Setting the Tone
Choosing the right decorating colors can make your house a home.
WITH SO MANY shades available for wall and accent colors, how do you find the perfect hue for every room in your house? We’ve narrowed down the top trends and looks with the help of two of Central Florida’s seasoned interior design professionals.
Customize your at-home office with colors that are proven to spur creativity. “We’re seeing lots of blue and green colors right now. You want to have life in the office, but I think you can achieve that without using those colors all over,” says Scanlon. Try installing a sophisticated molding halfway up the walls. “You can then paint a portion of the wall and not have the entire room saturated in color.”
Based on color studies, green in various shades—such as a sunny chartreuse—can create the feeling of harmonious, open space that invites contemplative thinking—ideal for an office space. Dark wood furniture provides the perfect complement to such a color; together, they give the room a luxurious, comfortable feel.
Your bedroom should be an in-house retreat, and soothing shades can create a balance between contemporary and calm. So if you think neutrals are boring, think again. “Soft is really the ‘in’ thing right now,” says Abigail Rizor, principal of Wolfe-Rizor Interiors in Winter Park. “The master bedroom is a room we feel should be peaceful, so we like to utilize a really light palette.”
Think pale grays, faded creams, light linens, and “greige,” a term used by the team at Masterpiece Design Group, also in Winter Park. “It’s a mix of gray and beige,” says president Christy Scanlon. “Trends come and go, but if you have a neutral base to begin with, it can be easily adapted to whatever is the latest and greatest. Clients are really excited about punching up a color like that with fun pillows, draperies or artwork.”
People love to gather in the kitchen during a get-together, and a clean, crisp room can have a stimulating effect on both the cook and the guests. “Kitchens are going back to white again,” says Rizor. “Design is leaning more contemporary, and there’s definitely a modern, energetic edge to designing with white.”
Scanlon agrees: “Beyond the walls, we’re seeing a lot of white and buttermilk-colored cabinets. It feels clean and fresh and almost has an industrial type of look to it.” Scanlon suggests accentuating that modern aesthetic with your décor—items like a colorful urn or even the placemats on your kitchen table. “Bringing in some textures on your seat cushions can warm up a cool room, too,” she says.
Inviting Living Room
“This is another room where you want to use neutrals,” says Scanlon. “A neutral palette is always going to make a room look bigger. We’ve been seeing a lot of grays—especially in great rooms. You can achieve the excitement of color using complementary secondary pieces, like a throw or pillows.” Consider tying the dining room color to the living room color for a positive flow from one room to the next.
Take the color dynamics of the living room one step further by getting creative with the ceiling. Scanlon suggests creating a coffered ceiling, which adds depth and visual weight. For something more cost-effective, Rizor recommends painting the ceiling a shade darker. “Add some drama by pumping up that [wall] tone in a richer lacquer on the ceiling. It gives it a beautiful, luxurious sheen.”
“The master bath should jibe with the color of the master bedroom. That definite correlation is stylistically for the best,” says Rizor. Soft violet or aqua, smoky slate and—for a more refined look—a warm beige, reminiscent of shortbread, are all considered relaxing tones that are commonly used by spas for exactly that reason.
“But for a space like a powder room, it’s fun to try something out of the box, like a fabulous wallpaper,” says Rizor. Think of the guest bath as a kind of novelty
|CREATIVE KIDS' ROOM Any paint colors you choose should be largely dependent on the style and design of your home, but the kids’ room can be the exception. “The last thing a child wants in their room is the color of the rest of the house,” says Scanlon. “If you find a neat bedspread, pick out a color from the bedspread and make the wall that the bed is against an accent wall in that shade.” You can take the playfulness aspect a step further if you’re designing a playroom. “We like horizontal stripes—in a color that jibes with the house but is kid-friendly,” says Rizor. “Blackboard paint is also a great option for an accent wall. It’s black, but it’s made for them to be able to write on with chalk.” And the best part—it’s relatively mess free|
room, where you can experiment using interesting patterns, prints or tile on the walls or in the décor.