The Big Adventure

So, you're ready to do it. You never thought you'd get up the nerve and now, here you are, about to rock your world with color. Good for you! Stepping outside the white and beige box built around us so many years ago under the adage "everything goes with neutrals", you can now begin to explore unlimited potential in your home.

Take Time to Count the Cost

Before you go spreading the bright side of things around the walls, take some time to consider the ramifications. No, that doesn't mean you shouldn't use color, but it does mean you should consider the impact of the color on your budget. Paint is a relatively inexpensive way to change the feel of a room, but if you have to do a huge re-flooring and recovering job on the furniture, then maybe you should think about using a different color to paint the walls.

And Take Time to Reflect on the Space You Live In

When you decide to change the color of a room, it is a good idea to make an assessment of the whole picture - even if you've lived in your house for a long time. Take a few days to wander around through the house checking the lighting in each room at different times of day and write down the way it looks and feels. What features in the architecture stand out and what do you want to hide? How does the color you have in mind work with the existing flooring, stonework of the fireplace and furniture (if you want to keep what you have already)? Floors are difficult and costly to change, so it is always a good idea to make sure the wall color will work with the flooring.

Is This Going to Set it Apart or Point it Out?

If you are thinking about changing the color in one of the main rooms in your home, consider the impact on the other rooms. Will the color change make the room look out of place, or are you planning to redo the entire floor of the house, thus making the room the first of several to be redone. If you are only changing one room, then it is important to allow for blending with other spaces. You are miles ahead if your canvas is beige and white. A "different" room can create excitement and pleasure. Conversely, if it is really different and doesn't blend with the other rooms, the entire house feels disjointed.

Strategy is Good Policy

Decide on a color strategy for your room or house. There are three different color schemes which are fun to explore and which allow for lots of variety. The first is a monochromatic scheme which is just many shades and hues of the same color. It is a fluid and harmonious way to use color. The analogous color scheme uses the adjacent colors on the color wheel to highlight your primary choice. It can be very dramatic without being too overt. Then there is the complementary scheme where you choose colors opposite each other on the color wheel. This concept allows for a great deal of flexibility for accents and highlights, but care must be taken to avoid a shocking or jarring combination.

Whatever you choice, go for it and have fun!