Adding color in 'unexpected' ways gives character to rooms and outdoor spaces

Jul 5 2011

Using color in unexpected ways, both indoors and outdoors, gives character to home and garden decor.
Using color in unexpected ways, both indoors and outdoors, gives character to home and garden decor.
Using color in unexpected ways is something that HomesGardenDesign.com recommends that home decorators try throughout their houses as well as in outdoor spaces.

For instance, unless a piece of furniture is a true antique and difficult to replace, virtually any hard surface furnishings can be refreshed with a coat of paint and set the tone for a whole new look in a room.

Built-ins can be treated the same way, particularly by contrasting the interior of shelving or the inside of a cabinet with a shade that contrasts with the exterior hue, and enhances the look of items stored on the shelves.

"To create a backdrop for light-colored china and collectibles, paint the back of the cabinet a darker color than the frame," the website advises. "Paint [open] shelves and the wall behind them an eye-catching color to showcase books and accessories."

Whole rooms and outdoor areas can be "resized" with color. A patio overhang doesn't have to be the drab, natural color of wood because it's the underside of a deck or balcony. It's also the ceiling of what lies below it. Painting the underside a bright yellow or sky blue draws attention to it as an architectural feature and gives it either an expansive or more intimate look, depending on the color used.

Another way to add architectural interest is to use stripes in an otherwise neutral room. A stripe of painted color can break up a large, undistinguished space by mimicking the look of molding. For a less formal style, painting vertical stripes on a secondary wall or room diveder adds a whimsical touch.

To give a room extra character, HomesGardenDesign.com also recommends homeowners "play against type" by juxtaposing old and new furnishings or painting a utilitarian item such as pegboard in a bold color.

Often, one colorful feature can serve as the focal point against neutral tones on the main surfaces. The website gave as examples a red island that warms up a kitchen with wood cabinets and stainless steel appliances or a breakfast bar painted bright green to offset neutral hues elsewhere in the room.

The same can be done with a striking window treatment that introduces color or patterns that makes a window a stand-out focal point. Ordering factory direct blinds gives homeowners a wide choice of styles, from wood blinds that enhance a room with warm tones to a roller up blinds that work well in any setting.
 
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