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Personal style and color power

The focus in decorating homes with color is to create a comfortable mood that is harmonious with our environment.

The first question in a decorating consultation appointment is, “How do colors influence you and why?”

Some clients want to tone things down and want subtle statements of color. Others want to rev things up.



The search for “feel-good” colors is expanding from off-whites and taupes to warm, muted, bright-primary hues, light pastels and ever-popular earth tones.

Many times, a client’s personal style or color choices reflect successful, peaceful, happy memories.




Colors express style and feelings, such as:

• Rustic and restful: Paprika, green-leaf tea, latte, golds and buttercream.

• Pale and poetic: Translucent pinks, sky blues, sensuous peaches and lavender.

• Traditional and comfortable: Burgundy, blues including navy, off-white, cool hunter greens and black; colors with cool undertones.

• Textured and adventurous: Soft suede, copper metal faux, weaves and glazes

• Color of the day and upbeat: Aqua blue, deep brown, cherry red and citrus

• Environmental and warm: Sage, river-pebble browns and grays, caramels, muted coral red and semi-precious stones.

Color to express

“Color power” is found in personal expression.

Spa colors like turquoise, teals and clear blues are great in bathrooms because of our innate need to pamper ourselves.

The terra cotta red dining room, caramel yellow kitchen, sage green den and peach-touched bedroom should blend harmoniously in soft tones of paint and fabric – accenting with companion-printed fabric valances, stationary draperies, iron and wood drapery rods, pillows, artwork, area rugs, personal collections and possibly new paint on a feature wall.

Paprika walls with caramel-tone printed fabrics and accents can open into a room with butter-vanilla walls and spicy-brick printed fabrics.

Light, creamy ceilings present an open, warm comfortable feeling.

For an entry, a rich, eggnog color offers a feeling of walking into sunshine.

Working with color also can be challenging. For instance, yellows, creams and apricots seem to be from the same palette, but when they’re on different walls, they’re nothing alike. Depending on each room’s light, varying degrees of orange should be blended with yellow to create cheery sunshine effects. Translucent soft-peach tones are embracing and can complement our skin tones.

Color experts are predicting 2008 to be a year with soothing blue paired with yellow-beige, browns and different values of greens. We also see aqua and spice-reds being used with Asian and Indian-inspired design.

Wall finishes, whether smooth or heavily plastered, also are important with design and color.

Although the economy and world events could have pushed us to use conservative, even somber tones, we’re now seeing a surge in the use of warm, embracing colors that uplift us, colors that appear fresh and infused with light.

A Shade Above Interiors has received over 10,000 local calls to decorate homes and businesses since 1990. Our “Down-to-Earth” decorating ideas are well known throughout the community. Let us “color your world” with beautiful new paint ideas, decorating suggestions, discount-priced shades, blinds and shutters, custom draperies, valances, and bedding ensembles (made in our drapery workroom). Sandi and Paul Bernstein were voted Best Interior Designer by Nevada Union readers from 2002 through 2007. Reach them at 272-6161.


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