Friday, April 13, 2012

How Much Color?

Happy Friday, everybody!

I guess I'm going through another stage of tweaking my personal style. I've had our little sidebar on the brain lately. That handy dandy bulleted list has been really helpful since I first put it up. When I start to be overly influenced by any one style (hello, happy Swedes!), it brings me back, grounds me, and reminds me what's right for this house - for us - and what isn't.

via apartment therapy

Just so you don't have to scroll down to see what I'm talking about, here's the sidebar list:

1) firmly rooted in tradition
2) but with an element of unexpected FUN to keep it from becoming too stuffy or formulaic
3) a balance of masculine and feminine... not too much of either
4) welcoming - with comfortable seating & a variety of textures
5) personal - with details from the heart
6) a little sophisticated - with antiques & vintage touches like silverplate, transferware, treenware, milkglass, etc.
7) classic - avoiding the latest trends
8) all about the light
9) plenty of WHITE with high-contrast neutrals
10) architectural elements (which is why this first layer really matters!)

From the get-go, we've been working on number 9. The trim has been a huge factor in adding the much needed bright white to our home. Plus, the curtains - as you know - are all crisp white and now we have the white furniture in the family room. The high contrast neutrals usually come in the form of dark wood (which is receiving its fair share of flack from haters these days, but I still love walnut, cherry, and mahogany tones) and the black doors. We still have a ways to go, but a pattern is beginning to emerge. A continuity.

But, despite my love of whites, grays, and greiges, I've always wanted the high contrast neutrals to be punctuated with color. Because I love color. But, it's been a slow process. SO much of what worked in our previous house just hasn't worked here. It's like starting from scratch in a number of respects. The color is just now coming around.

via apartment therapy

And it has me thinking. How much color do I want our rooms to have? With all the white and neutrals as a clean slate of sorts, I think a few of the rooms could handle some pretty serious doses of color at this point. But do I want that? I'm not a minimalist, but I like an overall feeling of order... nothing too visually jarring. (You know... like my kids' bedroom.) I like rooms that are edited enough to make them low-stress, but not so edited that they don't seem genuine or comfortable anymore. All that holds true with color, too. I like enough, but not too much.

via apartment therapy

I'm trying to figure out exactly what that means right now. It's likely to be one of those ever-evolving components of making this house our home... how much color is right seems like it will change with different seasons and stages. It's a question that will even have a different answer from room to room. When we first moved in and everything was disorganized and BROWN, all I wanted was serenity. A peaceful, relaxed, ordered, welcoming feeling. And white, white, white, please white!

Now we're so much closer to that, and I find myself wanting big doses of happy color... like a celebration.

Because today is a gift.



Blame it on the baby. I don't want to make it sound like having a baby is all fun and games... like it isn't hard at times. I don't want to make anyone feel guilty for feeling differently or think something is wrong with them if they aren't all about lots of children. But, I feel most like myself with a baby in the house. I'm calmer, sweeter, kinder, and generally more aware of everyday blessings with a babe in arms. Life IS a celebration in a lot of ways. There is so much to be thankful for. So, this is a stage where I could see myself really going nuts and making the house like a box of crayolas. I want to play with our rooms, get creative, experiment some, and not be afraid to try something new. Because I'm happy! I'm blessed! And because it's FUN.

via IKEA family live

But, I'd like to balance this laid-back playful aspect with what I know to also be tried and true preferences for our home. I don't want to wind up 3 years from now with a bunch of stuff I don't even like anymore. I am trying to analyze my/our style to help me make wise, lasting decisions.

So, I'm just not sure right now. I'm looking at all the photos in this post and thinking. I'm looking at the gorgeous pink alstromeria on the table across the room, the yellow tulips beside me, the green pillows to my right, and the rainbow blanket on my lap (yes, I bought a rainbow blanket) and I'm just thinking. But, I suspect the answer to my question is only going to be found by actually doing.

I'm so safe. So neutral. Maybe it's okay to think less with some things, and just have fun. I'm gun shy from wasting money in the past, but I've put a lot of effort into defining my style... maybe the risks are inherently safer now because of that?

I'm so deep. Ha.

Whatever. Bottom line? I like my new blankie. And I'm in the mood for more color. I'll just add a little here and there until it's just right. Funny it took me a whole post to get to that last sentence. Thanks for helping me think that out, blog.

What about you guys? Do you have super colorful houses? Do you have sort of low-commital ways that you play around with color?


Deb said...

This post is so me. I'm so afraid of colour now. My house is full of it and I long for the peace and serenity of white and greige. I'm working on it but it's slow going! I have my own little craft room/studio that is all white. Hubby was dead against it but now he loves it! I love colour but just don't want too much but how much is too much? We're such deep thinkers today.

Melissa@Home Baked said...

We have an awful lot of color compared to you, but I tend to get tired of a wall color after 3 or 4 years, and then it can be hard to change the other furnishings that went with the walls. I'm a little itchy to repaint the big kids' rooms, but they're not ready yet. I painted the baby's nursery a dark sand color that looks great with the white trim, and I'm not tired of it yet. That baby is 4 now, and all I need to do is get a new blind for the window, and it's a nice big kid room. The others picked their own colors, and I'd like to tone it down a little. I don't spend all that much time in there, though. Sometimes I feel our choices are too driven by working with what we already have, instead of where we'd really like to go. But I'll probably always get the urge to redecorate!

Rebecca said...

I say just go for it! lol I like to find items I can spray paint at thrift stores to add some color. I had an idea of what I wanted to do in my house, then my husband told me one day (after I asked his opinion on gray chevron pillows), "We have no color in in our house! We need color!" So ever since I've been trying to decide how much color is too much also. And what colors since I tend to change my favorite colors often. It can be stressful and easy to over think! lol Your posts on color and finding your style have helped immensely. There are few other posts I've read that have delved into the importance of layering. So thank you! :)