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  • Writer's pictureWendy Elizabeth

I want what she’s having… (Color without Commitment)

One thing I get asked all the time is, “What color should I use on my walls?” This is often followed by, “Well, I want a color, but….”.

Although many of us have a constant love affair with color, rooms really can be just as beautiful without opening massive buckets of paint. Often, we think that we should use color because of what we hear, and see. Conventional design theories say that everyone should have color, and if you don’t have it, you’re missing out. (Rarely do you see a magazine, or television show, embracing the life-changing impact of White). Even the word color sounds more exciting, so we automatically want some, and we think we should want it all over our house. And we want it now, regardless of how we live, or what we like to be surrounded by.

It’s this all or nothing that can get us into trouble. Let’s be honest, color on the walls is absolutely gorgeous, and it gives a warmth that is difficult to imitate, but it isn’t for everyone. That doesn’t mean you have to live in a boring beige kingdom, wishing you were in the crayola castle on the other side of the street. Okay, I admit that sounds silly, but you know what I mean; definitely a cliche (but nevertheless true) a pop of color will do wonders for a home. What often scares people are big changes, so why not forget the perfect design picture, do the least you can get away with, and still make a difference.

Here are some ideas for those of you who envy color, and want it (but not too much…).

  1. Let’s start with the obvious. Yes, I’m saying it – buy a colored pillow or blanket. It will make a huge difference, and, if you’re unsure of which color to get, just buy one you like (forget about it matching). If you still can’t decide, go for a different texture (not technically a color, but it is a change). 

  2. Break up a dominant set of furniture. Move a piece of furniture from another room in the house (one that doesn’t match the wood, or the color/fabric). Different wood = different color.

  3. Stack a pile of books or magazines on a table.

  4. Hide a colorful Troll doll in your pantry cupboard.

  5. Keep a vase of flowers in your home. Color without any commitment.

  6. Paint the inside back of a bookshelf, or a single drawer on your nightstand. If a huge contrast feels too overwhelming, choose a slightly darker or lighter shade. It will be more subtle, but still perk up the room.

  7. Buy a new lampshade. If in doubt, try a neutral – black, taupe or navy?

  8. Buy one colorful casserole/lasagna dish.

  9. Spray paint the base of a lamp. (What about one of the new metallic paints available?). Or, just change the finial.

  10. Choose different colored towels for the bathroom.

  11. Add Art. Your own photographs, framed, or something new. Try a single word (decal or a sign). A small metal or wood sculpture.

  12. Paint the frame of a mirror.

  13. Line the inside of a drawer, or cupboard, with wallpaper (or a lovely wrapping paper).

  14. Paint an unsuspecting door (what about the inside of your closet door?).

  15. Pile green apples, lemons, eggplant, tomatoes or oranges in a big, fancy glass bowl. Done.

Have a wonderful (colorful?) week!


Room above (without the rose) designed by Alexander van Berge

For more by Wendy and the Blue Giraffe, go to:

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