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Improve Your Home with Color

Updated on July 22, 2014

Color can be an inexpensive yet dramatic way to improve your home

Whether you have been living in your home for many years and are considering remodeling or just bought a fixer-upper, improving the total look of the home with color is the least expensive and most dramatic way to make a change. Many people try to renovate one room at a time, but if you are designing on a budget, it is going to be more cost effective to list the improvements for the entire house, room by room, and then list the individual improvements in the order that you want to complete them. Improving your home at the best price is going to involve keeping a notebook for thoughts, color combinations, and shopping lists, so you will be prepared. This keeps you on budget, and also keeps you from getting overwhelmed.

Effects of Color

Beautiful without color
Beautiful without color

Changing color in any room creates a new atmosphere. New color on the walls is a great place to start because wall color really sets the tone and use of light. Painting the trim an accent color adds only pennies to your budget, but looks like a million bucks when finished. The trim accent could be used as a central theme through the home, connecting the different rooms. Remember that the lighter the color, the lighter the room will be and likewise, using a dark color will make the room appear darker. As you can see in the photo above, you don't always need color to make your statement. But the dark brown trim of the wood really sets off the all-white room.

Try this color visualizer at Sherwin Williams. You can upload a photo of your room and "paint" it. Or just learn more about colors.

Easy Color Changes

Improving colors and enhancing the basics of your home can create an amazing new space quickly. For colorful details, use color-matched throw pillows and room rugs. New towels in the kitchen and bathrooms add a new splash of color. You'll find that you can give your home a face lift while spending less than you imagined.

For those who are timid about adding color to their homes, try a very neutral but warm backdrop and set it off with splashes of relatively inexpensive color, such as throw pillows, rugs, curtains, towels. Choose lovely, less common neutrals for the walls: a warm pale cocoa, creamy yellow, pale sky blue, dusty moss. Keep the furniture a light or deep, neutral shade. Then add splashes of coordinating deep or bright colors, little-by-little.As an example, the intro photo shows a plain grey sofa adorned with vivid, multi-colored pillows. Don't spend too much at once or too much on any one item, until you are sure you like it and can live with it.

Neutrals Can Be Bold, Too

If bright colors aren't your thing, don't worry. You can make a bold, intense or delicate statement using mostly neutrals or all neutrals. Layer varying shades and tints of a neutral that you love, whether beige, browns, whites, grey, blacks. Some colors are neutral at times: soft shades of green, blue and yellow can be neutral. Just keep within the tints and shades of the chosen color. Tints are the base color with white added in varying amounts to soften or lighten the color. Shades are the base color with amounts of black added to deepen and darken the color.

Transform a Bathroom or Kitchen on a Budget

The two rooms that any family uses the most are the kitchen and the bathroom. In the kitchen, counter refinishing can step up the entire room while adding a splash guard with tile in front of the sink adds a sense of class. Tile refinishing will be relatively inexpensive for upkeep. The kitchen is a great place to pull out warm colors of gold and greens, using reds and oranges for accents. When you are finished it will be like a brand new kitchen. You can even have your counters refinished in s stone-look finish.

When it comes to the bathroom, be creative and unique because this is your personal room. Since this room is used so often, give it a clean style. Many people have trouble envisioning a bathroom makeover because their tub and tile are in bad shape -- or just an awful color. Not everyone loves a pink bathtub. Most people seem to prefer white tubs and sinks in the bathroom, but the tub color does not have to be white and certainly the tile color does not have to be white. The colors you choose depend on your taste and preferences as well as whether you will be selling your home. For best resale value, keep colors neutral. Tile and tub refinishing is another alternative, which is an inexpensive remodeling technique that will make the room pop! Clean and creative are the basics in making each room look fantastic. Ted Maidla, owner of Green Refinishing Pro in Cary, NC, states that refinishing a bathtub and the tiles in a typical bathroom could be done for around $800, as opposed to a few thousand just to replace the bathtub,

pink azaleas
pink azaleas

Don't Ignore the Exterior of Your House

Curb appeal not only improves the overall value of your home (and your neighbors' homes); it also just makes coming home a wonderful experience. When you've had a long, hard day, a beautiful exterior can brighten your spirits instantly as you drive up, as if the house and yard are smiling to welcome you.

People generally favor neutral colors for the exterior house paint, even more so than for the interior colors. Stick with neutrals, but try to make your house stand out a little from the rest. Pale sage or taupe are good and a little less common. A creamy yellow will also set your house apart without seeming garish. White trim is good on a creamy yellow house, but you could go a bit bolder using a deep burgundy or chocolate brown trim on a sage house.

If you like bright colors, add a garden flag, colorful flower pots or other pottery. Again, keep it simple and understated -- just a pop of bright color.

Don't forget the landscaping! That is part of the curb appeal, and a great way to add color. Flower beds and potted flowers are one way to add lots of bright colors without offending anyone. If gardening is not your thing or you have no time, go with easy-care plants that add color. A good landscaper can give you ideas for what grows well in your area, and can add variety and color throughout each season. Busy people are often better off hiring a landscaping and lawn maintenance company to maintain the lawn, shrubs and other foliage.

Beautiful Brights

Beautiful and bright-colored
Beautiful and bright-colored

Unusual and Bright Combination - But it works...

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