Decorating Tips & Advice – Color

Dear Rhonda:

I have a picture window that was stained a red mahagony color and the walls are a pale greyish, blue. The furniture and picture frames in the room mostly reddish browns(tables,couch,picture frames). Is it a problem to paint the rest of the windows, doors, floor trim an off white color? Keeping the picture window the natural brown wood color.

No because the wood pieces in the room and the sofa should be pulling the color from the window framing around the room. If you were worried you could add an area rug or pillows to bring in the off white color.

-Rhonda


Dear Rhonda:

My color scheme in my living room is cream and black. What other color combinations can I add to finish off the room?

LOTS! Reds, blues, greens, teals, oranges, tans or earth tones, grays, yellows…. Black and cream are good base colors, add colors that reflect who you are. If you collect African art then let the art add the colors, keep the other basics to a minimum. If you collect Coke bottles and memorabilia, then let that spice up the room. If you don’t collect anything, are you a laid back person or an intense go getter? What colors make you happy? The choice really is yours and you should have some fun with it. Good luck and have fun!

-Rhonda


Dear Rhonda:

I am renting an apartment and would like to give it some color. The blinds are already in place, but I wanted to put some sheer swags over the windows. The color in my living room is burgundy & green, and my bedroom is blue. Will those colors over the window make the room seem smaller and darker?

You definitely need to get those colors up on the window, otherwise things will look disconnected. What about adding a valance with some side panels or just valances? I suggest you use something with a lighter back ground but has all the colors in it. That would get the color up from the furniture level, give you a little style, and add some interest. Valances that are gathered on a rod or are mounted on a rod are the easiest to hang.

-Rhonda


Dear Rhonda:

I am buying a house and I have been watching the HGTV and they say not to paint your walls white because it’s uninviting and cold. What color should I paint them? My furniture is light green dark green tan and a mocha color it’s plaid and stripes. But I don’t want it too dark either. Thanks

If you want to paint your walls white, then paint them white. It is all in your perception of colors. To me white represents crisp cleanness. What does white represent to you? What does red, blue, green, hot pink, yellow, orange represent to you? Sometimes white is the only color that will pull the room together. It is the theme of the room. Pick up a Martha Stewart Magazine, she uses white a lot.

About what color to paint the walls, you can go with a nice light green, a light mocha, tan, or white. Any of them would be very nice and would compliment your home. Have fun with color and enjoy it!

-Rhonda


Dear Rhonda:

I would like to redecorate my bedroom. (I am 20 yrs. old) However, it is very, very small. what colors would you suggest i paint the walls? I would like the room to have a calming affect.

I would like to reiterate that colors do not effect you, it is your perception of what that color means that causes the effects. For instance, if you perceive that red will make you angry and you are placed in a red room, then you will be angry. Its like that old saying: If you think you can do it or you think you can’t do it, you are absolutely right.

So, that being said, I will go against my own best advice and tell you that pastel colors are very light and airy and will provide this calming effect you are looking for. The lightness of the color will help with the room size as well. If you paint the walls a dark color, it will make the room appear smaller.

Use light pastel greens, pinks, blues, yellows, and peaches. Hope that helps and gave you a little lesson on color.

Rhonda


Dear Rhonda:

I am trying to decorate my Master bedroom. Is it appropriate to use a blue and white scheme all year?

Yes. I love using white. Many people don’t see that as a color and won’t use it in decorating. My bedroom is mostly white with touches of pink’s, blue’s and yellow’s. It’s a very happy place because of the crispness of the white. If you want to use blue and white, then by all means use it and enjoy it.

One little suggestion: add another color in very small minor ways. Purple seems to be gaining a resurgence (and my favorite color) and in small touches will add some character to your room. Even if you use a green or red, just use small touches in pillows, artwork or accessories.

Great Question!

Rhonda


Dear Rhonda:

Help!!!

We are getting ready to repaint our kitchen and add some cabinets, but need help with colors. Our kitchen is 14 x 26, has lots of windows, beige and white tile looking flooring, the cabinets are birch. I have a collection of forest green glass, and black and white prints I want to use in this room. What do you think about using yellow for the main paint color? What color would you put on the back-splash? What do you think about making the new cabinets totally different from the birch ones, the new cabinets will be on the opposite wall from the birch ones. We want to make the kitchen a room that is cheerful , like a smile on a rainy day. Any advice would be very helpful. Thank you.

With the green glass, I would paint the walls either a lighter green color or the opposite red to make them stand out. You have so many colors in there already with the birch wood, black and white prints and the green glass I am afraid if you introduce a new color, the room will seem disconnected. A very light green on the walls would be beautiful. Unless you are thinking to make the new cabinets white or black, I would do the same birch wood. White cabinets would be breath taking in there. Use beautiful tiles as a back splash. You can bring in another accent color this way. Hope that helps!

Rhonda


Dear Rhonda:

My family room is a very cold room, its all white and does not have much color how do I fix this problem. What kind of colors are warm colors to use?

I don’t think your room is “cold” because of the white color. I think it feels vacant because there are no other colors in the room.

When I was in college, I took an entire class on environmental psychology. This science studies our environment on our psyche. How are we effected by color, furniture, and placement of furniture were a few things we studied. The studies that have been done thus far in that field suggest that the color itself does not effect us but our perception of that color does.

For instance: the color black to me represents stability and elegance. To someone else, it represents death. To one part of India (I can’t remember if it’s North or South, someone please refresh my memory), it represents purity, its what their brides wear on their wedding days. So, if you were to place the three of us in a room with everything being black, I would come out of the room feeling very stable and elegant. The person who sees death would be depressed and upset and the person from India or one to whom that color represents purity will feel wholesome and good. Now, we were all in the same room, we all three saw the same things but we all three had different feelings about that room and the color black.

So, I ask this of you and everyone who wants to know about cold or warm colors: what colors represent warmth or coolness to you? What is your perception? Funny thing is, when I give advice on colors, its my perception of what colorswill do for a room. Primary colors represent fun because we as a country have used those colors in children’s toys and clothing. White represents purity and cleanliness because our brides wear white.

Color lesson over and back to the original question about what other colors to use in this room. There are so many variables with a room like this. What is the style of the room? What is the room used for? If you have white currently, why not just use tones of white and beige? Its a very smart and elegant look. If you need to protect furniture and things from wear and possible spills, use some dark colors, they hide staining very well.

Any color under the rainbow will work in this room, the definition of exact colors begins once you determine what the room will be used for and what preferences a person has towards colors.

Hope that helps!

Rhonda

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