Learn to Love Color

LHJ.com online exclusive! Christopher's super-simple, unintimidating, fail-safe guide to choosing paint colors for your home.
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The Basics of Room Color

America's number one decorating fear is choosing paint colors. Why? It's often not the color itself, but how we pick it, that goes wrong when choosing color for the rooms of your house.

We see in color, live in a world full of color, and wear color every day. But God forbid we put it on our walls. What we see is only through our own eyes and what we wear can be relegated to the back of a closet if we make a mistake. But once the wrong color is up on a living room wall for the entire family and neighborhood to critique, it gets real personal. That's why we fear room color as much as we do.

But think about it. By the time a room is crammed full of furniture, fabrics, accessories, lighting, plants, and who knows what else, how much of that wall color are you really going to see?

Choosing color for the home is actually the first layer of my Seven Layers of Design for the simple reason that it comes first. Yet, because of not wanting to make the choice, many overcompensate by spending thousands of dollars on everything else in the room. They then complain that the space is uninviting and has no warmth.

Well, guess what? Paint is the cheapest and easiest way to transform any environment. But you get to the paint store -- an already high-testosterone environment that can be intimating -- and you finally navigate back to the paint department, already distracted. Then you reach the "great wall." You know -- the one laden with twenty-five thousand paint swatches that do nothing more then to reinforce that you have no idea what you're looking for. And yet you tell yourself, "I'm not coming back. I'm going to walk out of here with a gallon of paint if it kills me."

Continued on page 2:  What to Do When You Get to the Store


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