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There’s clearly no fear of using color in New Orleans homes! This is a city where multiple cultures, intense climate and fiery food aren’t just a daily way of life; they inspire unique, unforgettable paint colors.

But there’s something subdued about even the boldest colors used in New Orleans interiors. They seem elegantly aged by time, slightly romantic and even moody… as if seen under low light. This exuberant, but elegant palette reveals a touch of Paris, a smattering of the south of Spain, a whiff of  island style and a bit of bravado from Victorian London.

Some New Orleans colors are known by their French names… Paris green, Gros Rouge or Brun d’Espagnol. (It’s believed these pretty hues were intended to complement skin tones… trust the ever-glamorous French to think about that!)

Check out our New Orleans paint color palette in our special New Orleans magazine issue. (Click on the magazine cover to open the magazine!).

Kermit, the Frog, wasn’t sure about being green, though he did conclude in his famous Being Green song that “it’ll do fine”. But green lovers everywhere know that  nature’s favorite hue won’t just do; it can do wonders!

Green colors can’t be beat for their restful, quiet and balancing  effects. Green is a favorite for hospitals, schools and TV studios because it heals, restores and calms us.

But the exact green paint color we choosee use can make as much of a difference in how our rooms feel as our choice of green, blue or red.

In fact, today, color can  determine a room’s style almost as much as furniture. So it’s more important than ever to understand what different colors, even varieties of a single color like green, do and say inside a room.

 Check out our 12 favorite green paint colors for interiors inside our April issue of RoomPlanners magazine. (Click on the magazine cover (left) or on this link: http://roomplanners.com/pdfs/04-2010.pdf)

(To subscribe to our free monthy magazine, visit www.roomplanners.com).

M & M, "Green", Mars Incorporated

What’s good about the color green isn’t just its connection to healthy vegetables and the planet. Turns out green is good for a balanced state of mind and poise, among other things! It even treats nausea, claustrophobia and over-active kids.

And who would know more about the color green than some very famous green folks… Kermit, Shrek, Green M&M, Green Giant, the Incredible Hulk, Gumby and Oscar the Grouch.

Find out more about green color psychogy and green color symbolism from the folks who know it best… in our April issue of RoomPlanners magazine.

 http://roomplanners.com/pdfs/04-2010.pdf

To subscribe to our monthly magazine (free), please visit www.roomplanners.com

If you’ve ever shopped for green paint colors, you probably concluded that there’s more variety in paint colors than there is in nature. That’s a scary thought! So we thought we’d try to simplify things a little.

Take our what’s your green style quiz inside our April issue of RoomPlanners… then check which green hue you’re most suited to! Click on the magazine (left), or on this link: http://roomplanners.com/pdfs/04-2010.pdf.

To subscribe to RoomPlanners magazine (it’s free!), go to www.roomplanners.com.

Attic Heirlooms, by Broyhill Furniture

Country-style rooms are typically painted vegetable colors… tomato, straw, denim and other paint colors the Waltons would have loved.  Appropriate too, given that the country was the birthplace of vegetables in the first place. But one of the quickest ways to give simple, worn-down furniture (or worn-down people who’re up for a simple change) is with a can of white paint.

White paint was birthed by early 20th century modernists. Tired of Victorian clutter and drama, they wanted to lighten up a little (a lot, actually)… and white paint did the trick. One hundred years later, it’s working again, this time to lighten up rustic rooms.

The beautiful thing about white paint is that it brings furniture into really sharp focus so we can appreciate its shape and texture more. Notice in this dining room how good the ladderback chairs, table and sideboard look against the pristine walls. The  room feels fresh, light and even slightly contemporary. Even the old-looking rug looks fresh and stands out.

As a side note, the furniture shown here (Attic Heirlooms) is one of my personal faves. It  mixes painted and natural wood finshes so it’s a little less matchy-matchy. Those casual straw-seat chairs are causal and that bench is pure fun. This collection has been around for a while and is still pretty popular, so it shouldn’t be hard to find if you’re in the market for new furniture.

