8/1/13

SPEAKING OF COLOR

and a fireplace

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Contrasts are important in design.
New and old.
Hard and soft.
Dull and shiny.
Dark and light.

It is what makes a room unforgettable.

Hi Claudine:  I recently found your website C.B.I.D. Home Decor and Design.  It is so generous of you to help with color choices and questions your readers have.   Choosing the right color for the space can be challenging to say the least.   Speaking of challenges, I have a question I am really hoping you can help me with.

My husband recently refaced our fireplace.  He installed small subway tiles around the opening and Carerra marble for the hearth.  The door surround is a very dark grey with a hint of brown.  The tiles looked whiter before install but after install look like a very pale grey which is why I chose the Carerra marble for the hearth.  I am now at the point where I have to choose a paint color for the fireplace.

...The trim and wall color in both rooms is Benjamin Moore Cloud White and the walls are CIL Shadowbox which I have read the Benjamin Moore equivalent is Revere Pewter.  I do not want to have to paint the walls another color and want to leave them as is for now.

I am not sure if I should go with a light to medium grey or darker to make the subway tile and marble colors pop and tie in the color of the door.  I am not sure if this would look too dark though.   The other option is to paint the fireplace bright white.  What colors would you suggest in either grey or white for the fireplace? 


...I want to inject some color with an area rug, coffee table, pillows and curtains.... I do love robin's egg blue or maybe something a little brighter is needed to offset the beige.  I do get quite a bit of light from the window in the photo during the day but the room gets quite dark at night since there are currently only two pot lights above the fireplace and a lamp in the back corner of the room.   What are your thoughts about the robin's egg blue as an accent with the other colors?

My husband is going to build a smaller box around the t.v. to hide the wires on the side of the fireplace since there is a chimney in the back of the fireplace wall and he cannot run the wires through there.

Any help you can give is greatly appreciated
Thanks so much.  Marcelle Santos


Marcelle, how nice to have a husband who is so handy at DIY!   I do like the wall color.  If it is close to Revere Pewter, it is beautiful.  As for the fireplace,  I feel that a medium dark to dark gray or charcoal would look best with the fireplace.  When I look at the photo above I see two things:  1. All of your furniture and fabric is around the same color value (no extreme darks and lights) and 2. The tv and the fireplace opening are the first things you see.  
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 As everything around the firebox itself is light, the firebox and t.v. tend to be the first thing your eye is drawn to.  Having a darker surround would bring the fireplace and mantle back into focus.   I like the paneling on the back wall on this photo, because it takes the eye up and you can easily hide cords behind it for the t.v.   (Ahem,  handy husband, take note....)
 If you like this look, try Behr Dark Granite


BEHR Dark Granite
Another, not quite as dark color :  BEHR Ashwood.
BEHR Ashwood

BEHR Fashion Gray
BEHR Evening Hush


BEHR Ashes
I wouldn't go much lighter than that or your fireplace will just blend in with your wall color.  Paint a few samples on poster board to see how it goes with the wall color.


And.... I know you didn't ask this... but....


Since the fireplace is quite deep, you could have your handy husband build in some bookcases on either side, totally hiding your cords in the process, and have a look something like this...
or this...



You could even bring in your accent color as the background color for the bookcases.



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As for an accent color - the robin's egg blue is one of my favorite colors, too.  



You may find a pillow or fabric you like that has your color mixed with others, like browns, navy, coral or green that you can add to the mix.  A secondary color can pump up the color volume if you are looking for more color impact.  











Your main accent should be the color you most prefer, and bring in the secondary color/colors more sparingly. 



Darker neutrals will add contrast to your beige palette.


 Good luck!









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