Sunday, January 9, 2011

Homeworks: Let's hear it for brighter and bolder choices in 2011

Are you color shy? If you can’t bring yourself to paint an entire room with a bold color, try covering an accent wall with something vibrant.

In response to last week’s column, a reader wrote to say that she was painting her daughter’s room for the fourth time. While prepared to do the job, she said she was a little hesitant about the color her teen chose.

“I hate picking out paint,” she said. “I know what I like, but I’m so afraid of making a bad choice. She wants to do it in an aquamarine kind of blue. I always stay neutral. You can tell when you look around the house.”

As kids, we all love bold colors. We use our crayons and Magic Markers with abandon and it all looks absolutely wonderful. Then we grow up and — for one reason or another, perhaps our need to conform to the norm or desire to follow architectural designs — we lose our nerve to be daring and the pleasure of playing with color deserts us.

“Color excites people,” said John Agrusa, an interior designer and owner of Van Jaarsveld Decorating Center of Utica. “But if you’re the kind of person who is afraid to jump in and use something as bold as a citrus yellow or chocolate brown, consider introducing it in small quantities.”

• Throw pillows in bright colors or whimsical patterns are a
 wonderful first step.

• Considering a raspberry color for a bedroom or kitchen? Find a throw rug in the shade you like and toss it on the floor.

• Towels are another way to inch your way toward a bolder future.

• Got a beige living room? Include a bright bouquet of fresh flowers or a colorful silk floral arrangement to add some punch.

• Lamp shades in bright colors with dangling crystals or bold embellishments will go a long way to add a touch of boldness to a family room or bedroom.

• Brightly colored candlesticks, vases or urns.

Another idea, if you’re still a little color shy, (is to) paint an accent wall,” Agrusa said. When you walk into a room, the accent wall is the one that you see first. “It’s the main focal point,” Agrusa said. 

The color you choose should suit your environment, based on your furnishings and inspiration pieces."Whether you choose bold colors or neutrals, what’s important is that you are consistent in your design so that when you walk from room to room, it’s not rubber stamped but connected,” 
Agrusa said.

Now that you’re a keener for color, I suppose you want to know what’s hot for 2011. The answer is sweet, as in milk chocolate brown and raspberry. Blend them together as one delicious shade or use them separately.

Go ahead, paint your wall brown or aquamarine. What can it hurt? If you really don’t like it, you can always tone it down with a layer of white. 

E-mail your comments or home and garden tips to gina.joseph@macombdaily.com.

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