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Publication Date: 2014-03-12


8 Easy Ways to Try Color In Your Home

If there's one decorating idea that tends to inspire an unusually big debate, it's color. What's a gorgeous sun-kissed green to one person is a nauseatingly loud lime to another. Often, these people end up living together. So, many will live with the same "apartment white," secretly wishing they could just paint everything...if they could just settle on a color. We caught up with the fabulous Michelle Adams, editor-in-chief of Domino magazine, and the equally fabulous Anne Ziegler, trend forecaster and cover girl, for their tricks on how to overcome color phobia.

Photography: Brittany Ambridge

1. Figure Out What You Really Love

It's harder to get overwhelmed if you have a clear vision. But if you're not quite sure what that is, Adams swears by the power of the mood board. "Use Pinterest or a bulletin board to collect inspiration before adding a specific shade to your home," she says. "Just seeing the color in other settings may hone your vision or inspire you."

Photography: Brittany Ambridge

2. Introduce Bold Accents

Starting small through accessories is perfect for commitment-phobes. "Select an attention-grabbing color and use it in a table centerpiece or for brightly patterned pillows," Adams says.

Photography: Brittany Ambridge

3. Pillows Are the Easiest Way to Add Color

They're generally a cheap purchase and offer a way to try out different patterns and colors.

Photography: Michael Wiltbank

4. Experiment In a Small Space

We love the idea of playing with color through art -- especially on an often-neglected space like a stairway. Adams also recommends trying out new decor ideas in the bathroom. "It’s usually the smallest space in a home, so it’s a perfect way to experiment with a paint or wallpaper that’s outside your comfort zone," she says.

Photography: Brittany Ambridge

5. Try Picking Up Colors From Your Favorite Art Piece

Speaking of art, it can often be a good place to start when developing a color scheme. Just pick a few hues from a piece you love, then use it through the room through accessories.

Photography: Brittany Ambridge

6. Mix In a Few Touches of Black

Black provides a place for the eye to rest, which helps temper mixed-and-matched patterns and color schemes.

Photography: Brittany Ambridge

7. Can’t Paint? Try a Splash of Color

"I typically use pops of color instead of focusing on major color-centric schemes," Ziegler says. Here, you can see her wisdom at work: The printed fabric pillows introduce brights into the room without overwhelming.

Photography: Brittany Ambridge

8. Remember: Nothing Is Permanent

Basically, don't be like the hapless home buyers on HGTV and fixate on an element in the room. It's so easy to change. "Decorating and styling are supposed to be fun and take you a little out of your comfort zone," Ziegler says. "The worst case scenario is that you have to return some pillows or repaint a wall."


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