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June 10, 2010

500 Designer Color Favorites: Color for a Sunny Room

Our second to last chance to win House Beautiful's new bookazine, 500 Favorite Paint Colors ($9.99 at bookstores now) has arrived.  The reviews keep coming in on this Color Bible and it is an incredible guide for color and paint ideas.

Here's a peek into the bookazine and your chance to score a bookazine for yourself!

Page 104.  House Beautiful asked Designer Jan Showers her secrets to making a Southern exposure work well with color.  Here's her design expertise:

P104_HawthorneYellow_Jan Showers

Jan says there is NO rule when it comes to color for a South facing room and used a glaze to make the room special.  Two part question:  Do you agree with Jan?  What is the most interesting technique in paint or color that you've done, seen done, or can imagine?

Remember, the answer(s) I find most interesting will win a copy of House Beautiful's bookazine, 500 Favorite Paint Colors.  Let the creativity and word play flow!


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I have a living room which is "creamy white" with 8 ft pocket doors which open to a dining room which is "pink cloud" Very open and airly, pretty but chic. Lots of ivory velvet, soft blue greys and flax colored belgian linen. But a bit tough to decorate the walls and keep the calm vibe. So, I did a 30" x 40" impressionistic painting of big white wooley sheep on a pink cloud background for the wall of the living. It looks like we might have gotten the painting then decided to paint the dining room, rather than the other way around. And if you are not "artistic" you can just paint a giant canvas the color you want to pull out and put a fun dot in the center, and call it art. Bottom line is, go for it. I have already won the mag so my idea is just to share. Personally I am very impressed with the one above mine, with the plastic knife! Very ingenious!

Isn't it amazing how color change change a wall, a room, and your life? As soon as I finish one painting project, I start obsessing about the next one. My brain reads like a fan deck. BM of course. Would love to get Hawthorne Yellow into my life.

Did a guest bedroom in a neutral beige and used a version of Frottage to add three color glazes, lighter beige, darker tan, and a slight golden beige to "age" it, especially in corners and under windows etc. Guess it was successfully aged, as a contractor who came in to install floors asked about the "water damage to the plaster"!
Next "project" will probably be a strie glaze of Pigeon Gray over blue in the living room!

I'm building a new house and love following the blog to get ideas for different paint colors in my rooms. Thanks for the great tips.

No rules! True freedom is the platform for creativity. Awesome designs break the rules. The most interesting technique I can imagine is treating the space like a Rothko painting and overlaying many transparent colors to produce an ethereal sensibility. A good design is like a 3D painting you can walk through!

Thanks again to everyone for the fabulous commentary!
And the winners are…

Sarah@liveloveshop- I laugh each time I read your description, so you’re definitely a winner here!

Sherry Mackay offered us sound advice and a bit of adventure with the idea of stripes using glaze

Paula Pavlik-Douglas has matched color on walls to a family dog. Enough said. You win!

Dawn DiLorenzo is breaking the rules, in love with Aura, and so confident!!

K. Orr, I love your loyalty to color and outright candor on the topic at hand, so I hope you’ll always read along and that the bookazine will help!

@Cindy. Wow. The patience it must have taken to get all your lines straight… You are seriously color confident and so detail oriented! You’ve got to read the last House Beautiful post I’m putting up today—you’ll relate to the concept!

Dawn Westad, the ocd it must have involved sounds like something I can relate to and would probably try sometime in the near future. (really sounds lovely!)

Cathy, in a world with no rules, you’ve come up with some good guidelines! I hope you try that wallpaper stencil look—it would be great using Benjamin Moore’s Metallic Glaze for the pattern!

Elaine Rushlow, you win, too since you pulled an all nighter to get your perfect paint technique done.

Okay, there’s ONE last chance today to win House Beautiful’s 500 Favorite Paint Colors Bookazine, so check out today’s post and tell your friends who are looking for answers to their burning color questions to win their own copy!

Thanks for the inside scoop about Marilyn's dress. It's a wonderful story. I have always wondered how they come up with the names of colors.

Jan is so right! Throw out the rule book already! Depending on where you live, the light can be so different. I'm in the pacific Northwest, and we get a lot of dreary rainy days. I've gotten so many compliments on our Wythe Blue kitchen-dining room. Depending on weather and time of day, it changes gradually through a range of greenish-blue shades-perfect for an ocean-lover like me!!!!
As for paint effect-I've always wanted to try the strie effect.maybe one day....

Were were sent one copy of this magazine to our Benjamin Moore color station! I would love one for home! The one rule I have for a south facing room is to be careful with YELLOW! So Jan, you have solved my rule by toning down your yellow. I absolutely love it! I too wear two different color lipsticks at all times...today "satin" with "nude" over it. As a former faux finisher, the most awesome technique I've done is a dining room in red venetian plaster! Just spectacular! I will send anyone a pic if they want to see it. Thanks, Danielle

Well I totally agree there is no rule...you have to take every aspect of the room into consideration and what mood your trying to create. I alaways mixing cans of paint together to get just the look I want. Mind you its a nightmare if I have to buy more for touch ups! Hmm the most interesting well seriously I painted a whole kitchen deep purple on the top half (everything else was white) and then spent all night with a plastic knife "skritching" in dabs of pink and green and white to make it look sort of shooting stars going around the top half. Sounds funky I know but it actually did not look bad and it gave me a custom look that matched the tiles in the backsplash. Hey I would love to recieve your book I am strong supporter of Benjamin Moore my store is the best its in Newcastle!!