For more info on the dining room, visit www.broyhillfurniture.com.

Painting just one wall in a room a strong color is awfully tempting. If we’re reluctant to paint the entire room a color that’s just a litte too memorable, painting just one wall can seem like the perfect solution.

But changing colors between walls within a room is tricky. More often that not, the room ends up looking choppy and abrupt. But in the case of this dining room, the amber-colored accent wall  worked perfectly. Here’s why!

The accent wall color has something in common with the other walls. The amber color (right) and old gold color (left) are both warm… in fact, they sit right next to each other on the color wheel. They’re also similar in value – meaning the amber color is darker than the old gold color, which is only right for an accent wall…  but only slightly  making the transition less shocking.

The key furniture in the room is placed against the accent wall. The sideboard was placed directly in front of the accent color. It always works better to create a scene in front of the accent color – it sort of reinforces why the accent color is there.  In this case, since the sideboard wasn’t tall or big, artwork and accessories were added above to build up its size and importance, helping it stand up to (and even hide some of) the strong hue.

The accent color is repeated around the room. The amber color is picked up on the curtains on the adjacent wall. It has sort of a balancing effect. It’s also seen in the artwork and accents on the table.

The furniture can stand up to the accent color. One of the things we’ve got to love about all the dark brown furniture in vogue right now (since there’s so much of it!) is that it holds its own against bright colors. Case in point here; the furniture isn’t swallowed up by the wall color. It’s one step darker yet, and the accent wall simply creates a backdrop for it.

There’s plenty of daylight to offset the darkening effects of an accent color. A lot of light isn’t necessary if a dining room is used just for dining. But for most of us, the dining room can be a multi-purpose room; a large window helps balance a dark color.

Here’s a good example of how to use white paint in a classic dining room without it looking too stark or modern!

The classic look of this dining room comes from the design of the dining room furniture (especially that Greek klismos-inspired chair) and some pretty strict symmetry (the Greeks and Romans loved their symmetry…  everything on one side of the room mirrored on the other side). Notice the very definite center reinforced with the artwork and wall sonces centered on either side of the chandelier.

But the room gets a few updates that make it feel fresh and contemporary.

First, all that white paint is pure modern! But notice how carefully it’s used. The symmetry is reinforced with the center panel painted white to highlight the centered artwork. But the cafe au lait color (Benjamin Moore #1077) above the white dado warms up the room (the colors were picked up from the rug).

The furniture finish is also darker than most classic furniture (nearly black), giving it a more contemporary feel.

The only thing I’d have changed are the light fixtures. I like the centered chandelier with the wall sconces on either side, but I’d have looked for something simpler – an alabaster glass lamp (with coordinating wall sconces) would have been more classic and more contemporary (like the room), rather than the shaded lamps.  Here are two possible alternates that I like for this room.

 
On the left, this classic chandelier coordinates with the furniture, but adds a more classic feeling with the alabaster glass lamps. Source: LampsPlus, Valmont Collection. $299.99.  #67177.
On the right, definitely more modern! But the black furniture, contemporary artwork and white walls could handle it. Source: Lamps Plus, Possini Euro. $399.99.
For more home decor ideas, download our free magazine at www.roomplanners.com
Glenwood Pub Table & Barstools, by Ashley Furniture

Instead of the contemporary paint colors usually used with very dark brown furniture finishes, the paint color in this dining room by Ashley Furniture feels casual – perfect for the higher height pub table and bar stools.

Denim blue, khaki and white colors come off as cool and relaxed as a pair of khakis or jeans and a t shirt… sort of like living in a Gap store! But the furniture and area rug feel cool and urban.

The area rug brings all the colors together… the dark brown furniture, the beige  bar stool seats and the blue walls. (The blue paint color is Behr 560E-3Silver Strand is the name, but it’s really a light denim blue).

Who says contemporary and casual can’t mix!

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