Friday, May 21

How do you feel about color?

I was taking a trip down Memory Lane this week, looking at photos of our old house. We moved into our current home five years ago this spring. I took photos of our old house on the morning before it went onto the MLS.

You know how real estate experts often advise that you de-personalize your house and "neutralize" the colors before you list it for sale? That tends to be good advice, and the folks from whom we bought this house had done just that; everything was pretty beige when we moved in. But the first thing I did was to paint EVERY ROOM in the house. Want to take a look around?

Foyer (which leads to kitchen ahead, dining room on left, and library on right. How I loved my black banister!):

Dining room (It was really red. My favorite part was the subtle striping on the walls. I did this by painting the whole room with flat paint, then I taping off stripes and painting every other stripe with high-gloss paint in the same color.):

Study (Including Snickers, the beagle. We did a Ralph Lauren "leather" faux finish below the chair rail in this room.):


Kitchen and breakfast area (Bright green, anyone?):

Bonus room (with Snickers again):

Upstairs hall (with another glance at the black banister):

Master bedroom (How many pillows could I get on one bed??):

Child's bedroom (He loved his lighthouses back then.):

You can probably tell that I did NOT "tone things down" before we listed our house. I de-cluttered and cleaned, but that's about it. And our house sold the day it was listed.

What I learned from this experience is that buyers do not object to color. They just want color to be used in a way that makes sense. I can share two tips with you about choosing color for your rooms:
  • Use a very neutral color in spaces such as hallways.
  • Make sure that the color you paint a room coordinates nicely with any adjacent rooms.
Several of the photos above give a peek from one room into the next. I liked the way all my colors worked together. I tried to use fabrics and accessories that would work in several different rooms. And it all made good decorating sense to me. The colors in my current house are a little more subdued; the colors above are all choices I made back in 2002. Still, the guidelines for successful color selection don't change very much over the years.

If you're afraid of color, I recommend visiting a paint store and checking out a paint fandeck. Bring it home and walk around your house, looking for paint chips that work with your rugs or upholstery. Then hold those paint chips all together and see if you like the way they look. Do they make a pretty palette in your hand? Are they pleasing to you on paper? If so, they'll probably be pleasing to you on the wall. You can always buy a sample pot of different colors and give them a try.

**I'm linking this post to The Paint Challenge at The CSI Project. The CSI Project is the collaborative effort of three wonderful bloggers: Amanda (Imperfectly Beautiful), Beckie (Infarrantly Creative), and Jen (Tatertots & Jello). Each of these women is amazing on her own, and now they've teamed up to Create, Share, and Inspire (CSI). Their new site will showcase wonderful projects and host periodic challenges so that we can join the fun. This week's challenge involves paint. Be sure to check it out!**


  1. Your house was gorgeous! I loved all those colors and I would have bought it the same day, too! : )

  2. Your house was gorgeous and your decorations look wonderful. No wonder it sold so fast, just gorgeous. Hugs, Marty

  3. I've also been very lucky. My last three homes sold the day they went on the market. That sure takes the stress away from being a seller.

    I think you have a wonderful use of color and when I look at your choices it just seems to "fit" you, as I think about how you come across on your blog in your writing and photos. Vibrant, full of energy, loving life...

  4. People are afraid of color, but when it's put together as beautifully as yours was, then they see that it can be used right.
    I am NOT afraid of color--blue office, green laundry room. But I'm having a struggle with how to incorporate it into my huge kitchen/breakfast area/family room. The walls don't stop very often and it's hard to find breaks for paint. But I'll keep fighting on.
    And I also love the black banister!

  5. Hello sweet Richella - Yes, I admit it, I am afraid of color. However, I do admire those like you who aren't afraid to use it throughout your home! I'm a big fan of your happy green! Makes me smile. I have been considering painting my coffee table turquoise. Big leap for me. But your post has inspired me. Thank you for sharing!

    I'm having a giveaway through tonight. Would love for you to stop by and enter!


