designed rooms that do not have the colors correct, but when it is done right it is harmonious.
So if you want a home that is coordinated and balanced, one room flowing into the next without jarring feelings, color can be the element you have overlooked. Not sure how to pull it off? It is worth every penny to have a True Colour Expert™ come and help you out. Think of it this way; an electrician, plumber, or lawyer – they all have skills that you do not embrace, pay for the help it’s worth the small expense.
Here is my testimonial on Maria’s class I took this past spring:
House color has a big impact on curb appeal. Have you ever looked at your house and felt that it could use a change, or that it might not be the right color? There are several factors to consider when you are choosing colors for your house.
First, take a good look at your house. Details like stone work or your roof are features that typically would not be painted. So use these as a place to get your inspiration for your new colors. Typically I suggest choosing two or three colors whereby the main color is going to be the siding color that will coordinate with your roof and stone work. Keep in mind that the color you choose due to all the light reflecting on it from the outdoors will probably appear lighter than the tiny chip so get a few sample pots to compare. Apply to the different sides of your house to see in various light.
Next consider the style of your home. For example, a Victorian style home can have earthy tones or vivid energetic colors, while a Farm house style is classic in white with black shutters, which would not necessarily complement the details on a Victorian style house. A modern style home looks good in a monochromatic color theme, whereby a craftsman style home would look best in colors relating to nature. Research different color combination on Pinterest and Instagram for images and ideas.
The next color to consider is for the trim. Typically trim is done in a white; but when I say white you have to pay attention to the undertone of the main color you have chosen. If you have picked a brown toned paint for your house, you will want a more cream colored trim. If you have picked a gray toned paint you will want a whiter, cool toned trim.
Last are the shutters, and/or doors. Again they need to relate to the elements that you cannot change with paint. Here I typically will suggest a dark color that relates to the undertone of the main house to give these detail a little pop. The door can be the same as the shutters or trim, or all together different but be sure to relay it to the main color of the house.
As for the finish of paint flat or eggshell are good choices for wood or textured siding. The more texture the more flat your finish should be, sheen enhances the lumps and bumps. Hardie board and vinyl are good looking in eggshell or satin. Trim and doors look best in satin giving the features a rich look.
Have more questions? Feel free to contact me. If you do change your exterior and love the results shoot me a picture!
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Did you know the color of your walls could actually hurt the sale of your home? It’s true, certain colors are a real turn off to buyers, and you have heard me say it before, ‘never give a buyer a reason to walk away’ when you are selling your home.
Color can be very personal, it is similar to keeping all your personal items throughout a house when selling. In a poll done by realtor.com they found 58% of homeowners would not decorate in orange, black or violet. If you have these colors on your walls you should tone those colors down prior to putting your house on the market. Remember when it comes to selling you are trying to appeal to the broadest range of buyers, this is not the time for you to show off your personal taste.
Saturated colors are a turn off and can hurt the sale of your home. The bolder the color the harder it is for the buyers not to be distracted by it. Real estate agents, TV shows, and articles repeatedly direct sellers to depersonalize and de-clutter their house before putting it up for sale, color can be just as personal so tone it down! The more you can make your house stand out and not your “things,” you will improve your appeal to buyers. I cannot tell you how many times I go on a consult to find a red dining room. Yes red is to be known to stimulate appetite, but it does not necessarily stimulate buyers to purchase, it might stimulate them to run- not what you want!
Neutral colors are desirable to buyers when selling. Softer shades of colors create a serene feeling. By choosing calming shades like HC-171 Wickham Gray, or OC-53 Horizon by Benjamin Moore it will add a bit of color to the walls but be neutral enough that buyers will like it.
If you are one that absolutely loves color and has to have it, use it as an accent throughout the house. Of those polled 41% preferred the color used as accents instead of on the walls. By using the color as an accent it gives you flexibility too when decorating, it is a lot easier to change out a few pillows, accessories and art than repaint an entire room.
Keep in mind that the hard finishes like floors, counters, tiles, cabinets etc. tend to take command and dictate the colors that should be used in the house. If you are not loving these colors in your home, when you are selling at least try and work with them to create a harmonious feeling through the house, it will leave a better impression on the buyers. Keep in mind that bold saturated colors along with orange, purple, and black are very personal and should be toned down when you are selling, in the next house you can start fresh.
