A shift in decorating

Anyone who's been to my house knows that I am not afraid of color. I have bright red, yellow and blue walls in different rooms in my house. Orange, too! I have a lovely olive-y green sofa and a teal colored desk. I have always routinely gravitated toward the brighter, showier prints and colors. If it's white I'll probably pass right by it and focus on the highlighter pink items. I've torn page after page after page of interesting, colorful layouts of homes from magazines. It's an obsession to fill my house with color.

I don't lean toward beige's or taupe's or other muddy brown colors. They seem so, I don't know, brown. I just can't get into them. It's the same for white walls and white furniture.
B-O-R-I-N-G. Who wants to live in a sterile looking environment when there are so many color choices out there. The people at Ralph Lauren and Home Depot aren't sitting around developing new colors like 'Racer Pink' and 'Bicycle Yellow' for no reason.

But (there's always a but, isn't there?), I bought a lovely woven jute rug for my living room this weekend and the color is the gorgeous wheat-grass-blowing-in-the-summer-wind color. I feel like the beach should the view from my window (not my neighbor's house just a feet away) or that the sand is just a few steps away. That rug? Is so brown. BUT! It's so refreshing and clean looking and not jarring like the teal blue rug I did have in it's place. It tones down the green sofa and makes it calming.

As I was admiring my new sofa/rug combination an odd thought came to mind. Why don't I paint the living room wall a nice crisp white. I know. TRUST ME I KNOW. I see the irony here. Start with a brown rug and work my way toward sterile white. WTF, man. I practically slapped myself silly, especially when I recalled how many MANY coats of red paint I applied to those walls.

So, here's my dilemma and maybe you bloggy people can help me. I really am gravitating toward white and clean and orderly and I am seriously considering painting the walls white, or something equally light. But I want the look to feel comfortable and clean and modern, not sterile and boring. I want it to glow and feel inviting, not stark. How is that look achieved? I can't just slap on some white or light colored paint and hope that the room feels complete. Surely there's more to it. What gives a light colored room depth and color without the obvious color on the walls?

Oh, Internet, won't you help me?


Raven said...

I wouldn't go white, I'd go a nice cream or antique white. Then, I'd layer textures and tones on top of that with your accessories and pillows, throws and curtains. Think linens, silks, heavy cottons and nubby fabrics. Something to give depth and a cozy feeling.

Then, I would pick a accent color and sprinkle it here and there via artwork. If you really want a beachy feel you could go with sea glass as an inspiration... or those glass float things, wrapped in rope?

Candles are always great.

Elizabeth said...

Raven said exactly what I was going to say. Paint the walls cream, make your major furniture pieces neutrals, and then pick an accent color (aqua or yellow?) and add it in with vases and pillows and trinkety objects and plants and candles and art and such. Someday I am really hoping for that look for my living room myself - nice neutral mellow furniture, some gold and silver finishes, and then pops of color with the accessories.
The major down side with all of this is that more white you have the dirtier it can get with a kid - but for a living room I think it will be ok.

Melissa said...

I say leave the walls the color they are! Add a HUGE painting (or something similar) in shades of white (think whispy clouds) accent pillows like Raven said.

MommaMo said...

You could always try the "hotel sheet" look - take a creamy/antique white and do it in flat and semi-gloss vertical stripes. Still light and airy but some detail that is appealing and doesn't smack you in the face.

TUWABVB said...

I love your idea to return to basics - I think a lot of home decor suggestions that I have seen agree with you. I'm not really good at this stuff (I just do whatever Raven tells me to do since I love her taste), and although I might commit murder if I hear the term "a pop of color" on ONE MORE TV show...I totally love her ideas. Cream is much better than white and I think it will give less of a sterile feel which is what you are worried about. The nicest part? You can then update the room when you feel like it with just different accessories instead of redoing the whole shebang! :)

kim said...

i agree with everyone about not going for actually white, but more of an antique or beige, or something along those lines. i dont think its plain and boring, as long as u got good decorating skills (which u do) it will have a clean and refreshing look to it.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the color in your house! It reminds me of my last two homes, and I LOVED all the color. Now? BROWN, BROWN, BORING. Ick.
Anyway, I totally think you should stick with the red. It's so YOU and it's gorgeous. But! If you must, I would agree with everyone else-don't do stark white. How about a pearl white? Something with a little softness to it.

Crazy Mama said...

I'm totally going against this opinion. You should know that I don't do white either. However if it really appealed to me I'd do it, and have. I think that a bright white would be the best. Most houses when built/painted are done in an off white or cream color. Make sure to add plenty of calming(or funky) colors in wall art, pillows, throws, etc. I can't wait to see whatever you may come up with. Also get a good primer to cover the red should you decide to change it :)