Welcome to our biggest color event of the year, the Room for Color contest. Every fall, we ask readers to send in images of their most beautiful, colorful room and let the world pick their favorites. Over the next month, we'll be sharing all the rooms we can squeeze into our schedule and, just before Thanksgiving, we'll have your top 4 choices battle it out for the grand prize...and the glory, of course. We started posting entries on Monday and these mover and shaker rooms are the ones that have caught the eyes of our readers so far. Click through for the hot list for Week One…
• Washington, D.C.
• Color Tips: Don't be afraid and just go for it! Paint is an easy thing to change, but there is no easier and stronger way to make an impact. I wanted a cheerful, sunny space, and I was able to do so by taking a risk with the bright yellow.
• Winston-Salem, North Carolina
• Color Tips: If you have a favorite color or two, don't be scared to use them. Have fun and play with your colors in all shades. If your kid (or your partner or the voice in the back of your head) suggests a giant black and white striped rug (or some other crazy piece that seems to reflect her or his personality), buy it and see what happens. Once you have the big color (walls, rug, large furniture) in place, take your time with the accessories and don't be afraid to let something sit in the space a while before making a decision about it (keep the receipt)! Making mistakes and switching things up is such fun.
• Natasha & Brad
• Grand Rapids, Michigan
• Color Tips: I think the most important thing is to use colors that make you happy, and then incorporate variations of those colors throughout your house. Aside from looking cohesive, it makes it easy to swap things from room to room and give your house a fresh look without having to buy anything new. And for those who might think my husband wouldn't love a pink room--he does! He helped chose the color and says it reminds him of The Royal Tenenbaums.
• New York, New York
• Color Tips: Don't think about the colors you like in your every day life--wall color and "your favorite color" are two very different things with two very different functions. (I had to learn the hard way that "that light blue color I love!" doesn't look quite as good on a huge scale as it does on a small one.) Think instead about the *rooms* you've felt best in. At restaurants, parties, museums, friend's houses. You'll have a much better sense of what you're getting into--and you'll know you feel great once you get there :)
• Columbus, Ohio
• Color Tips: Use what you love! These colors brightened up our backyard so much! Even with the leaves falling, it makes everything so cheery.
• Houston, Texas
• Color Tips: Never assume two colors won't go together - put them next to each other and see how they work. You may be surprised at how well they look together! Even if the combination doesn't suit your taste but you love each color on its own, try a different value or saturation of one of the colors. Sometimes it just takes a little manipulation of the color to make things right.
• Portland, Oregon
• Color Tips: Live in the moment and choose colors that make you happy. It doesn't matter what anybody else thinks.
• Greenbelt, Maryland
• Color Tips: Bold colors are often more versatile than traditional neutrals. I am happy pairing my turquoise walls with gold, silver, white, black, brown, beige or gray. Dark colors can also stand in for art - a wall doesn't seem as naked when it's covered with a gorgeous color. You can't say the same with white. My living room doesn't get a lot of light and having a bright yet dark color helps with this as well. Anything lighter could have felt very cold, but this color helps keep the room alive even without a lot of sunlight.
• Santa Cruz, California
• Color Tips: You gotta go with what you like. If you don't like color, don't use it. Don't go with all bold. Pick something that can be a bridge or neutralizer for a couple of bolder colors. I mixed in some greys and whites with the lavenders and reds.
MORE ROOM FOR COLOR:
• Week Two: 10 New Must-See Room for Color Entries
Visit the "all entries" page to see all of the rooms so far and give a few of your favorites the thumbs up: ALL ENTRIES - ROOM FOR COLOR 2011
Have a beautiful, colorful room of your own? The entry form is up: ENTER TODAY