Confused on how to use color? Not sure how to convince your spouse to make a decorating change? Does your new house need redecorating? Nate takes calls to help listeners create their best living space.
"My walls are all white, and my rooms connect to each other. How do I use color?"
When you have the kind of architecture where every room opens to another room, you have to make a commitment that's bigger than most, Nate says. "This sounds crazy, but there are thousands of whites out there—some that are much warmer, some with a cooler feeling." Nate suggests pale tan or khaki with more warmth and depth, and then adding color with window treatments or a pair of upholstered chairs. Choose these colors by looking in your closet and picking out your favorite things to wear. "The way to live in color is the same way that people should dress with color," Nate says.
"The molding in my home is stained oak, which my husband likes and says is maintenance free. How do I convince him to let me paint it white?"
If he's telling you that it's a maintenance issue, to a degree that's true, but even stained wood starts to lose its luster and has to be oiled, Nate says. If you're not caring for it properly, it has about as many steps as recoating it with a quality-based paint does. Nate also says painting molding and trim is one of the easiest things to change, and it actually makes the value of the house go up.
"We're moving to a house that's 25 years old and very outdated. We have $5,000—what's the best way to use that money?"
Use the majority of that budget for paint because if you try to get into construction things, you're going to get into labor costs, Nate says. Give the kitchen cabinets or the vanity in the bathroom a fresh coat of paint. "That's the smartest way that you can update this space," he says. Also, try doing small things that you can easily change yourself, such as changing hardware on cabinets.
Published on June 25, 2008