Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Color Clash

Ok, so I LOVE Color Splash with David Bromstad!  I love how he embraces color!  He believes that "color is the root of great design"!  Amen to that!  I am a color-lovin' sister to the core!

Unfortunately, my latest splish splash with color ended up more like a splat.  Basically it was a color clash, not a color splash.  It was not good. at. all.  

See, I was trying to experiment a little.  You know in attempt to break out of my usual color comfort zone.  I am a warm, rich, bold color lover.  Basically, I'm an autumn :)  I like tans, golds, reds, and browns mixed with olive greens and mustard yellows.  However, I wanted to experiment with color by adding in some bright, cooler colors like aqua and lime green.  And this is where the problem started.

When it came time to choose a color for the guest bedroom, I made a major mistake!  You'd think by now (what with this being our fifth house and all) that I would have learned to bring home a swatch and test it out to see if it would work before buying a can of paint and painting the walls.  Ummm, yeah, I was in a hurry to just get 'er done; and well, that is another major mistake.  Never be in a rush to decorate a room in your home.  It's always better to take your time.  I mean unless you're a contestant on HGTV's Design Star, I'm pretty sure there's no time limit.  Seriously, you can learn from my mistake here.

This is the result of "rushed decorating".  No one knows why I was in such a hurry?!  I guess because we had guests coming to stay with us I felt like I needed to complete the room.  I should have just decorated it in stages rather than throwing it all together.  Hindsight really is 20/20, isn't it?  Not only did I choose the wrong color for the walls, but I also created a disaster of a headboard feature wall in attempt to make up for the wrong color choice.  It's like putting on a bad, non-flattering skirt, and layering it with a ruffled shirt and cardy to try to make up for the fact that the skirt is sooooo bad because you're late; and you need to hurry up and get out of the house!  I mean a rational person would just stop layering clothes on, and just ditch the bad skirt, right?  Well, I'm not always the most rational gal.  I'm kind of stubborn.  There I said it.  I didn't want to admit that the blue color I picked (Valspar Dancing Mist) for the walls was a bad choice, so the room just kept spiraling down a decorating disaster black (more like bright aqua) hole.

I tried to create a faux headboard.  This was a total fail.  A feature wall only works in rare cases, and this room is not one of those cases.  The room is too small, and painting one wall different from the rest just made it look smaller.  Originally I thought of painting a grid like pattern on the wall to create a headboard, but I ditched that idea when I decided to hang the decorative mirror over the bed.  The mirror would have worked if I had hung it lower so that it would relate more to the bed.  Unfortunately, I  painted that floral branchy pattern above the bed because I felt like I needed to create a higher headboard to make the room look larger.   Ummmm, yeah, once again if I had just painted all of the walls the same color (albeit not the right color for the room) the room wouldn't look so small, DUH!  (and I'm totally saying "duh" to myself here)

So, anyway, I'm back on track now.  I just repainted the walls; and yes, they are all the same color now :)  So, here is the right way to choose a color or at least the right way for me.  If you want the rooms in your house to flow or to create a "whole house color palette", I recommend laying out a small swatch of all the paint colors you currently have in your house (your completed rooms).  I like for the rooms in my house to flow somewhat seemlessly into the next.  I don't think that every room has to have the same exact color scheme or style, but meshing colors from one room to the next does kind of tell one "whole house color story".  That being said, I'm obviously not a "designer" at all.  I just like to feather my nest, and I don't mind learning through my mistakes and failed experiments :)  I think your house is an expression of you and your family; and it's your own special place to tell your story.  I think you should decorate it however you like.  Forget the rules and just do what you love!  Red walls, bright blue, lime green, or all white; pick what you love and go with it!  And if you don't love it, paint is cheap - so paint it over again :)

I snapped this pic as I was already cutting in with the new paint color.

This is the main reason why this aqua blue color just didn't work for me.  It was such a clash against that red in the hallway.  In an ultra modern design this contrast would probably work, but that just isn't what we've got going on here.  Anyhow, you can see even more clearly just how much this color doesn't jive with the rest of the house in the "whole house color palette" below.

It just sticks out like a sore thumb doesn't it?  See, I could have saved myself $30 and a few hours of time if I had just created this color palette before I painted that aqua color on the walls.  Replacing that aqua blue with a light tan (Valspar Lambswool) creates much less of a contrast and flows really nicely.  

That last color looks like black here, but it's really a dark maroon. 

In addition to the fact that the new paint color choice flows much better with the red of the hallway and the "whole house color palette", this color is also softer and more tranquil.  Bright colors are great, but I wanted to create more of a restful feeling in the guest bedroom.  Color is a major factor in the "mood" or "feeling" of a room.  Anywho, I also love that using a neutral color on the walls makes it really easy to change the accent colors.  I still haven't decided how I want to style the room just yet.  This time I'm just going to take my time.  No more rushed decorating for me :)  For now, at this first stage, I've painted the walls Waverly Lambswool, and I'm going with the same all white bedding.  The rest is tbd..........stay tuned for more advice on what NOT to do :) 

How do you choose a paint color?  Do you make rushed color decisions like I sometimes do?  Have you ever experienced a complete and total paint color failure?   Please, someone, tell me I'm not alone here!   


  1. This seems like such a common sense suggestions, but I never would have thought of it. Thanks! I know what I'll be doing this afternoon...

  2. I love the "color me happy" blog. She addresses these issues. Basically she has a great post on clean/clear vs. muddy/dirty/muted colors. They should not mix which is what you tried to do I think. I think if you had chosen a blue that was more muted or grayed it would have worked. But comparing the swatches work well too!Anyway you should go to her site. I have warm muted colors too and every time spring rolls around I struggle with the bright clean colors that are everywhere - wanting to redo it all...

  3. Thanks Kari for introducing me to that blog! Lots of great color advice there. I'd say I'm more of a muddy/dirty/muted gal vs. a clean & clear one! Hahaha :)

  4. been there, done that! being military family, we moved on avg every two years. so we have def made some mistakes by trying to rush to make the new house a 'home'..if only temporary. i definitely, now, get the paint sample and slather it up on the wall, before i decide on a color & paint the room. it's the easiest way to ensure you'll be pleased with it when you're finished. :) {oh, i also put things against it that will be in the room... like drapes, lamps, artwork, etc.}
    i love your sense of adventure, and do hope you don't let a silly little thing like paint, temper that!


Be nice or I'll tell your mom! xoxo -C


design + development by kelly christine studio