Favorite things dictate room color

Posted: May 31, 2014 at 3:24 a.m.

At this time of the year, many homeowners get itchy about doing something to freshen up the abode. One inexpensive and do-it-yourself idea is to repaint. Ah, but what colors? Well, here are some ideas to ponder.

We want to start with a color scheme but where do we actually begin? Do you love your area rug? Do you love the print on the upholstery? Do you love a particular piece of art that is hanging on the wall? Any or all of those items should be the inspiration for a color scheme. What colors in those items do you feel especially drawn to? Those are the colors to use for paint. What if you just want a neutral on the walls? No problem. Again look to those items mentioned above and select the whites and or the beiges or the grays that are in them. If there is a pillow with the colors in it that you intend to replicate on the wall, take it to the paint shop for a color match.

The next question is, where do you start? Good places to start are the most formal areas of the house, such as the living room and the dining room. Whatever color you choose as the primary one in those rooms will serve as the indication for a derivative of the same color or colors for the rest of the house. Remember to keep things flowing comfortably from one room to the next.

Another color selection indicator is your closet. Check out the clothes you like the most and wear the most -- and get the most compliments on. Those are the colors you should incorporate in your home. You obviously like them and you feel good surrounded by them.

So what if you find one color you love but can't come up with any other colors that will work well with the main color? Use a color wheel. Colors next to one another on the wheel blend nicely and make for a relaxing mood. Colors across from one another spark attention.

The best color combinations are the ones that have three, with one being the dominant one, one being the secondary one and the third being the accent color. How do you use them? A rule of thumb is to use the dominant color 60 percent, the secondary color 30 percent and the accent color 10 percent.

If you have a very small room in the house, there are two trains of thought on how to paint it. One is light; very light colors to make the room feel larger. The other thought is the opposite -- make it cozy by painting it in a warm color.

The bottom line is paint to satisfy your own personal likes. Trends come and go, but your personal preferences will always make you feel at home.

Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of Mystery of Color.

HomeStyle on 05/31/2014