above photos: by Julian Wass, House Beautiful magazine.
Jeffrey Bilhuber interior.
I would be a very rich man and be able to do whatever my heart desired, if I had a buck each time I heard a client or received an e-mail stating that "I'm afraid of color!"
It's a fear that I try to understand, but don't. I understand color hesitation, color confusion, color dilemma and so forth...but fear? Really?
I've heard more color"horror stories" than I could ever remember and even then, the word "fear" seems inappropriate. Great design and great design choices come from making mistakes. As a matter of fact, I think that all success comes from splendid failure. You have to take risks in order to figure out what works. Playing it safe when choosing color, patterns, texture and the like may create an adequate room but nobody wants an adequate life. Your home should be the best of you.
Color boldness doesn't mean picking a palette that is jarring and uncomfortable to you. It's about making that color you have always loved but were too afraid to use, work! Knowing that you love a certain color but have been too timid to use it in the past, is half the battle. You're almost there. You know you like it, so it's time to "date it!" Use that color with accessories. It's a quick fix and so much easier to return a pillow than repaint a wall. Finding simple ways to challenge yourself without a huge commitment at first is a great way to build your design confidence and get your feet wet.
Make bold choices, within your style and palette, and watch how a sofa you were "done with" starts to feel new & fresh. Even a neutral backdrop can express more vibrancy due to the fact that it's been partnered with some vibrant jewel tones or rich, muted earthy colors. Starting small and experimenting with color will help fine tune your decorating sixth sense. It's in there. I know it! I've seen it blossom in people that didn't think they could pick a lamp shade let alone design a whole room. A whole house!
Now if you're ahead of the curve and color doesn't scare one bit and you scoff at the rest of the world that looks up at the color chip wall in the hardware store with sweaty palms and trembling knees....HERE'S your challenge: Fine tune your gift.
Since color is this incredible well you love to dip into, be a bit more discerning. Experiment with different hues and tones. Mix patterns and styles. Layer a room with different hues of the same color palette. Challenge yourself to see how you can transform space and light with just color.
Color is one of the most impressive and monumental ways you can transform your home. It can change everything about the way you feel, live and move in a room. Fear is too strong and too negative a word to be applied to something so transforming and positive. Save it for flying unicorns...who came up with that idea? Scary!