Location: Reno, Nevada
Type: I live in a 3-bedroom, 2-bath 1970's house in Reno. My husband bought it several years before we met and since we married in May I have started fixing it up a bit (he hadn't done anything to it except necessities like proper windows and roofing).
Why I use color:
I use color to create a livable atmosphere. This house is by nature a bit on the dim and drab side so I have been trying to lighten (and liven) it up. Since I often work from home I wanted my office to be comfortable and be a place I wanted to spend time. It also doubles as the guest room for our frequent visitors, so I wanted to try and make it look clean and inviting to others and not just have it be my private area where no one else would venture...
I picked a light and bright color since all my accent colors were already present and none of them were enough to carry the little white room on their own. I also tried to play off of my favorite color without being too obvious about it, I feel like it really ties the room together. I think my taste by nature is a little bit random and the clean color just unifies it all.
2 good color tips:
1. Look at the things you love. I had already had the green rug for several years and just got married in a chartreuse wedding dress. I was looking for light and bright and this color perfectly fit the bill.
2. Test swatches (and be patient). I had a lot of people come look at my walls before I finished. My first choice was too pale, my second too minty. The chartreuse was the clear winner in my mind as soon as I put it on the wall, and looked even better once I let it dry.
2 good color resources:
1. I like looking at photos online, places like sunset.com and ivillage.com have before-and-afters and "inspiration galleries" to give you ideas and help you think outside of what you'd normally be inclined to do.
2. My other favorite thing to do is go on walks in neighborhoods I like and see what other people have done with their houses (early evening is best, people often still have their shades open and lights on). As odd as this may sound, it is always inspiring to see someone with a plain white lamp against a cherry red wall or beautiful blue tilework in an old soft orange adobe-style house. Looking at what other people have thought up without necessarily having the designer look of a magazine can be amazingly inspiring. Even seeing what's blooming in other people's gardens can be great, my friend just planted navy blue and soft sage green buddleias behind her cream colored roses and I am loving the color combo. Just keep your eyes open!