Paint Color: Simplify Your Environment

by Julie Youngblade - July 8th, 2015
Posted in: Home Improvement, Remodeling

Paint color trends have changed a lot since I started in the design business 14 years ago. Back then we were using paint color to “decorate” rooms. We had accent walls and multiple colors surrounding us. We used various shades of red, green and gold. Eggplant was a hot color at the time, too.

Empty paint cansTimes have changed. Color trends do vary by region, but here in the Midwest, generally speaking, we do follow a conservative version of what is happening nationally.

We have all heard that gray is the new neutral. All you have to do is go through open houses or the local Home Show Expo, and you will see that this is true in our region as well. Gray tones work great with white painted trim and darker wood stains. Warm gray, cool gray and anything in between are all being used in these new spaces.

If you are one of the many families in the Midwest that have an existing home you are trying to freshen up, you – like so many others – are working with light to medium oak woodwork. Admittedly, it is a huge commitment to tackle changing or painting all of the woodwork in the home. If you are not up to the task, yet are ready for a paint change, you are more likely going to be looking at a range of whites, warm beiges and tans.

And that is okay given that gray is typically not the answer for a golden oak home.

More importantly, whether you are looking at gray or beige, we are in a phase of neutralizing our spaces ­– cleaning things up for a crisp and calm environment. All of the visual “noise” created by paint is in the past. Our lives have gotten more demanding and we want relaxing, spa-like spaces.

Some may opt to shift a couple of shades from one space to the next, or accentuate an architectural detail such as a tray ceiling or arched niche. These are all reasonable options within today’s trends.

Where does the color come into play? You can still bring personality and lively hues into your spaces with pillows, lampshades, area rugs, artwork and accessories.

Those items can tell the story of your taste and style. So don’t be afraid of boring beige or calming gray. Simplify your environment, because life is not getting any simpler.

Julie Youngblade is the the owner and operator of Polk City-based JY Design, a full-service interior design company offering interior design, remodeling, space planning, custom window treatments and exclusive home furnishing services in Des Moines, West Des Moines, Urbandale, Ankeny, Waukee, Polk City, Altoona, Ames, and surrounding areas.  

About Julie Youngblade

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