Name: Kathryn & Daniel
Location: Cooper Square, NYC
Type: 1 Bedroom Duplex, rental
Why I use color:
Upon moving in, our new apartment's rooms were all painted a timid
periwinkle. What we wanted was a home with lively colors that didn't
clash with the openness of our apartment, an airy duplex with large
windows and a view. Our goal was a space that was energetic and warm,
but also clean and modern...
We painted using neutrals to emphasize architectural details, choosing different tones of gray for walls, columns, and the ceiling, leaving trim and baseboards white. The contrast of similar grays helps bring out the depth of the space, and helps the rooms feel bigger.
Our apartment also has oddly shaped storage area underneath the staircase. We struggled for long time with what to do. Ultimately, we decided to make this the focal point of the downstairs. We draw attention to the wall using a horizontal striping pattern: orange, green, blue, black, tan and brown.
The bright stripes extend across the accent wall, and into the kitchen
area for continuity. Our striping theme extends to Dan's home office,
the bedroom, and into the bathrooms as well. Because we have a palette
of "our" colors to choose from, the color in our apartment never feels
overwhelming or repetitive.
2 Good color tips:
1. It can be difficult to choose a bold shade of color and know that you want to live with it for a long time. Instead, purchase a quart each of the colors you might want and go to an art supply store. Buy a large piece of poster board. Carefully paint some swatches of your desired color on the board. Hang the board up where you want to paint -- that way you can really see how and when the light in your apartment will affect the way the color is perceived.
Things that look great in the daylight can look wrong at night or when lit. This is especially important for ceiling colors. It also helps to write down the name and code of the colors on the board itself, in case you have a few similar shades on the board. (Similarly, you can also paint some smaller swatches on a card to fold up and bring when shopping. Hold up the card when considering accessories and you'll know if that vase, pillow, candleholder, etc. will fit into your space.)
2. Be on the lookout for accessories where you can slip in a
photograph. You can customize these accessories like picture frames,
trays, and more using your bold, beautiful colors. We found picture
coasters at Crate and Barrel, and slipped in striped squares of our
colors (cut from our swatch board) in the place of photographs. It was
easy, and resulted in perfectly coordinated coasters. And if you don't
like the effect, it's easy to change your mind.
Favorite type and brand of paint:
Benjamin Moore 1529 Stingray
Benjamin Moore 1530 Senora Gray
Benjamin Moore 1557 Silver Song
Behr 220B-6 Harvest Pumpkin
Behr 580D-5 Ocean Ridge
Behr 400B-7 Lemon Grass
Behr 760B-7 Revival Mahogany
Behr 360E-3 Castle Stone
Behr S-H-970 Black Suede
Behr 1075 Polar Bear White