Faded Bluebird

My Color Wheel Is Stuck In Neutral

· Color is a wonderful thing, but it can have a dark side ·

August 21, 2014 5 Comments

Wall color is absolutely the bane and the joy of my decorating life.  It is the bane because I have so many to choose from and I love them all. And the joy because once you’ve chosen the perfect one there is nothing more satisfying. But how do you pick the perfect wall color?

Wall color - Magnolia

First consider your style, look at the pieces in the room.  Do you have walnut stains and heavy dark fabrics, or do you prefer soft pastels and painted furniture? Do you have a focal point?   In the room above, the furniture is fairly neutral itself so it allows for any color to be added, but we chose a color that fits the style and in a shade that makes the allows me to play with accessories, it’s called Magnolia and it is a soft creamy cream.  My painted furniture shows off it’s true colors and my wooden furniture just looks all stately and refined.  The whole room feels, crisp, fresh and clean.

Are You Passive or Aggressive

Certain styles beg for certain colors.  Shabby Chic colors are soft creams and whites,  muted pinks, grays, blues, greens and yellows. While a Farmhouse might be bold reds, yellows, browns and greens, the colors of nature. A bold tangerine might look good in your Moroccan/Bohemian Living Room, but it will fall a bit short of the plate in a Shabby Chic room. But those are the norms and therefor just a guideline.  If you’re a Shabby Chic chick with a deep love and affection for Tangerine, who am I to stand in your way?

br red via pink persim

Source – Ruth Burts

If your goal is to energize the room, the bolder the color the better!  Bold colors make a statement and have presence. They are often better used on an accent wall in smaller rooms as they can easily overwhelm or make the room seem smaller, like the walls are closing in on you especially in the warm exciting tones of Red, Yellow and Orange. But in a large room with a high ceiling, like the picture above from Ruth Burts Interiors warm bold colors is like getting a warm hug from the classiest woman you’ll ever meet.

A neutral wall color is the perfect choice when you’re look for a calm oasis, or if you have several patterns, textures and materials in one room.  It is the background for your home décor and allows those pieces to grab their glory.  Scatter the neutral color of your walls throughout the room in pillows or decor, and then you’ve achieved, “flow”!  I bet you didn’t even know that you were a decorating guru, did you?

Learn To Take A Compliment

The Wall Color is Valspar Bay Waves

The Wall Color is Valspar Bay Waves

But if you have a favorite focal point, that can change the entire ball game! A beautiful piece of furniture deserves its day in the sun!  And there are numerous ways to do this using your wall color.  You can pick a complimentary color in the same soft tone which will highlight the piece but not throw it in your face.  The beautiful green deserves an equally beautiful color to compliment and highlight its color, but not take away from it’s presence.  The large architectural headboard is a presence all its own, it needs a wall color that just sets the stage and fades into the background to allow it to shine!  How do you pick a complimentary or contracting color?  Enter the color wheel!

A Trip Back To High School Art Class

color wheel

Remember the color wheel from High School Art class?  Primary, secondary, tertiary….oh, then warm and cool colors. OH MY! The color wheel is a good tool when looking for guidance, but remember, it’s just a tool and wheels like this leave out my favorite wall color choices…..THE NEUTRALS!  You can go complimentary and choose colors opposite of each other on the wheel, or analogues which are neighboring colors.  And you can’t go wrong with a triad which are 3 colors that form a triangle, like red, blue and yellow or monochromatic with is various shades of the same color.  Don’t forget about the psychology of color!  Yellows are optimistic, orange is cheerful, blues have a calming effect, green is refreshing, purple is luxurious, white stands for purity, red stimulates and excites while pinks are tranquil.

You Don’t Have to Commit Just Yet

Pick a color, any color, then go to your local home improvement store and buy a sample.  Paint an area near your focal point and live with it for several days. Watch the shadows as the sun moves through the room throughout the day, how does the color make you feel? Does it suit the style of your decor?  Wall color is important, it can set the mood, lighten or darken a room, or just fade into the background. It is the one thing that you can do that will immediately change an entire room from blah to OMG!

It’s In The Pink

Give it a go, change your wall color and you just may fall in love with your room again. And remember the psychology of color when adding touches to your room as well. While your husband may not appreciate your touches of pink in the room, and although he might complain that it’s sapping his masculinity, he will do it with a strange kind of calmness that only pink can bring! Besides, if he can get over the glitzy crystal dripping Candleier hanging in a bird cage stand, he can get over a couple of pink pillows!

Front Living Room - Change the look with pillows!

As for me, I’m stuck in the neutrals. I want my wall colors to set the stage and compliment the tranquil decor that will fill the room.  I like my focal points to gently draw the eye and make you feel an overwhelming urge to grab a glass of wine and settle in.  My home relaxes me and I look forward to its calming influence at the end of the work day. Now if I can talk my husband into taking on the duties of a cabana boy, I will be perfectly happy!

Happy Junkin


  1. Reply


    July 8, 2016

    Terrific information!

    • Reply


      March 24, 2017

      Thank you!!!

  2. Reply

    Gail Tilson

    July 7, 2016

    What brand is the Magnolia paint?

    • Reply


      March 24, 2017

      It’s Valspar from Lowes.

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