I agree there aren't any rules about paint colors period!! It is all what you want to do and using colors that give you energy, or relax you and inspire!!
I haven't done too many techniques, but the one I loved was on the old Trading Spaces. The Italian look. I can't remember what it was called, but they put the color on, and then made it look old world and then put another coat on the make some areas look shiny and others dull. I wish I could be more articulate. But it was impressive

I agree with Jan that there is no rule for color for a South-facing room, and in fact,my South-facing living room is yellow. I painted the walls and the ceiling with Aurora Sparkling Sun (2020-30), and the effect is delicious. The color looks like a ripe mango and is lovely all times of the day and night (no unpleasant surprises with changes in the light).
The most interesting painting technique I've used is in the dining room, where the 9' walls are Aquarium Blue (2058-50) up to the 8' line, where I've installed half round molding painted in alternating 3" stripes of black and white, and the wall above the molding and the ceiling is Summer Blue (2067-50). The black and white molding mimics the floor that I painted with black and white stripes using the oak floor boards as my guide. Each stripe is 3 board widths, about 6-3/4". I love my colors now and will never be shy of bold color again. Check it out!

I agree with Jan, the only rule is that YOU like it - and paint is so easy to change, so there is never a big risk! Do what you like and you can never go wrong.

One tip that I use when I'm choosing a paint color:
Sunny South Facing Rooms - I always choose a bit grayer and darker than the color I "really" want.
Darker North Facing Rooms - I always go one shade brighter and lighter than the color I "really" want.

One technique that I really LOVE, is painting a wall with a stencil to look like wallpaper. I haven't tried it yet, but I think it would look amazing on a feature wall...and so much less work than wallpaper when it comes time to changing to the look.

Saw an article once on a designers dining room, and the technique was amazing. Something only a designer would do and have the patience for. The walls were orange, yep orange, and twelve coats of it topped off with two coats of glaze. The effect was like they were made of colored glass or china, and it looked so elegant with the lighter colored curtains, dark wood furniture, and more neutral accessories. Very pretty, and perfect for someone with bold tastes and who loves colors.

I would LOVE to own this book....#1-I have no idea if Jan is right that's why I need this book so that I can learn more. #2-The best paint technique I have used is from an older BM paint book and it was how to paint clouds on your celing.We used this technique about 11 years ago in our first baby's nursery and it was beautiful,we had many people tell us how much they loved it. I don't have the book anymore it got ruined in a flood in our basment :o(.

I love Benjamin Moore paint, that's all I use. I have ALL of the BM paint fan decks and I love to look at them all but I am always unsure how and where to use them right.I also love watching Cityline to see how they use the BM colours. I am always amazed when I go into a BM paint store and they can tell me the different undertone colours in the paint because I don't always see it. Happy to have found your blog :o))

I don't think there are any rules for color. Go with what you love, and you will love it no matter the "rule". I once painted my tiny, wisp of a hallway a dark red (even though the rule is small spaces, light paint) and it was magnificent. So rich and sophisticated. I don't do a lot of paint techniques - I really love a rich, velvety paint that stands on its own. Thanks Benjamin Moore for making all my projects look fabulous (by the way, I am getting ready to repaint my living room this weekend - love Aurora!).

Ok, in answering the questions....

You hit the nail on the head with the color "choice". I love yellows and golds and find them very easy to live with as well. I have used similar colors in clients' homes and especially with rooms that are darker....but light, natural and artificial, affect each individual's interior with the elements involved from the flooring, furniture, accessories, and ceiling color. The glazing gives the paint color the additional qualities that you may need, like the right shade of lipstick!

There really aren't rules in color - ever. I will say that generally earth-toned colors, and that includes yellow (ochre) look good in sunny exposures because the sun absorbs the color better.

I once painted a family room to match the coat of the family's Golden Retreiver. In fact, I started with the color Golden Retriever and went from there. Incidently, it was a south/west exposure and the adjoining hallway and kitchen was a soft yellow

I LOVE the gorgeous photography and learning curve of COLOR that is shared in this Bookazine. This is an awesome tool for a designer, like me and for the do it yourselfer as well. I would love to share elements of this resource with my readers with "design tips" and absorb the enjoyment that this Bookazine has to offer. I would love to be the recipient! THANKS for the opportunity to comment!

That Hawthorne Yellow is beautiful! I had my South-facing living room painted a bright yellow but grew tired of it very quickly. I am now loving my BM Rawhide CC-302 living room. I agree with Jan...I don't think there is a rule for South-facing rooms but some colours definitely look better than others...like any room...colour is dependent on the lighting, flooring, furniture, and accessories to be used. I would love to be bold enough to paint a room in wide stripes using 2 different paint colours...or the same paint colour with 1 of the stripes in a glaze. Would love to win the bookazine...thanks for the chance!

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