Color Love; 5 Mantras to Live By

by TheHandMadeHome
When we moved into our second house, we were a little less than inspired. We'd put our home up for sale at the height of the market. And because it sold faster than we'd expected, we were suddenly in a hurry to find a new place to live. Looking back, of course this was in the foolishness of our youth, though no one could have told us otherwise. We went for the practical. But as soon as we moved in, we were ready for something different.
I wouldn't say it was buyer's remorse, so much as a giant case of what-do-we-do-now-itis. It just didn't feel like us.
For a while, I was afraid of color. In the vast builder's beige paradise that was this UPS brown house, we were feeling a lack of inspiration.

I realized that I muddled over decisions with hesitation and second guessing. I worried too much about all of it, pining away for "our next house" wondering what my in laws would think. I caught myself worrying about our next owner and the resale value... and everything in between.
And then it hit me... what if there was no "next" house? What if that proverbial dream home doesn't really exist? As morbid as it sounds, we aren't guaranteed tomorrow. It was like a wake up call for us, and we vowed to stop pining away for that farmhouse kitchen, those pretty interiors and ideal back yard... to start living in the now, and make it happen right where we were.

Maybe the perfect home doesn't exist, but we can create our own haven.

We changed things, and wondered why it took us so long. We stopped angsting over what our brother's sister-in-law's mother's aunt may think. And we went for it.
The main element we used for our transformations? Color. It's the boldest way to express yourself, the most dramatic transformation for a space, and the easiest way to change anything. Here's a few mantras we like to live by when it comes to color.
1. Do what you love.

If there's anything we've learned in this process, it's to embrace your passions, your inner rebel, and let your home express who you are. Because in the end, all that matters is creating a space that tells the story of who you are. What makes you happy. It's the undercurrent of what we do, and it will inspire everything.

Maybe you aren't a blues and whites kinda person like you see in our home. Maybe you love tangerine and gold, pink, or even UPS brown. Do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars... do not pay one mind of attention to the color of the year (because it changes every year anyway). Go for it now and do what you love by using your favorite colors within your spaces.

You'll thank yourself in the end, and it all starts with what you adore.
We always look at it this way: When you pour yourself into a space, it becomes a part of you. If it becomes a part of you, it reflects your passions and who you are. If it reflects who you are, how can you not help but love it?

There are no regrets in doing what you love. So drop the fear and hesitations... and go for it.
2. Create the cohesive.

But how? People often tell me they love color, but are afraid to use it in their home. Their main fear? They don't want their home to look like a preschool/crayon box/paint factory explosion. They want it to flow, and they want it to look intentional. They just aren't sure how.

Our main advice? Create the cohesive. From one room to another, bring in different elements to help create a diverse, but consistent feel from space to space.
For instance: The same white you see on our walls in the living room (Benjamin Moore's Chantilly Lace) is the same you see on our son's dresser. Or our kitchen cabinets. Our daughter's accent wall. The bookshelves in our playroom. The blue you see in our treehouse outside, is the same blue you see on different art elements, the blue sofa in our entry way and the rug in our sons' room.

Use color in creative ways around your home, and it will have a customized, cohesive feel before you even realize it.
3. The multifaceted angle.

Don't limit your thinking to the walls. Think beyond the paint store when it comes to keeping it cohesive within your home. A great way to keep it flowing happens with fabric, art and rugs.
You can find ways to bring in versions of your color scheme in various elements. And it doesn't have to end there. If you can't paint your walls because of a renter's debacle, stick to this to bring in color. You'll be surprised at what a good rug, pillow or fun upholstered piece can do to bring in personality.

Frame a piece of wrapping paper or hang a large piece of fabric right on the wall for an instant splash. It doesn't have to be pricey. Bring shots of color and weave it into each space in unexpected ways with fun elements.

The possibilities are kind of endless.
4. Simplify

If you're looking for a great place to start with color, and just want to get rid of that generic beige, think of one main color that you would love to see in every space.

Then, work around that.
The easiest way is to choose a "simple" over all color for the walls in your home, that can easily be updated over time. One that blends well. That way you can change out accessories, and other elements when you're ready for something fresh, or a touch of something new. You won't be limited by the color down the road when you're ready for an instant change.

I love white, and don't know if I'll ever tire of it because of it's diverse simplicity. It's so easy to change things in a space because of it, or bring it in when a color becomes too overwhelming.

Of course you can always repaint, but if you hate that process, then thinking simple from the beginning and bringing in shots of color is also a great way to start.
5. Balance

One of the best ways to find balance in your home is by using other tones to keep colors in check, from becoming too overwhelming or bright.

Think of your home like a color wheel. Bring in complementary colors {the colors on opposite sides of the wheel} to tone something down, or add interest.

Bring in natural elements like wood tones and stained colors and neutrals to keep it in check and add another dimension. Collect elements of the same over all color in different versions to bring in depth.

If a room feels off kilter, whether it be with actual weights of pieces or color itself, it usually needs to be balanced out in some way. The best rooms are collected over time, and a great way to give it that feeling is to keep it diverse with color, and contrasting elements.
If you've got an itch to change things up a little in your home on the color front, we hope this gives you a great spring board to start with your awesome ideas. Color is the best way to start when it comes to adding personality to your spaces and expressing yourself.

Your home is a beautiful canvas, just waiting for you to tell your story.

Have an inspired day!
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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  • Tikva Morrow Tikva Morrow on Aug 11, 2014
    I love this post! All the pictures and ideas are so fun and bright! I especially love the fireplace picture in place of a fire. Very cute!

  • Dixie Dixie on Aug 27, 2014
    I like neutral white(ish) walls and adding color with furniture and accessories.. That way I can easily change the color scheme of any room in the house... Years ago, I decided that I had a splash of red in every room... The "splash" changes year to year, season... And I always love the new freshness of the house when it's time to make a color change. Wacky, I know!