Location: Pasadena, CA
Type: 3 bdrm/own
Why I use color:When I moved into my 1938 bungalow in Pasadena, California, five years ago, I loved everything about it-except the kitchen, the victim of a hideous remodel circa 1985 or so. It was done in shades of beige and white-vanilla-colored vinyl-wrapped cabinets with teak trim; 12-inch square white ceramic tile floor (just perfect for my Newfoundland and his muddy paws); and the lovely ceramic tile counters and backsplashes in shades ranging from Naugahyde Barcalounger beige to a medium dirt brown, accented with decorative tiles of autumn leaves.
I couldn't even stand to go in the room. I ate out a lot.
I decided to make it over in a Spanish style more in keeping with the rest of the cottage. I started by replacing the floor with large octagonal terra cotta Mexican pavers. I had new cabinet doors custom made and painted an antique white shade, and accented them with brushed bronze hardware. I chose a bold cobalt tile for the countertops, intensifying the color by using a dark red grout. I replaced the sink with a cobalt Kohler model. I bought decorative Mexican tiles on a trip to San Diego and used them for a colorful backsplash and accents. I chose a warm terra cotta shade for the walls, in part to match the numerous flower pots in the patio just outside the dining area of the kitchen (which I created by ripped out a wall of ugly cabinets)-but also because it contrasted beautifully with the cobalt. I replaced the appliances with stainless steel models, because I like shiny things and I also like to mix up the modern with the old style.
2 Good color tips:
1. It sounds cliché, but choose colors you actually enjoy, not what is trendy or au courant.
2. Choose two main contrasting colors, then use other shades in the two main color families you've chosen as accents.
2 Good color resources:
1. The outdoors. Pay attention to the colors outside your windows and incorporate them into your interior color scheme.
2. I like to go to paint stores and pick up tons of paint chips, then play with them on my dining room table and see what goes together. You'd be surprised. Dunn-Edwards Paints has hundreds of colors