Dec 19 2013

Pop! Goes the Color Weasel

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Image source: Stellan Herner for Swedish ELLE Decor
Jonathon Ensor is a freelance design blogger writing on behalf of Empire Today. He thinks there needs to be a hip-hop song lyric featuring the rhyming of “puce” and “chartreuse”.

Lately, I’ve been feeling trapped by creams, taupes and oatmeals. Neutrals are timeless for a reason – they’re easy and elegant backdrops for getting creative. But when I noticed my living room was the same color scheme as my dentist’s waiting room…some flags went off in my brain and they were crimson, not ecru.

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What am I, Keith Richards in ’68? (Image source)

While I have no intention of turning my home into a Moroccan bazaar or whimsical circus, for the past few months my wife and I have been looking for innovation ways to integrate small ‘pops’ of color into our home. Ones that we can agree on. This is where it gets tricky.

She shot down my red-floor-tiles-in-the-kitchen proposal and I’ve been holding my ground on the argument that this isn’t something we can simply accomplish with eighty-five varieties of throw pillows (sequins, stripes, polka dots!). I’ve always had beef with pillow hoarding – mostly because those ‘show pillows’ are always uncomfortable.

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I like to call this: excessive. (Image source)

Painting is obviously the most utilized tool for creative hues at home. But before you go all gung-ho and roll your walls ocean blue because you think it’ll be ‘so cozy and soothing’, consider painting something smaller or easier first. Old, junky wooden furniture (like that chest of drawers or end table) will be given a new life.

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The kind of blues I want to get. (Image source)

In our old house, we had a minor squabble over what color to paint the front door. My contention was that the red door was slightly overdone – 75% of our neighborhood had red-shaded doors! No joke; I counted and my wife said I was being petty. She was probably right. She usually is.

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One in a million? (Image source)

For our current house, we’re toying with the idea of neon or primary color painted baseboards, but – surprise, surprise – we can’t agree on a color! Well, that’s not true: we decided on green, in general, but can’t seem to settle on a shade we both love.

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Makes me wish I had an old school radiator… (Image source)

Wallpaper borders, which I once considered a decorating relic, are also gaining steam in my book. Just like my parents did 40 years ago, if you find a good pattern, it can become the color scheme for the entire room. I won’t be embracing “Southwestern Fiesta” like they did, however.

Accoutrements are one of the fastest and most interchangeable ways to experiment with new shades in the home. A painting or tapestry that you love can become the anchor for your whole house. Accessories in the same color family can come and go as you please. Thrift store lamps and stools can be painted to match. Objets d’art are quick fixes for a boring room.


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