Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Do you suffer from color phobia?

Jotun decorative paintsImage via Wikipedia
For some slapping a coat of paint on a wall is a funky adventure and an expression of style and color.
For others, paint colors, types and choices are a terrifying commitment to change that they are just not willing to undertake. These are lovingly referred to as the “color phobes.” There are also those that take their phobia to the extremes, no color on the walls and certainly very little color in the overall décor. As an Interior decorator, I am always shocked at how little people are willing to do to break away from their comfort zone.

So how do we correct this condition? Taking the mystery out of paint is key to at least getting a color phobe out of their shell and to tap into their creative side. Paints basically come in a few finishes, glossy, semi gloss, satin, and flat/matte. Which should be used for what? Glossy is durable and can stand up to moisture, can be washed, has a longer drying time and is great for cabinets and furniture. Semi gloss is seen often in kitchens and bathrooms for resistance to moisture and easy to wipe clean. Satin has a sheen as well and is also seen in kitchens, kids rooms and bathrooms. Flat and matte, great for walls that have imperfections. Due to the low reflective quality of flat paint, marred and damages walls will not be highlighted with flat paint. Now that dealt with the different finishes, in part so we have taken some of the mystery out of paint finishes at least, right?

The other problem is society screams that one should not dare paint any wall a color other than beige. Daring not to be neutral is scary, but can it be done? Should it be done and when should you do it? All good questions a color phobe may be pondering. When should you try a color that is on the wild side? Well that is up to you, if you aren't planning on selling your home there are a few risk free places to give color a go. Closet interiors, children's rooms and hall ways come to mind. Look around your home for some inspiration. Breaking free from color phobias requires baby steps, so try small spaces first.

Should bold colors be done at all in your home? Well again, if you aren't planning on selling, why not? Worse case scenario, you have to repaint, but at least you gave it a go, and that is important when you are afraid to take color risks. Perhaps your phobia should be toned down to colors in décor first. Bold sofa pillows, drapes or an area rug may help coax you out of your fears of using color. It may also tap into a creat at is in your home and just address the colors in or on it. Use that as your inspiration. Sometimes you discover your artistic side and that starts off a chain of events that frees up your mind, and your heart. Removable décor that has bold color statements are easy ways to break out of dull lifeless schemes and a safe way to address the problem.

Painting is only a cosmetic change, it's not a life time commitment. No more than changing your hair color is, which to some is equally daunting. Truth is, it's only color people. If painting is too scary, try the other suggestions mentioned here and see if there's a sleeping artist inside, chances are there is.
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