Monday, March 23, 2009
Who hasn't lived with white walls? White is so light and clean and practical. It matches everything. A couple of coats of white paint on my New York apartment walls always worked.
City life in caverns and canyons created by tall buildings is often dark, and white rooms offered luminosity.
White could be decorated any way, from modern to vintage.
The white comfort zone followed the city weary Manhattanite to their beach or country getaways. So is it any wonder that for years I thought it was "me" to have white walls?
I ventured away from those white walls a couple of times. English style had me wallpaper everything.
Before that I had a deep purple bedroom, a color that turned out to be very restful and sexy.
But once transplanted for a short time in California, I reverted back to what I had come to believe as a classic, white walls again.
For the most part, white was the way to go. Who could argue with white?
While I'm not against some white, all over white has become another story. White isn't about matching everything. It can be about being afraid of risk, experimentation, change.
When it came time to choose colors for our New Orleans house, I decided not to accept the image of myself I always had. I decided to change the recipe in this house. I wanted to be more daring. I wondered what effect other colors would have on me. Paint is cheap, a little goes along way.
White is neutral. Harmless. Safe. But color is inspiring. It's emotional. It takes you places.
And that's what your house should do. It should transport you to a place of peace and contentment.
And so what colors did I choose?
The kitchen was the first - I wanted a mustard color, something I had seen in Provence.
Next was my office. And I knew it would be red. It took a couple of tries to find the right one, which turned out to be a coral based red.
Then it was the master bedroom. I had never had a blue room, so I chose a gray blue, and it is the most pleasing restful pretty color.
The guest room got a gray beige, the most neutral color, but still some color.
The living room deep brown.
The bathrooms are white, a throwback to my old habits, as is the walk in closet, mainly to enhance the light in there, so we don't go out with mismatched clothes ha ha.
It's been four years since I dipped into the paint pot, and I am not bored with all the color. The value and saturation is similar from one color to the next, so the rooms look linked and cohesive. When people first see the house, they always remark how New Orleans it looks because of the color. I do think geography can determine color.
Painting the walls of your home makes them a part of your home rather than a generic container in which all of your stuff floats, unattached.
Color grounds you. It's an investment in your environment. It's warmer and more homey.
photos from Google Images