Color Your World
A change of seasons in Southern California might mean, oh, a 15-degree drop in temperature. But that doesn’t mean it has to remain endless summer in your home. We turned to designer, author and makeover television guru Libby Langdon for her ideas on how to use color to cozy up your home for all the seasons.
Langdon’s No. 1 piece of advice? Paint!
“Paint is the best way to instantly transform a room that just feels cold (read that unwelcoming) into a warm, inviting space,” Langdon says. “Choose a warm, soft yellow like Hawthorne Yellow HC-4 by Benjamin Moore to add a bright, cheery feeling. You can also create a more intimate feeling by using bold, rich, dark color like a chocolate brown or a vibrant red.” She recommends Mustang #2111-30 or Raspberry Truffle #2080-10, both by Benjamin Moore.
According to the designer, paint is the quickest and least expensive way to transform a room.”If you buy neutral furniture (tan, black, white or gray), you can easily change your wall color for an entirely new feel,” she says. “Paint changes the feeling of a space through its richness and hues. Because these qualities shift with available light and the shadows it creates, working with paint takes time and the willingness to take some chances. This does not mean, however, that you should shy away from color and leave your walls white!”
Langdon relates, “Working in makeover television on shows like HGTV’s Small Space, Big Style and The Rachael Ray Show has given me the opportunity to go in real peoples’ homes all across America. And I’ve found that people overwhelmingly believe that leaving their walls white makes their space look larger. It doesn’t. White walls effectively convey one thing: You are living in a boring, small white space. Dark colors not only add life to a room, but used carefully, they can actually make the walls of a small room recede!”
The key, the designer says, is to look at how the color you”re thinking of trying looks at different times of the day. “Itís also helpful to think about when you actually use the space the most. In other words, if you’re away in an office all day, you’ll want to consider how the paint looks primarily at night. Conversely, if you actually work from home in your small space, think about how the color appears during the day.”
Not sure where to begin? Libby lists some of her favorites here, colors that she’s used to great effect on projects both on TV and off. By the way, while paint is a great place to start, don’t be surprised if everything you have begins to look completely different and you start thinking about what decorating changes you want to tackle next!
Libby’s Paint Picks
Upward by Sherwin-Williams #6239.
“This is the most perfect, pale, icy blue color. It looks gorgeous mixed with crisp white and soft tan, and it’s really beautiful with the washed weather wood that is so hot right now. It’s a fabulous color for a soothing bedroom.”
Universal Khaki by Sherwin-Williams #6150
“This is a wonderful tone of tan that works well in family rooms or living rooms. It’s not too dark, but it’s a rich tone that works great in a room where you’ll be spending lots of time. It’s also neutral enough to work with all sorts of patterns and colors that you might have on your furniture. It truly is a ‘universal’ color!”
Convivial Yellow by Sherwin-Williams #6393
“This is a super color for an entry hall or a kitchen. It’s a soft, but beautiful yellow and it’s cheery without being too much color. It also works well in a hallway that’s connecting rooms painted different colors because it’s not too bright and it’s still neutral enough to tie other colors together. It looks great paired with white furniture or black furniture.”
Tidewater by Sherwin-Williams #6477
“This is an elegant and soft aqua color. Sometimes aqua can feel too bright and look childish, but this shade is beautiful and very easy to live with. I’ve used it with white furniture and mirrored accents for a glamorous bedroom look.”
Red Bay by Sherwin-Williams #6321
“This is a stunning, rich red that is bold, but actually also soft at the same time. It’s a beautiful color for a dining room. People love to eat in red rooms because red is a very stimulating color. I actually painted my own dining room with this gorgeous color. It looks beautiful paired with pine or oak wood.”
Grassland by Sherwin-Williams #6163
“This is a pretty, soft sage green. It’s rich and subtle and not too overpowering. It’s a great choice for most rooms in your home and would look great in your dining room, living room or kitchen. This color looks terrific with all wood finishes and looks fresh and modern when paired with white.”
Black Bean by Sherwin-Williams #6006
“A rich, chocolate brown is a wonderful way to add some drama and impact to a room and this is the best chocolate color I’ve used. It’s dense and intense! It’s great to paint one accent wall in a room this color, maybe the wall behind your bed or the walls behind your sofa or fireplace in the living room. Paint just one wall this gorgeous chocolate and paint the other three walls a soft, neutral tan or cream. It will add so much spice to your space!”
Essential Gray by Sherwin-Williams #6002
“Gray is such a hot hue right now in interior design and this is a soft and elegant gray that would be perfect in a master bedroom or a living room. It really shines when you pair it with white crown molding and trim. It’s a light, silvery gray that’s pretty when it’s paired with pale mauve, a rich navy blue or a bright yellow. Gray has become a new neutral and this color is a great way to introduce it into your home!”
Navalî by Sherwin-Williams #6244
“This blue is such a gorgeous color and it adds an air of classic elegance in any room. I’ve used it on one wall in a bedroom and it immediately added a comfortable and cozy feel. It really pops when it’s paired with crisp white, as well as rich, stained wood finishes!”