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How to Date Color.

Love the bold, bright colors you see in designer magazines but aren't ready to commit to painting that entire wall sunset orange? I feel you. This post is all about faking bravery when it comes to welcoming loud shades into that blah beige-filled room you keep glaring at. Perhaps you're even sitting in it now. The good news is that it's possible to obtain the same lively POP effect without marrying a color forever (or at least until you repaint)...

First things first, if you are the kind of someone who has no problem confidently purchasing a trendy chartreuse couch or wallpapering in that giant fleur de lis pattern, then I enviously commend you. I'm just not part of your club. A downside to that kind of a purchase is that unless you're able to replace or recover as often as you'd like, you're really limiting yourself when the updating bug hits. My personal (and friendlier on the pocket) option is to cling to safer, more simple shades and designs when choosing your most expensive pieces in a room. My advice for staple items like couches, bed frames, that large shelving unit in your living room? Find whatever classic suits your fancy. Eggshell, camel tan, black, mocha brown, crisp white – go boring nuts.

Couch ImagePillowsBedside table

Now comes the fun part. Close your eyes and picture your dream version of the room. What color popped into your head? It is one that makes you feel happy? Adventurous? Dare I say, BRAVE? Good. Because it's time to freckle it throughout the room like fancy sprinkles on an empty cupcake. And perhaps you don't have that perfect, lion-hearted color in your head before you head out to shop hop, garage sale, or item hunt - and that's okay. Because it might just find you. I have decorated many a room around a statement piece that called to me and it can actually be the easier way to build a color scheme - and eventually a room - that you can't wait to have guests walk into. Examples of these can be a wall painting, lamp shade, a curtain fabric, throw pillow, coffee table centerpiece - heck, even a coffee table! And don't be afraid to go for that one brilliant thing that you'd normally whisper, "Ooooo, this is a fun color. I'm going to pick it up and stare adoringly at it for a minute before I move on." NO. Heroically put it in your basket and then love that it's coming home with you. Whether it's a bright, floral throw for your couch, or a majestic, turquoise horse for your dining room table, this is what your new room is all about. Pull the colors (or color) from it and find them in different decorations wherever you go. These will supplement your statement piece and carry the color throughout the room. Candles, pictures, table coasters, floral arrangements, rugs, tiny glass birds... consider the world your decorating oyster.

If you're having trouble with this, worry not, my friend. Making your own touches can be a really amazing way to have the space be extra unique and extra you. Head to a craft store and find paint that matches or pulls out your new favorite color in that gorgeously striped area rug. Grab yourself a few thrift store frames in various sizes that compliment your look and go to town with a paint brush on your self-proclaimed art day. Come to think of it, while you're at the thrift shop, breeze over to the book aisle and see if you can spot yourself any dusty oldies that mimic the lavender you're loving. Even if they're shades off of what you're looking for, if they fit somewhere into the color pallet, bring them home and watch how stacking them effortlessly under a clock or framed photograph can light up any end table or nightstand. Another gratifying way to do-it-yourself decorate is to head to your local fabric store and find boisterous patterns and fun materials to cover old throw pillows with. Sound a little too Martha Stewart for you? Do what I did and saunter your non-sewing self to the fabric glue and toss it in your cart. Works like magic and no one has to know.

BooksPicture FrameFlowers

VOILA! After a bit of successful exploring (and perhaps even crafting!), you've created yourself a room that speaks to you in color without frightening the commitment pants off your heart and wallet. And the best part? When you're feeling itchy and bored of your look down the road, move on and do it with a smile because YOU CAN. Re-evaluate, replace and redecorate away, using the same easy steps to transform an entire room without ever touching its foundation pieces.

I'm currently dating a few shades of purple and green in my living room and we're getting along pretty swell so far. I started with this unexciting brown leather chair and its dark wood table companion. No poof, no pizzazz. I first found the silk hydrangea arrangement and it happily snowballed from there. Before I knew it, there was a rustic green coffee table in the back of my car with vibrant shades of mulberry, pear and pistachio dancing in my head. I later found the throw pillow fabric on sale (JoAnn Fabrics) and within an evening, had the perfect dash of pattern to add to my new look. I kept with the rustic tone by adding in these twin lanterns (Pottery Barn) and wicker baskets (IKEA). And because I'm someone who can’t help but celebrate the lively greens in real plants, I invited a couple of succulent collections to live on my ottoman. This corner and I will be celebrating our year anniversary next month so I'd say it’s getting pretty serious.

Chair Image

Now go get your rainbow on.

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Elementary, My Dear Decorator.
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