  6. I loved all the colors.!!! It is funny because I have lots of color in my house and after looking at so many of the decorating blogs lately I have been thinking of changing some of my rooms. I am pleased to see I am not 'out of it' with all my fun colors! thanks for the post!!

  7. Everything is lovely! I especially love the little furry poser! I have a cat that is ALWAYS in the picture too! Sweet things!

  8. Your home is beautiful, I love your furniture style. I know exactly what you mean about colour flowing from one room to another. I like to know that you could pick up a cushion from one room and it would 'fit' in any other room you took it to, do you know what I mean?

  9. Beautiful! I think these colors work even though some are bold. Love the green with the chandelier! I love color as well... but I'm afraid of it. :)

  10. What a well appointed home you have! I love blog home tours! When we become home owners I fully intend on embracing color! I just LOVE your green kitchen, esp. with the cabinets!

    We've got a 6 yr old welsh corgi and she's got quite the knack for getting into the majority of our pics too!! :)

  11. I love color, but I don't know how to use it, if that makes any sense at all!! I am not good at pairing colors and patterns. At all.

    I LOVE your green Kitchen!!!!

    I like how Snickers features in the photos too. :)

    I need you to come to Virginia and help me. ;)

  12. Very nice, I love color and have a bright orange kitchen, with white cabinets and marble counters. I don't think I have the discipline to live in an all white house, that would mean no books, no flowers, no photos in frames, no watercolor paintings, no nothing...and I just can't do that!You give good advice in the use of color, both your homes showed character and are (and were)
    Heidi - Heart and Home

  13. I used to be an all beige person until recently. I painted my sunroom a bright yellow and my music room red. Now I couldn't live without color. Carla

  14. I know what looks good, but I have a hard time choosing colors. I want it to suit the style of the home, my decor, as well as my taste. My taste is all over the place!

  15. what a great job you did decorating this home - I used to be very afraid of colour, but nowadays I'm adding more and more <3

  16. I love color! There is only one wall in our house that is white, and that one is full of color elsewhere. The more the better! And you did a beautiful job with that house. No wonder it sold so quickly.

  17. Wow, you really sold quickly! It looked like a lovely house though, so I understand why it did!! :) I do like color in a home. I tend to use a lot of neutrals and "pops" of color mostly, but I think having some color and warmth really makes a house feel welcoming and cozy! Great post!!


  18. I can see why your home sold in a day! I love your use of bold color. My home has a bit of color but most of the rooms are pretty neutral.

  19. loving the peek of YOU! i love color :) right now i am all soft yellow and green... but my bathroom is super bright :)

  20. I love the colors in that house, especially the den!

    Yep, I like color too!


  21. I confess: I tend to be afraid of color and go for very muted shades of soothing colors. It was so appropriate that I just read this post, since we were picking out the perfect "pink" for Elizabeth's new room (aka the nursery). She dictated pink, and I knew I wanted the same feel as the pink room in Thomas' mother's house (hope I used those apostrophes correctly!). Anyway, my hubby convinced me to go a bit darker than I had intended and I love the color. The princess, however, chose a Laura Ashley color which is more muted than the one we chose. Since Mom and Dad overrule a 5 year old, we'll see how our new, slightly brighter color looks soon...

  22. I LOVE color Richella! I know I keep seeing the trends of all the all white schemes but they just are not me. Color makes me happy!

    I love your old home. I see why it sold so quickly. Awesome job decorating it! :)

  23. Great advise, and your home was really beautiful!

    I loved the color of your little boys room, looks similar to my new playroom!

    I'll be back!

  24. Thanks so much for linking up to the CSI Project - we really appreciate it! It was so fun to see your home. What wonderful color. I love color too! That green in your kitchen is wonderful. I painted my office a similar green and it makes me so happy!

    Loved the tour!


  25. This house just makes you want to unwind and relax!You have a delighful home! love your furniture style,good Job! :)


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