Time to Brighten Up??

Bored?  C'mon!  It's Holiday Time, but you can ponder Design choices or even do some painting if you've got the time.  Let's review some basics in case you might want to DO something with your extra days off.

I've blogged about changing up your stuff.  It's a wonderful Design change and an emotional lift!  You can re-organize your stuff, trade in your stuff or simply delete stuff.  My definition of "Stuff" would include: objects, wall art, photos, pillows, throw rugs, plants.  Replenish at discount stores and sales, resale shops and up the food chain to galleries and specialty dealers.  I like e-Bay for collectibles of all kinds.  Perhaps, buy a piece or 2 at an antique mall and then search on e-Bay to fill in.

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So, how about paint?  What kind of colors and how to choose?  Are you concerned about what's "in"?  Unless your furniture is all white (or perhaps) all beige-y or brown, you need to work with colors in your furniture, your carpet, and anything else you will be keeping. 

Yeah, neutrals always work.  In college, we called  walls "Band-Aid Brown"...then "Standard Off-White"  Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-Williams, Pratt & Lambert and other paint companies have entire palettes (color collections) of neutrals that are creamy beige, nearly white, a bit gray and then tinted with colors.  Benjamin Moore has number "04" which is White.  I don't remember ever recommending that color for walls, but their Soft White colors are a tad peachy, or yellow, or green, etc.  A new coat is paint is, well, like a new coat of paint.  It's refreshing and clean and invigorating.  But all "standard off-white" is pretty blah. NOTE: I said "ALL"  -- you will prob. need some softer, neutral tones.  And, ans I have said before:  Gray is Back.

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Add color!  From medium tones to darks, color is "IN" and I don't mean just dark brown.  That's OVER.  Try blues, teal (yeah, an old term, but descriptive), reds/plums/burgundies, honeys,  Theory: dark colors make the walls appear closer, making your space more intimate.  Lighter colors add more space.  If you want color and have more than an accent wall, don't paint 2 opposite walls the same dark color with the other 2 light, it's confusing; adjacent walls works better.  I'm a big fan of medium tones in golds, greens, taupes (ahhh!  a 70's word), berry tones.  Unless you have a reason to want ceilings to be colored or look lower, use White or Ceiling White.

Want to be daring?  Do something funky in your foyer or your powder room.  Everyone sees those spaces and no one stays there very  long, so make  a statement!  (oooh, another blog topic).  You can use darker ceilings in the P.R.

Buy the tester mini-bottles  (3 oz. and avail in many colors by several manufacturers) and paint them on poster board or foam core.  Then put them around the room to help you decide what's good, or fun.  Remember, paint is paint.  It's pretty much the easiest way to make a change, so if you decide it's wrong, you can do it again, right?

AND, you can find kits at Home Depot (Ralph Lauren) or Benjamin Moore to make glazed finishes.  Strie, sponging, linen textures with certain colors and instructions come pre-packaged now .  These textures not only look wonderful, but they hide lots of fingerprints, marks, etc.

Santa probably won't do this kind of project for you, but you can ask him to bring you a painter...AND it would be a great way to start 2011 with a fresh look.

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