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    Interior Motives: Fresh paint, fresh start
by Joseph Rice
2009-03-04


Note: With most of us "staying put" in our present homes, and contemplating minor decorating changes like painting, I have chosen the following letters to address two of the most common problems encountered with clients who want to paint.

Dear Joe:

After living with "landlady white" walls in rented spaces for so many years, I'm ready to put some color on the walls of my new condo. I think I've got a good plan; variations in soft colors to go with my artwork and furniture. My problem is trusting the color chips. I don't want to make an expensive mistake. So you think I can trust the sample chips?

Pete

Read more story below....

Dear Pete:

Generally, the paint chip samples are accurate.

The problem that usually occurs is that the color looks different when it goes up on the walls. This can be due to various factors ( including wall texture ) , but most often it is the lighting.

Colors look different depending on the light source. A color can look entirely different at night under incandescent light than during daylight hours. Even during the day, the color will change depending on the position of the sun. Sometimes a color will look different depending on the location of the room or even the location of the wall within a room.

The best way to avoid costly errors is to buy small samples of the paint and try them out on the walls. Be sure to apply two coats to get the true color. You can often buy pint sizes of your selected color. Some companies like Benjamin Moore make it even easier by offering small sample bottles of the various colors. It is obviously a lot less expensive to experiment with samples than to buy a gallon or more, only to discover that you don't like the end result.

When I work with clients on the color selection for their walls, I always suggest that they buy a sample and try it out first. I tell them to test the color on all of the walls in the room and to look at it at different times of the day and night. Recently I even had a client bring her artwork to her new unfinished house to test it against the wall colors until we were satisfied with our selections.

Taking the time to test paint colors can save a lot of money and disappointment!

Dear Joe:

My living room walls need to be painted. After many years of no color, I would like to use a peach this time. A friend says that peach is "definitely out" and I should be looking at green tones. The sofa in the room is a floral print with both of these colors. I just can't seem to get into green walls, but I don't want the room to look dated. What is your advice?

Peachy Gal

Dear Peachy;

I never advise my clients to use a color in decorating just because it is "in style."

Color is a very personal choice. I can't think of a faster way to create an uninviting atmosphere for yourself than to paint the walls in a color that you don't like. Remember that you will be looking at these walls for many years to come. They will set a tone that will affect your mood every time you walk into the room.

You need to paint the walls in a color that makes you feel good! If your heart's desire is peach, then paint the room peach! There are many different shades of this color and one of them could add a fresh twist!

Don't let trends dictate your decorating choices!

Please send your questions to jos.riceinteriors@att.net . In the subject box, fill in "WCT Design."

Joseph Rice is an interior decorator who offers full decorating services. With 25 years of experience, he specializes in hard-to-treat windows. You can contact him at 773-271-2361, through his Web site ( www.josephriceinteriors.com ) or at the above e-mail address.

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