Monday, May 18, 2015

Treat Your Eyes to a Color Surprise

One thing that makes life exciting is the unexpected: spotting a bluebird in your yard, receiving a thoughtful note from a friend, or discovering a new place to explore. Since surprises are so much fun, why not incorporate a few into your home décor? It’s easy and inexpensive with paint.

Begin by thinking of paint as pure color, like a magic wand you can wave over the plainest item to give it a fresh, vibrant appearance. It’s a powerful notion that will unlock lots of great ideas for your home.

We’ve written often about the visual interest you can create by painting an accent wall or ceiling an unexpected color. But the "five walls" are just the starting point when it comes to the surprise value of paint.

If you’re wanting for ideas, just sit down in a room that needs more pizzazz and carefully observe your surroundings. Chances are, you’ll spot several promising candidates for painting: built-in cabinets, the backs of bookshelves, picture frames, or an old piece of furniture that is begging for new life.

After identifying what you might paint, think outside the box when it comes to color. Very plain objects can be show-stoppers when painted in vibrant tones. And don’t feel that you have to remain faithful to the color scheme in your room. Colorful accents that are a little "off" can provide the visual surprises that make a room more interesting.

In the unlikely event that you can’t find an item of furniture to paint, create one. Drop by a neighborhood garage sale or consignment shop and purchase an old door that has some character. Paint it an unusual color like deep red or teal and use it as the top part of a coffee table or sofa table. By doing so, you’ll inject a colorful conversation piece into your room.

You can employ old, weather-beaten shutters in the same way. Or, hang them on your walls as rustic “artwork” after giving them a fresh new appearance with paint.

Look for ways to introduce color into your rooms that no one would expect. One way to do this is to paint natural objects that ordinarily would not be painted. As examples, consider painting the ends of stacked firewood next to your fireplace in a variety of colors, paint mousy-looking pinecones in bright colors and nestle them in a stylish basket, or display brightly painted rocks in an aged wooden container. Even brightly painted sticks can make a bold design statement when artfully arranged in a favorite vase.

For added impact, paint your surprise décor not with flat paint, but in a reflective, high gloss finish. The happy, playful patina will enhance its allure. You could even go one step further and treat an item of furniture or an accent piece in metallic paint.

So, the next time you have an urge to spice up your surroundings, don’t feel that you have to run out to the nearest mall or home furnishings store. Look around you, use your imagination, and think outside the box. You may be surprised how easy and inexpensive it is to get an exciting new look by using paint color alone!