Park City’s Color Concierge
Down-to-earth wisdom about lightening up
Interior designer Branda Northrop has her work cut out for her. As manager of furniture and home décor store Eleganté, she spends her days helping Park City homeowners give the places they love a chic refresh, often using color to make rooms welcoming and liveable. Here are a few of her strategies:
Take Baby Steps
Northrop says that helping a homeowner lighten up is a process. “I first suggest that we use a light, neutral color on the wall. If that’s not possible — for example, in a true log cabin-style home where you don’t want to touch the walls — we’ll start by lightening the floor, adding area rugs and furniture to brighten the space.”
First Stop: Family Room
If you’re not sure where to start revamping your color palette, Northrop advises starting in the family room. “It’s the place where most people spend most of their time. If it’s an open floor plan, you need to employ cohesive ideas throughout the area. Begin by using your new palette throughout the family room, then introduce those colors in small doses in the dining room and kitchen. As you get used to the color scheme you can pull it into other areas of the house.”
Look at What the Space Needs
Which pieces of color go into a room first depends on what the space needs. “I like adding life to a room, so I often start with live plants. Then come the throw pillows, followed by an accent on the coffee table — a vase, a bowl, or something organic that has color running through it. Consider where you’ll get the most bang for your buck, and make sure it’s something large enough to pull the eye in that direction.”
Mix Your Metals
Gold and warm metals have been darlings of the design world for a few years now,
and Northrop says that will probably continue. “So many metals have been introduced, and we’ve already seen gold finishes change from shiny to dull to antique. So while gold is still relevant in design, you have to ask yourself which version you want. And realize that mixing metals is really okay:
It’s fine to introduce touches
of silver or bronze in a room with gold tones. Just don’t make a huge commitment to all copper or all silver at the onset of your design.”
Black and White
How does someone who loves color feel about the modern fondness for a stark white-walls-black-trim color scheme? “It’s rampant right now, but it could use a rest. And it’s quite a commitment. When you take a room dark, it’s hard to lighten it up again. We could probably table it for a bit and bring in some warmer woods, for an easier transition that feels more timeless. Not that timeless means forever. Timeless really means, ‘How long until I get tired of it?’”
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