Erin Kelly
Special to the Bonanza

Back to: News
July 4, 2012
Follow News

Tahoe home improvement: Choosing the right colors for you

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Start with exploring color. View exteriors that have curb appeal to you. What colors catch your eye or make you feel good while shopping or dining out. Notice the colors in your favorite movie or magazine. Have a favorite shirt or accessory that particularly draws you in with color? Or look at the possibilities of nature? Let’s look at the greens of foliage, the yellows and oranges of sunrise, the purples and pinks of Alpen glow, the beiges and grays of the sand and rocks, and the multitude of blues in the evening sky.

Keep playing with the colors that attract your eye and make you feel good. Bring these colors into your space with color fan decks, material, samples of wood stained, a rug, towel, quilt or pillow. Live with the colors for a while and see how they change in the light and your mood.

Get some color swatches from your local paint store and keep shifting them around until you find a palette that makes you feel good. Sometimes by shifting color you will notice the shade of one color is not agreeable; however, if you step up or down in tone it may turn out to be perfect.

Like one color? Good. Start from there and take subtle differences of the color, then add color like you would add flowers to an arrangement continuing until it appeals to the eye and makes you smile and feel good. Don’t rush this process as your moods play a role in choices. On Saturday you may love a certain blue and by Thursday despise it. Live with the color and explore the sustainability of it in your life.

Rule of Thumb about color, if the environment is monotonous, dull, lacks stimulation, and no variety it tends to cause restlessness, lack of focus and irritability. On the other hand, too much stimulation with strong colors, vivid patterns and bright colors can cause both physiological and psychological reactions causing increase in heart rate to mental confusion and stress.

Weigh-in your results. Is your palette balanced? Do you feel harmony? Have you gone with the latest trend or what really makes you feel comfortable? Could you add a piece of painted furniture to off-set wood pieces? Would one wall accented punch the room up with more life? Can you live in this room? Most important enjoy color, allow it to breathe and define you.

“Contrast and harmony are the key design principals along with evaluating the quality of light, location, climate, architecture , and the creation of unity and balance. It’s a big job for those interested in having an ultimate living experience where life flows and well-being is maintained. I love my job and the magic of color,” remarks Erin Kelly, happy to be helping her clients find their color personalities.

— Erin Kelly is a color consultant with Kelly Brothers and Painting, located in Truckee. Learn more at

Stories you may be interested in

Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Jul 4, 2012 04:02PM Published Jul 4, 2012 04:01PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.