Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Color Me Creative

by Tawny

I love color. Color and paint and texture and visual bursts of excitement. My living room, hall and dining room are warm tan with an orange wash, and on one wall of the dining room I added magenta and purple to the wash so it looks like sunset.

My family room is shades of sage, with the lower walls ragged with dark green and the upper walls a paler hue. My office is purple, my youngest daughters room pink stripes with multi-colored polka dots. The kitchen is sunflower yellow with royal blue accents. Yep, I love color!

I love color so much, I can't live without it. When we bought our new house, the first thing I did after putting away the packing boxes was haul out the paint roller. I had those rooms I already mentioned painted before all our mail was forwarded!! I did make plans for the other rooms paint (red in the hall, periwinkle and teal in the girls' bathroom, yellow in my bedroom and a dove gray with just a hint of lavender in the powder room) but put those off until after my next book deadline. Which quickly turned into another, then another deadline. So those rooms are missing their paint-- but have the promise of what colors they will be!

But this month, with my oldest daughter moving out (pause to sob copiously) I was faced with the challenge of choosing colors for yet another room. First I had to decide what the purpose of the room would be (different colors have different vibes). I knew it'd be a guest room for when the grandparents (and any writing buddies- c'mon over!) come to visit. I knew I'd be moving the elliptical and exercise equipment in there. And while I debated it for months, I finally decided that I'd also move my scrapbook stuff out of my office and into there. Mostly because I moved the homeschool stuff into my office, and it just isn't big enough to serve three purposes.

So the theme of the room is relaxation and energy (nice, huh) and creativity. I wanted it to be welcoming and fun, but still have a soothing overtone. It was, while it was my daughter's, tan with red stripes of varying widths. Since I had the scrapbook theme in mind, I turned to scrapbook paper for my inspiration! I'm going with shades of blue, a hint of teal, a dash of lime and a nice chocolate to balance it all out.

A few years ago, I blogged about color and how much I love it, vs people like my brother who lives in all white with black furnishings and accessories (right down to his photos being black and white). So as I revisit the joy of paint - I'm curious.

What's your take on color? Are your rooms colorful or mellow? If you could, what color would you paint your next room? Do you let mood affect your choice or do you pick a color and run with it?


Sonali said...

Yay!!! The chook is coming back to Fiji! It's raining here today so unfortunately we won't be taking a trip down to the beach this time around. *Locking all my cupboards right now**LOL*

Sonali said...

I love bright colors. My house is painted in mellow tones but one of my best friends is painted in such bright colors...i love it. Next paint job i do will be in bright blues and pinks. I usually chose a color and run with it.

Anna Campbell said...

Sonali, looks like the chook is going international again. I think locking your cupboards is an excellent idea. Even EGGS-ellent. Groan.

Tawny, love the post about color. I must say I tend to favor neutrals as a background but I love paintings and upholstery and highlight pieces like glass or china that really bring the color into a space.

Jane said...

Hi Tawny,
The walls in the apartment are off white. If I buy a place, I would paint the walls light blue and maybe lilac for the bathroom.

marybelle said...

I tend to go for a mellow colour for the main, but then go wild for the trim.

Inside my house has soft blue/green walls & a vibrant teal picture rail, white above & ceilings.

Outside the walls are beige, with raspberry & blue trim.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

My house is basically neutral except for the living room. It is a deep rose color with lighter rose trim. Unfortunately my couch was killed by rambuncious boys so I no longer match and that is when I remembered why everything else is neutral. I love the color but will go back to neutral housing and get my color from furniture, pictures and linens I think.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I do love the sound of your sunset wall, I would love to see that. I was wanting to do my son's bedroom that way in yellow and orange tones but was vetoed.

Helen said...

Well done Sonali it is raining here in Sydney as well at the moment have fun with him


I so love the sound of your colour schemes I would love to see them, my house is all light grey with dark grey woodwork and dark furniture. I would like to change the floor coverings to polished floor boards and then change the walls back to off white with dark brown woodwork maybe one day when I get the money to pay someone to do all the work for me LOL.

I also agree that colour choices can change with moods and the colours of a room make a difference

Have Fun

Anna Sugden said...

LOL I'm all about the colour, baby!

When we first moved back from the States we kept the walls Magnolia and enjoyed having the colour come from the furniture and what was on the walls. Slowly, though, we've been adding colour. Sunny yellow (with a border of red gerbera daisies) in the kitchen, warm, golden yellow in the living room and shades of fresh blue (with a Delft style border) in the downstairs bathroom. Hubby's office a volcanic deep orange.

We have plans to redo our hall in a vibrant green (it's already green, but looking dowdy) and our bedroom in deep scarlet with pale pink accent walls.

I'm still thinking about the colour I should paint my office - if I can ever be bothered to move everything out of it.

I just go with whatever feels right with the room and what's in it. I like the feelings of warmth and light, so tend to go for colours that give that feeling.

EilisFlynn said...