Other good articles
Say What!?! How can a house be in charge of choosing colors, you ask. It’s simple really, if you are in a home that has it’s floors, cabinets, counters, tiled walls, and back splashes installed the colors and undertones within these fixed elements are going to dictate what colors will work well in the space.
After taking a class with Maria Killam this past spring, she confirmed my belief that home owners believe they know what they are doing, but typically get it wrong. Many times I will be asked to come to someone’s house because they feel the color they chose is not exactly working as they expected. Most likely it is because they chose a color they liked, not one that correlates to all the fixed components that make up a room, that are already in a space. I have seen and compared many colors in various spaces over the years. Clients tell me “but this one is my favorite color” even though it does not relate to the space, they want to believe it works but deep down they know it does not, hence the call.
So here are some tips along with an example that I feel might help others when they are trying to choose a color for a room. First look at the fixed elements. Those are floors, stone on fireplaces, back splashes, counters, cabinets, or millwork- things that will not be changed or will be easily changed. Second, take note of what else is going on in the adjoining rooms. By doing so this will start to create the “flow” or continuity throughout the house that professionally designed homes have. Next, study those fixed elements in the room you want to add color to.
Here is an example, a friend of mine decided that changing the counter top in the kitchen would update it’s feel. Recently she had installed a Uba Tuba granite counter. Pretty, in the light, greens and gold could be seen.
In her kitchen the counter top “played” on the black side but you could see the movement and a hint of the undertones. She was asking my advice on picking a back splash and really loved travertine.
OK, so when you put these together some might say when studying the stone up close, travertine has gold and black flecks throughout so it could work…. I know because this is what clients say to me all the time, but what color “plays” the most in the travertine? Pink. The travertine she was choosing was similar. Unfortunately the pink is so dominate that it does not compliment the greens and gold undertone in the granite. My suggestion was to go with something more solid than the travertine, she really wanted something that would “pop” like the travertine and did not want “boring” white subway tiles. We looked a various solid glass tiles as an option, which she was not interested in, I then suggested just painting the walls with a color such as Benjamin Moore Dill Pickle, and do a boarder of Uba Tube.
This way the counter would be the star of the kitchen and pulling the color of the counter and cabinets together. Unfortunately she did not like that idea either, and even said she did not see the green at all in the granite! Instead she decided that the travertine was what she really wanted and had it installed. She has not said that she is loving it, and I think too afraid to tell me she now sees it was not the right choice.
Moral to the story: Listen to your house and it’s fixed elements, pay attention to what they are saying concerning color. If you do, and work with those elements you will find that your rooms will feel cohesive and put together.
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When it’s time to paint a room, do you agonize over which color will work? Have you painted a room you chose from a chip and through “this will be it!”; only to find it is not the one? Paint color can be tricky but it does not have to be.
I recently attended a conference in Toronto to learn how to make sense of it all. There are many blogs, websites and tons of information on color, but they are typically just that, information on color. When it comes to finding the right paint color it can be tricky because there are so many elements in the room to consider. If they are not being considered, you will feel like the room is not “quite right,” but not knowing why it is not “quite right.”
A great example I have, when I first moved into my house I chose fabric for drapes in my dining room because I liked it. Similarly, I found wallpaper that I thought would look lovely giving me that beautiful airy tone on tone look I was trying to achieve. Low and behold once the room was completed it was OK but not “quite right.” Yes, everyone said they “loved” the room but something was off. One day my daughter said “Mom, I think the drapes are faded or something,” they looked dirty compared to the wall paper! When choosing fabric for the drapes and the wall paper they looked ok together from the samples I had, but the beige’s were “not quite” right. That’s when I fell upon Maria Killam’s blog and discovered it’s all about the undertones.
The yellow/beige in the drapes was not working with the pink/beige in the wallpaper making the drapes look dirty. Needless to say it became a huge project (info for another blog) to remove the wallpaper and paint to make everything work together; an expense I could have avoided if I only knew then what I know now!
Through Maria’s course I learned to distinguish the difference in colors, and why they work or do not work within a room. You see you need to take all the element in the room, distinguish which undertones are going on, if the color is on the warm or cool side of the spectrum, muddy or clean and then you can start to eliminate some colors to consider others. I truly believe either you are born with this instinct or you need to learn it. Not all is lost, I mean 90% of the time I was getting it right but did not know why. Now when I have a client say “but I really love this color, can’t I use it instead?” I have the facts and ways to show why a color is the correct choice over another so that the room looks great, not that “not quite right look.”
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