Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Color Confidence

I was really struck by the comments and emails I received after posting pics of my newly-"turq-WAZ" bureau. Several people said things along the lines of "Wow, you're so brave to use color like that," or "I wish I knew how to kick it up with color - but I'm nervous, and don't know how to do it." I can certainly understand these sentiments. The decision to use color can seem overwhelming - paint colors often look different on walls than on samples, certain hues can influence emotion and mood, and people are often afraid they will tire of the color - and changing it won't be economical...

Not to worry, I'm not above those concerns...I "let go, and let color" work magic on my bureau primarily because it was given to me - if it turned out horrid, at least it wasn't a major investment. If you're wanting to take a bold color step - scour some garage sales, Craigslist or resale shops for something inexpensive enough that you're willing to take a risk with. It might just turn out to be your most treasured piece! ;)

Another reason why I feel my redo was so successful is because the room where the chest resides is otherwise very neutral - stark white walls and lacquered wood floors, to be precise. I really believe if you're tinkering with the idea of using color
a) Start with a very blank canvas
b) Pick one item and go bold - a shot of tangerine, a bolt of lime, a flash of fushcia - the less timid the hue (used sparely) the more riveting the effect.

Here's some images that illustrate my point perfectly...

Ina Garten's (aka the Barefoot Contessa) NYC duplex - super-white walls, creamy upholstery, and natural wood floors provide the perfect backdrop to showcase lush pumpkin velvet curtains, and a jolt of sunny yellow on a side chair.
via HB
You don't even have to go as costly as curtains - this whole vignette reads serene, but what catches your eye (and is meant to?) Of course! The divine blue opaline-glass vases.
If you hate to paint, and don't want to commit to anything that permanent, all I can say is textiles, textiles, TEXTILES! That's not your granny's old quilt, but rather a "look-at-me-and-grin"coverlet!
Hamptons bedroom: Leslie Klotz via HB
This DIY headboard from BH&G is downright swoon-worthy, in my book! I came close to using this fabric in my family room - here's the deets if you're interested.
Size doesn't matter! Look at how this small pendant - in persimmon - is The Star of this chambre!
bedroom: Sheila Bridges
Now, don't get me wrong - if you're already wearing your confident color hat - by all means! These bathrooms are kickin' it and takin' names - and I LOVE them!
Keep in mind, if you're busting loose with a lot of color - be sure to bring in something black to "ground" the look, keeping it from looking like a circus. Here - the tub does just that.
via myhomeideas
I swear, if I used this guest bath at a party, I really don't think I'd ever come out! Again, note the black - woodwork around mirror, towel bar, and frame. Well done.
So, are you color confident? Tell me how?

8 comments:

marty39 said...

What a great post. I love all the pics showing such beautiful color and in such pleasing ways. I always try to remember that it is just paint and I can redo it if it doesn't work. Hugs, Marty

jgarza said...

Love the 'new' blog! :)

my favorite and my best said...

great post! and great new look to your blog!!!!
for me i am less AFRAID of color and more never sure WHICH color i like or want or would look best.
that ina apartment pretty mcuh sums up my style though. so maybe a pop of yellow is where it's at for me.
thanks alison.
j

Sanity Fair said...

I just love the use of turquoise in the first picture. It's such a great color - able to be bright and calming at the same time (must be the association with the sea).

How do I have color confidence? It's called a return receipt! I just tell myself I can always take it back...

Under a Green Roof said...

great post, and I love the new design!

La Belette Rouge said...

I once painted my "room of my own" a cranberry colour that made me swoon. But, no, I consider myself a colour chicken. I bought two cardigans today in hot pink and aqua and I was honestly scared. I am a basic black gal. It was frightening to expand my colour palette.

I too LOVE your bureau. It's like keeping your things in a contained ocean.

Averill said...

[Btw, the last picture is from designer Sara Story -- I love her and her website: http://www.sarastorydesign.com/projects.html]

a bit about me said...

I would consider myself to be very color confident. I have bold colors in my house (just don't know how to decorate around them)....

my living room is bright mustard with a copper accent wall, entry way and fire place....my bathroom is sky blue with lime green accents, I just painted my master in Eddie Bauer coffee bean- it's really dark and bold. Love it!!! Any ideas for accent colors? I'm thinking a bright turquoise?