#52 - Jessica and Andrius's Color Experiment

#52 - Jessica and Andrius's Color Experiment

Janel Laban
Oct 27, 2006

Name: Jessica and Andrius
Location: Chicago
Type: 3 bedroom condo, owned

Why we use color: First of all, painting is Andrius' livelihood so we often use color to experiment. We test for color matches, treatments, styles, methods, and material. We both grew up with fairly neutral palettes. My childhood was colored with lots of off-white, muted color, and minimal pattern. Andrius grew up in dark shadows, with glass, steel, and sharp edges. Since we no longer rent our space, we can paint our walls deep magenta or pumpkin orange without worrying about our landlord's choice of hue. Every coat teaches us something more about how color reflects light, personality, and mood.

We've had our share of unsuccessful attempts so we're also learning plenty about what doesn't work. All our current color messing will save us time and money in the future. The color experience we gain in our own home also gives us the confidence to influence others with their design and help bring color into their lives.

2 good color tips:

1. Laugh in the face of convention – Latex paint isn't the only thing can bring in the color. If you love the color of raspberry jam, try using it as a stain. Nearly everything can be sealed and protected from rot and deterioration. We made window panels by painting vellum sheets with dark coffee, achieving a rich café au lait marbled effect. We also scraped paint off of a wall in our bedroom and discovered three layers of aged wallpaper. We liked the unintended blend of the patterns so much that we simply sealed the wall with a clear latex base (to prevent the paper dust from rubbing off and to give the wall a nice shine).

2. Color can highlight and color can hide – Color can certainly be used to show off an architectural element. Ceilings are painted deep colors to show off their extraordinary height and one bold accent wall can draw attention to the unique shape of a room. The use of color can also hide the flaws and limitations of a space. The walls of our dining room are OLD and, therefore, warped, nicked, and patched. To hide what would have cost a fortune to fix, we layered and blended multiple paint colors and glazes. The result is a rich, multidimensional orange that guides the eye to notice the color and not the imperfections.

2 good color resources:

1. Surroundings – Color is everywhere! Andrius and I have a fun game that we play when one of us has a color idea. We describe the shade, as best we can, to the other but nothing works better than a visual example. We then run around the house and scan CD cases, soup cans, books, inside closets and drawers, until…ah ha, found it! You'd be surprised how many times the color in your head is the exact same color as the text on a box of pasta.

2. Stationery – Every time I go to a paper store, I'm struck with the innovative color pairings or patterns on cards. I'll often be inspired by an intricate print and imagine how it could work in my home. Wallpaper? Accent pillows? Tablecloth or shower curtain?

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