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Changing paint color can alter a room's look

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Posted: Saturday, August 9, 2008 12:00 pm | Updated: 5:10 pm, Wed Aug 15, 2012.

By Sheena Williams

Killeen Daily Herald

Lavish home renovations can cost an arm and a leg, but getting that designer feel may be a coat of paint away. Vibrant colors and cool hues could be just the thing to accent a home's decor and change the mood of a room.

Not only can colorful walls make a striking difference in the personality of a home but it's also one of the cheapest ways to enhance a home, said Sandee Payne, interior designer for Buy the Hour Interiors in Harker Heights.

"It's something that's easy to do and easy to change if you want to keep up with the trends or if you get tired of the color," Payne said. "Painting your rooms creates a dramatic effect with very little effort or money."

Going bold is the new trend for turning those blank canvas walls into eye-popping backdrops, Payne said. Home interiors are being hued with vibrant apple green paint and cherry red walls but Payne explained that trends aren't the only way to decide what colors best accent a living space.

Her rule of thumb is if the room is already furnished, decide what part of it should stand out: the furniture, other trimmings or the walls. If the room is unfurnished, then select the furniture first and then other decorations, before the wall color.

"It's easier to start with the elements of a room that offer the least amount of selection," Payne said.

"Then pick out the color of the walls because you definitely don't want to paint the walls first, move new furniture in and realize then that none of it matches."

With a rainbow of colors, shades and brands to choose from, selecting the perfect pigment doesn't have to make homeowners blue. Payne explained that there are different ways to use a room's furnishings to choose the wall colors.

"Monochromatic colors are the best colors to choose from when trying to blend walls with furniture," Payne said. "Select the piece of furniture that the walls should be blended to and choose another shade of that same color to create an even tone throughout the room."

Complimentary contrasting colors are a stylish way to make a piece of furniture stand out, Payne said. Complimentary color combinations appear on the opposite ends of the color wheel and magnify each other. She explained that even though these colors are exact opposites, when they're combined in the components of a room, they create a stunning effect.

"A lot of complimentary colors seem like they would never go well together but they appear everywhere in the most beautiful parts of nature," Payne said. "The brown and green combination in trees and the red and green of a rose are good examples that not only pop, but strongly accentuate each other."

Analogous combinations are colors that blend well and emphasize each other. These colors appear beside each other on the color wheel. This palette is a good way to complement both walls and the furniture. Analogous colors alone are less vibrant and less saturated than complimentary tones but harmonize perfectly when together.

To tone down the tunnel effect that most hallways have, Payne suggested that if the floor is a dark color, then choose lighter colors for the walls. And vice verse for the opposite setup.

For homes that have open rooms where the living room is a part of the dining and kitchen area, Payne suggested using the same color for the wall that traverses the space, instead of stopping the color where a new section begins.

She also explained that colors in children's rooms have more flexibility but bright colors don't do well for the re-sale value of a home. Subtle colors such as tan, light green and taupe are best for homeowners who plan on moving.

Contact Sheena Williams at sheenaw@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7553.

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