Color is a wonderful thing. Ours was the first house in the area that wasn't beige, white or gray (we live in Seattle; we get ENOUGH bland and gray, thanksverymuch), but then we saw that others had taken the hint and started to deviate from the dull. As for inside, white is only if you need the brightness for a room, we've always figured. My office is apricot (needs repainting, frankly; it's been over a decade), and we're planning on blue for the bedroom, yellow for the kitchen, raspberry for the media room -- it finally occurred to us that clearly we believe in food colors!

Nancy said...

Sonali, congrats on the chook!

Tawny, I also love color. I hated the bland white walls of the apartments I occupied. I usually choose colors based on the moods they create. In general I like white ceilings for better light reflection, and I prefer pastels, though I admire what some people do with strong colors.

I'm not much for greens or blues or pinks that have a strong gray cast, though I do like gray itself. Our dining room is gray with a bit of blue in it.

We still need to redo my study, which has shabby ceiling tiles, one navy blur wall, and three walls covered with navy background wallpaper printed with brown and white pussy willows and dogwoods. That sounds bad, but it looks okay. Except I'm tirred of it. It came with the house.

However, the walls are lath and plaster. Based on the way prior owners did other things, I'd bet those walls weren't prepped before they were papered. For example, there's a crumbling plaster ceiling covered by those tiles. So we figure redoing this room will entail a new ceiling and repair of the plaster walls, i.e., serious money. So it'll have to wait.

But someday that room will be a nice, comfortable peach color, maybe with blue trim.

Nancy said...

Uh, navy BLUE, not blur. And tired, not tirred. Sorry. *sigh*

I seem to be typo-prone on the iPad.

Suzanna said...

Color, definitely. My bedroom is blue, which I find relaxing. The hallways are neutral, but the living room is a nice blue-green color (my friend commented that with the plants it reminded her of an island getaway.) The dining room is beige, but there's a brown glaze sponged over that. It took me hours to hand sponge that room, but I really like how it turned out. The basement rec room/tv watching area is a pale yellow and the office a pale green.

Donna MacMeans said...

Hey Tawny!

I love color - but do so more in my fabrics and accessories. My walls are not white (shudder) but most are mellow shades. I did sponge paint white on my blue bathroom walls - I think it makes the room feel french, and I sponge painted my hallway...but the accent color blended with the base. The effect is a subtle texture. I have stenciled walls to add a color punch, but no stripes. I hang a lot of artwork - most by me as I'm two cheap to buy anything (grin) - which gives nice color impact.

Someday I'd like to visit your home, Tawny. It sounds cheerful and fun.

jo robertson said...

Fun post, Tawny. This is so you! I can't imagine you involved in anything that's bland or washed out!

Off to Fiji with the rooster! Congratulations on getting him, Sonali. Maybe he can pain a room for you, hehehe.

jo robertson said...

About color, I'm not at all fond of pastels. I like bright, dark colors. I don't get tired of the paint jobs I do (thank goodness) and can enjoy them for many years without feeling the need to change the color LOL.

Louisa Cornell said...

Even a rainy day in Fiji sounds way too nice for the GR! He'll be insufferable now! Definitely lock the cupboards.

I NEED to get some painting done around my house, but it is way down on the "to do" list at the moment.

I have been working on turning the largest bedroom into my writing studio, but it is slow going. I know I want to paint the walls a shade of lavender and accent the room with jewel toned items. Bright colors cheer me up.

My kitchen is decorated to match my Van Gogh museum poster of Irises.

I like colors that make things pop!

Suzanne Ferrell said...

Hey Tawny! I'd love your house. I adore color on the walls.

Ohh Manuel!

This is the very nice man who paints my rooms for me. In one day he does the patching, the ceilings, the walls and the trim. I looooooooooove Manuel!

When we moved into our house we had 3 kids + every kid they knew hanging out at our place. (Couldn't have anything to do with the fact that I cook and bake, could it?) So our dining room was a large computer hang-out room. And all the walls except for the bathroom and kitchen were white. ICK.

But since the kids have moved out, I've reclaimed a few of the rooms. The dining room is this lovely shade of light yellow-green. My dear friend Sandy Blair made me these gorgeous green and cream striped curtains that really bring out the green in the room.

The foyer is a warm gold to highlight the gold flecks in the marble tiles.

Next came my office. A pale teal blue with cream colored trim and these great plantation shutters. It's peaceful. (My hubby is part hoarder, so this is the one room he isn't allowed to bring anything in or out!)

The next room was a kid's room converted to guest room. I had this greenish-taube painted on the walls. Hubby said it was green. Then I put the burgundy curtains up, the cream, burgundy, blue and forest green quilt on the bed, the art work with all those clors on the wall...and guess what, it wasn't green anymore!

Now I have to decide on the color to paint my bathroom because we're having plumbing work done and new shower tiles placed. Hmmmmmmm

catslady said...

