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Using paint to create concepts in the home

Laura A. Ball

Nancy Robinson has paint chips Scotch-taped to the walls of every room in her house: soft coral in her bedroom; lavender and lime green in her guest room; aqua in her bathroom; taupe in the den. Putting up tiny swatches of paint before you commit allows you to feel the effects of the color so you won’t have regrets later, and “how you want to feel in the room is what should lead you in your color selection,” said Robinson, showroom manager of The Paint Bucket in Eagle-Vail.The coral will give her the soothing feel she wants in her bedroom, and its vibrancy will play wonderfully against their vibrant green view of the fairway. The contrast of bold wall color is often used to punctuate a view, she explains.Her guest room will offer visitors a sanctuary where they can at once find refreshment and relaxation. The calming bright blue will provide a clean, spa-like feel in her bathroom. The taupe office, with its plethora of black picture frames, will set the scene of a sophisticated gallery. Decide what it is that you want and find a way to emulate that through color. You might be surprised how paint can transform a space.

“Paint is the easiest way to change a room, and probably the cheapest,” said Dana Hugo of Worth Interiors in Avon. “It’s a quick fixer-upper.”Bold and daring colors, such as coral, are popular choices when choosing wall color.”People have played it safe with colors for a long time, but now people want more self-expression,” Robinson said. “People are taking more chances.”Those with slightly more conservative tastes are opting for strong natural colors like taupes, forest greens, light blues, burgundies and chocolate browns.”I think people really like the outside and want to bring the outdoors in,” Robinson said.

The nature-inspired trend started in mountainous areas like Vail, but has since transcended to urban areas, including Denver, throughout the country.Do rules still apply when applying color?Color experts such as Hugo and Robinson recommend painting common spaces in one color and reserving stronger or softer colors in bedrooms, offices, spas and exercise rooms.But, “rules in the design world now are really up to the client’s choices,” Robinson said.For the kitchen or dining room, she suggests cayenne or bold shades of red because it’s a “hinger” color and stimulates the appetite (so do orange and yellow). If people really want pizzaz, because they do a lot of entertaining, paint the dining area purple.



For an antique feel, try jewel tones like burnt gold and amber, eggplant, deep reds and greens or royal blue.Avoid excitable colors like reds and oranges in the bedroom, Robinson said, “So you can rest your psyche.”Tranquil colors tend to be more soothing, such as sage green, light blue or soft yellow. Unless you’re a bachelor, Robinson said, in that case anything goes.The most popular color in bathrooms right now is aqua, which imitates the relaxing calmness of the ocean.If you’re painting the nursery or the kids’ room, primary colors are the best choice and the most popular in the valley, Robinson said.

What about painting a small room a dark color, will it really make a room appear smaller?”Small rooms should be your favorite color,” said Dana Hugo of Worth Interiors in Avon, who styles many celebrity homes. “I think it is a myth not to paint a small room a dark color, as it cannot get any smaller, no matter the color.”If you still don’t know what color to paint a room, look for hints that already exist in your home.”What colors are in the bedspread or the color of carpeting or wood,” Robinson said. “You might just have to take a lot of paint chips home with you. Choosing paint color is a process of elimination.”Vail, Colorado


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