I understand this one.
You’ve been burned by colors before. You tried to take a walk on the wild side and ended up wasting a day and a gallon of paint and all so your walls can look like the side of a school bus. And your disappointed. So, you have to spend another day and another gallon of paint to get things back to a comfortable, safe beige or white.
Or perhaps you were talked into a colorful upholstered piece or a rug and you ended up with buyer’s regret. And now the only question is which shade of brown…
So now, your world is neutral. Beige, brown and white. And it’s not because you love neutrals, layered with rich textures, curated with a discerning eye. It’s because you’re afraid to pick anything else.
How can you end up with a home you love when you’re making decisions like that?
So, first. If you love, love, love neutrals, do neutrals. There is nothing wrong with neutrals. A lot of the walls in my home are painted in pale, neutral colors. A lot of my furniture is white and brown. Almost all of my rugs are neutral.
Thumbs up for intentional, I-picked-this-on-purpose neutrals. If that’s you, just go about your day. This post isn’t for you. (If you need a little help with making your neutrals look even better, you can read this post.)
But, if you live in your neutral space by default, let’s talk.
I think, for a long time, I had the opposite problem. After living in military housing with white walls and in homes where my mom liked white walls and in apartments with white walls, I hated white walls. There wasn’t a white wall to be found in our first townhouse. White walls meant military housing and rentals and moms who won’t let you paint your room red and I was done with them. So, I went a little overboard with wall color.
I’ve since learned there are thousands of whites and you can pick the perfect white and it can be beautiful and nothing at all like military housing.
Whites are colors, too!
And this brings me to my first point about colors and neutrals…
“Neutral” doesn’t have to mean white, beige or brown.
It’s really amazing how many colors can read as neutrals when used in a space. In my house, blues look neutral, because that is the main color theme throughout my house. Several people were surprised when I shared all of the paint color used in my home. They thought they were all white, but there are actually different shades of whites, grays and blues.
Start with just a pop…
I love how Courtney, of French Country Cottage, added this red buffalo check sofa to her neutral space. It’s just one pop of color and it makes an amazing statement in this bedroom.
You don’t have to start with something as big as a sofa, though.
Start with something small & inexpensive…
Start with just a pillow, a plant, a few paintings or prints. Those little touches of color are easy to change out if you get tired of them or if the color isn’t working for you.
Start with one color…
Pick your very favorite color and just add that in. Don’t worry about coordinating colors and complimentary colors. It’s simple if you just start with one color.
photo via Country Living
I love that green door in this neutral kitchen. Isn’t that a fun touch?
Balance color with neutrals…
This isn’t always true, but I think colors can be more impactful when they are balanced out by neutrals. So, if you’re just getting started, try using color on the walls, but keep the furniture neutral. Or have neutral walls with one colorful piece of furniture. Remember, color doesn’t have to mean crazy! You can use a whisper of a color
And lastly, there are no wrong color choices…
We all have color preferences. Clearly, I’m a blue girl.
There aren’t any colors that are or should be off limits. If you love the color, then it’s the right choice for you.
There are all of these color rules and decorating rules, but there is always a designer who comes along and breaks those rules and it looks spectacular. So, don’t worry about rules.
They’re like the pirate code…more like guidelines.
So, don’t be afraid anymore.
Pick a color and take it for a spin.
Until next time,