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Shopping and Color

by Nikki Willhite

Color has a big impact on our pocketbooks. We buy and discard items because of their color. This is why fashion colors change every year.

One year fire engine red may be popular. The next year it is no where to be found. It has been replaced with shades of burgundy or cranberry. Some years purple is found in shades of violet. The next year we see plum.

When we are shopping and see a clothing item in what seems like an unusual shade of a color, we may wish to purchase it just because is seems new and exciting.

If we are in the home department and see a bright red blender that will match our red pans, this time we may wish to buy it just because of will match other items. If that item of clothing, or that blender were harvest gold or olive green, we probably wouldn't give them another look.

Everyone has color preferences. Everyone is disturbed by colors they don't like, or that seem inappropriate. How many times have you seen home buyers on television view a house with colors that they don't like and say that they just can't evaluate the house because the colors are too distracting. When the same buyers go into a house with colors that please them, one of their first comments is how they like the colors.

As of the writing of this article,  soft green is what many homeowners are painting their master bedroom. In the 70's olive green became the color of choice for both walls and carpets throughout the house. Then green disappeared for a long time. When it came back it was a softer green and a bright kiwi green.

Today home offices are being painted in a shade of blue. Gray is the most popular color for the living areas of the home. It is considered very sophisticated, and it is easy to live with. One of the most popular colors for the accessories in gray rooms is yellow. That yellow is slowly changing to aqua.

In a few years, all of the above will change, and people will once again say "What were we thinking?" Home decor colors will go in another direction. Many will be influenced by these changes, and start repainting their walls and choosing new furniture.

 Guard Your Wallet

If you know the retail world is going to try and influence you by using color, you can plan for it, and guard against it. Color is fun, and there are ways you can still experience new colors without spending a lot of money.

Once again, the key to frugal living with color is the wise use of neutrals. If you keep your walls and the large pieces of upholstered furniture in neutral colors, you can put all of the latest colors in your room with less expensive items, like pillows and throws.

The same thing holds true with your clothing. Keep your basic clothing pieces, such as blazers and skirts,  in neutral colors. Change out blouses and scarves, which cost less money, when you want to add new colors to your wardrobe.

Remember that what is popular today, will be "dated" in the days to come. Choose your colors carefully. Use color with restraint. One accent wall is easier to paint than your whole house. Pillows bring in the latest colors and prints and are much easier on the wallet.
Make the choices that will let you enjoy all the color the fashion world brings to us without letting it hurt your family budget.

About the Author: Nikki Willhite, mother of 3 and an interior design graduate, has been writing and publishing articles on the topic of frugal living for over a decade. Visit her at - where you will find hundreds of frugal living tips and articles. Frugal Happy Families- more than just money! 

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