Are You Afraid Of Color?

ALT="Debra J Interiors, Chihuly glass"People are afraid of color, and I see this every day in my work.

I am Debra J. Stein, principal of Debra J Interiors, Palm Beach County. I have been a certified interior designer in South Florida for more than 20 years.

When I worked at Bloomingdale’s, I saw the effect that bright and bold colors had on people when they walked through my showroom. More often than not, people gravitated to neutral colors because they are safer.

In my own home, I do have a more neutral palette as the base because I’m surrounded by color all day long. I want my home to be a peaceful sanctuary so I can relax and clear my head of the loudness.

What I do, though, is add a blast of color in an accessory, artwork, sculpture, area rug, or other piece that makes a statement. I never paint an entire room in red, but I do enjoy red accents throughout my home. Pink is a favorite of mine; it’s feminine and makes me happy so I am certain to use pink in my wardrobe and also in the bows I put on my poodles, of course!

Recently, I was in a home that had a very neutral palette. I elected to paint the walls a deeper shade of beige, and the husband was adamant that I change that color because he couldn’t live with that beige.

I encouraged them to allow me to complete the room, and they acquiesced.

By the time I was finished adding custom draperies, an area rug and reupholstered furniture with accent pillows, the new beige on the walls was perfect. The homeowners thought so, too.

People Are Afraid Of Color

Color is a statement of personality. Usually, when I meet homeowners with vibrant personalities, I often find vibrant colors in the home to match. The colors are usually evident in the accessories and adornments throughout the home and not necessarily always on the walls.

Remember my story about my philosophy about interior design?

I listen.

I listen very closely, actually, and when someone tells me they want to branch out or they need an uplift of happiness or energy in their home, I am poised to lead them safely down that path. I never go crazy with color if I know someone is nervous about it; however, I will ensure that I introduce a color palette that works with the homeowners’ favorite things.

If you’re afraid of color, here’s what you might do:

•Take an assessment of the color of your walls and see if the entire house is painted one color only. Are you tired of that monochrome look?

•Determine which room is your favorite space. Can you afford to go out on limb and add some different hues to the place where you spend the most time? This can perhaps be your craft room, reading room, theater, meditation or yoga retreat space.

•Look at the accessories you have in the room; are they splashes of color or neutral, as well? Consider getting bolder with a vase of colored artificial flowers or a piece of modern artwork.

•Go on a hunt for that artwork, rug or sculpture and find something that speaks to you. Buy it and sit with it in your home. Let the colors and message behind the piece wash over you and make you comfortable. Then, add more color to the walls or rug to complement.

•Paint one wall and see how it feels. Maybe you like having one wall painted, or maybe you’d like to continue with the rest of the room. Paint is the cheapest form of entertainment in life; it’s never permanent! So, let your hair down and try a new hue.

I don’t believe people truly understand the effect color has on the psychology of the human mind. In the 1980s, the new women’s health centers that were opening up were all painted in mauve and gray, colors that were more soothing and less aggressive.

ALT="Debra J Interiors, South Florida interior design firm, Pantone 2016 color of the year"

Credit: Pantone

Colors of the Year

Each year Pantone comes up with the colors of the year. In 2016, those colors are rose quartz and serenity. The company studies world trends and the pulse of the economy and environment, and it determines which color will fit as the color of the year. This is the first year that the company selected dual colors to represent the company’s picks.

I rarely find that my clients are oriented to color trends that others indicate are trendy. Color is personal, and if you allow me, I will lead you down a color adventure you won’t regret. For sure, it will be one that is dictated by you!