I like bright colors in my clothing - turquoise and magenta are my favorites. But I also like earth tones lol. I guess I like both and mix and match as my mood takes me lol.

Tawny said...

Congrats on the Rooster Love, Sonali :-) I hope he behaves today!!! Smart girl, locking everything before he arrives. Just check his feathers for a lock pick set. He's wily, that bird!

I do like mellow tones, as well as bright - for me it always depends on what mood I'm in. Bright blues and pinks sound great! I'll bet you love it once you paint.

Tawny said...

Anna, mixing neutrals and color is so fun, isn't it. I'm the opposite - my furniture is all in neutrals, as is most of my art. I figure it's less expensive to buy a gallon or two of paint when I get bored with the room decor than to buy a new couch LOL.

Messier, though.

Ohhh, now I'm picturing colored glass. I adore colored glass art. The intensity is always so awe-inspiring.

Tawny said...

Jane, isn't it rough when you're stuck with white walls and they aren't your preference?

I'll confess *g* I painted my apt walls. Turquoise, emerald and amethyst, as a matter of fact. Then I painted them right back to Navajo White before I moved out LOL.

Lilac is such a lovely, soothing color- it'd be wonderful in a bathroom.

Tawny said...

Oh wow, Marybelle - your color combos sounds delightful! I'll bet those trims pop right out there against the neutrals and look so fun.

And that's such a smart way of keeping strong colors from overwhelming. I might borrow that idea sometime :-)

Tawny said...

Dianna, the rose walls sounds lovely, even if you are going neutral soon :-)

LOL on the rambunctious boy destruction. Kids are so hard on furniture, aren't they.

Tawny said...

Dianna, I'll have to get a photo and share it :-)

Bummer on the kiddie veto on the room color. What color did he go for instead?

Tawny said...

Oh, Helen! I adore hardwood floors. That's something I miss like crazy after moving - our old place was hardwood throughout. Like you, putting in wood floors is at the top of my expensive remodel project lists :-D

I'll bet the light gray is really soothing and relaxing, isn't it?

Tawny said...

Anna, I've seen photos of your walls and your new house and it's so lovely and bright and cheerfully wonderful!!! I love all of your color choices and your stencil work.

LOL on moving all the furniture out to paint your office. That was one of my major incentives to paint as soon as we moved in. I knew I wasn't going to get a lot of enthusiastic help about shoving it all around years later.

Tawny said...

ROFL Eilis on the food colors :-D I love your theme -does it make you hungry, though *ggg*?

I do want to paint the outside of our house. It's a dingy sort of gray that reminds me of Eyeore. I keep threatening to find a big bow and pin it to the garage and call it my sad donkey house. I love that yours stands out with color. I'll bet it really cheers up the neighborhood.

Tawny said...

Oh man, Nancy -that sounds like a lot of work!! It's a shame that the previous owners didn't take the extra careful step to make sure everything was done right. But I do love your color schemes, even if you are ready to change them :-)

I can go about 5 years with a color scheme or room color. Then I get antsy. You sound antsy :-D

Tawny said...

LOL Nancy, now see, I read that as blue until you pointed it out.

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Tawny,

Our home is 42 y/o, 3 BR, 1&1/2 baths,
paneling (which we love!) in living/
dining area, once housed 6 & now is
home to 2 and all the walls are an
off-white color. "Pops" of color are
added throughout the house with the
use of jewel colors in the bedding,
curtains, cushions, and accessories.
We're happy with our home!

Pat Cochran

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Tawny said...
Dianna, I'll have to get a photo and share it :-)

Bummer on the kiddie veto on the room color. What color did he go for instead?

He wanted black and red which I vetoed, so we compromised with a sage and camo curtains.

Tawny said...

Suzanna, it sounds like you love color, too :-) An island retreat-what a lovely compliment and feeling to have for your living room! It must be so soothing to go from colorful room to colorful room :-)

Tawny said...

Donna, that blue and white combo always looks so great. Fresh and inviting, I think.

I'm a fan of sponging, and ragging, and combing, and, well, any form of paint technique.

I love that you've hung (hanged?) your own artwork. I'd love to see it sometime - share a picture?

Tawny said...

LOL -nope, Jo. No bland here.

I'm with you on pastels, too. Maybe its because I can't wear them, so I don't surround myself with them LOL. The closest to pastel we have is the pink in my daughters room and the stripes are such intense punches of pink that they'd probably scare pastel away.

Thats great that you're able to love the colors long term. Its so much easier on the wallet and the body that way.

Tawny said...

Louisa, your writing studio sounds divine!!! As does your kitchen :-) I'm with you on the popping colors- it's so great when they do.

Tami Brothers said...

I'm a HUGE color fan. In fact, when we listed our house for sale the realtor was very nice and put "custom colors" on the listing. I've since had to start painting the walls neutral colors in hopes of actually selling the house. Talk about depressing. But I just keep reminding myself that eventually I can pain the new one any color I want. :)

Great post. Good luck with the painting.