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Color Your Way
Picking a palette or color for your space need not be guided by trends. Think about what you love and what inspires you, and let that be your guide. Everyday objects and nature itself can be the springboard for a room or an entire home.
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Beige and off-white can be beautiful, but they are not your only options when planning harmonious space. We scoured the spectrum to find 18 hues that offer you a neutral look that's enhanced by a hint of color. Even if you've never been brave with color, you can use one of these paints. They will enliven what's already in your rooms, whether your style is modern or traditional, vibrant or restrained.
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At Martha's guest cottage in Maine, an array of blush-colored tones creates a welcoming atmosphere. One of her design tactics was to create a continuous wash of ambient color throughout the space.
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The choice of floor coverings is not limited to what you see at a rug store. Painting your own runner allows you to customize the palette and pattern.
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Architectural details can be created with color -- even when they don't already exist. To create a white column in the corner of the room, we started with white walls and painted the blue area. We also left a 1-foot white border at the top and bottom of the wall.
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Use Color as a Unifier
Even the most disparate of shapes and sizes can work together when color is the common denominator. This charming collection of mirrors is composed of frames in various shapes and sizes, unified by a subtle shade of paint.
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Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
Although deep shades may seem daunting, they are actually easy to incorporate into almost any decor. Nothing shows off the sculptural forms of white china better than a deeply colored background. Although a traditional mahogany cabinet would offer the same contrast, a color such as this Carriage Green delivers a more custom look. We've painted the cupboard in a high-gloss finish, to highlight the contours of the wood, and the walls in the same color, but in a flat finish. Almost any dark paint could create a similarly bold backdrop.
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Unexpected color in small, private spaces is a delight each time it's rediscovered. It's also a way to make use of space that usually goes to waste. A traditional hutch or bookcase gets a burst of color with an installation of a cloth-covered bulletin board inside.
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Punctuate with Color
While a very bold shade on a wall or ceiling might overpower you, a smaller pop of color will enliven and add interest. Wake up a tired piece of furniture by giving the legs a glossy enamel finish. We updated a classic wing chair with sunny yellow oil paint.
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A home color-coding system can bring order to your living space wordlessly, providing information at a glance without a miscellany of labels. Put hues to work, whether you are organizing papers, preparing food, or outfitting your entryway. With these bright additions, your living space will be far from drab -- and far easier to manage.