Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Will the Color Gray Pave Your Path to Serenity?

Some interior designers and color forecasters are touting gray as the new "it" color -- the color that is guaranteed to update your home. I've read pieces claiming that the color gray is calming and will soften the mood of any room. Don't believe it.

Yes, it is possible to use gray in such a way that it does create an inviting and serene interior design color palette. And yes, the color grey can meld well with other tones (remember the famous 80's mauve and gray combo)? I have created many color plans for color consulting clients using gray and the result for them was beautiful. The key concept is "for them".

Gray may not be your serene and calming color. In fact -- if the color gray is all wrong for you, you'll find yourself dissatisfied, depressed and unhappy with any walls you paint the color grey. You'll hate it. So much for serenity.

Any of the national paint companies offer thousands of colors. In the Sherwin Williams line there are over 200 colors of green. In the Benjamin Moore line, there are over 400 colors of green. As for the color gray, if you include brown-grays, green-grays, yellow-grays, dark grays and light grays, you're going to find hundreds of potential colors that could be considered "gray" in one trip to the paint aisle of any paint store.

Colors shape the mood of any environment, and there are many books and studies written about the effect of color. If you're interested, I encourage you to read everything you can about color. But if you're going to paint a room in your house, put aside those books and think about how color effects you (and the others in your home).

If you can't get out of your head to what a color really feels like for you, take some time to notice color during the next couple of days. Take a few notes or some quick cell phone photos of what interests you. Don't second-guess or edit your impulse to note a color. Look at your favorite clothes and ask yourself if the color could possibly work in your home.

When you've found the colors that work for you -- then you can fine tune them at the paint store and not get yourself confused with the latest fashion trend.

See examples of my color consulting portfolio and articles on my website. Call me to schedule a color consulting appointment in Bend, Oregon or a phone appointment if you don't live in Oregon.

Read more of my Choosing Colors blog entries.

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