Frugal Color Choices
by Nikki Willhite
As of this writing (2016) there should be no confusion what colors to use in
your home. You paint the walls a light gray, buy a gray sofa and then
throw around a few pillows in aqua or yellow. Should you want to paint the
outside, you paint it gray with white trim.
Is it any wonder that decorators can tell you
almost to the month when a house was remodeled? Why are so many creative
people doing exactly the same thing and how does it affect you and your ability
to be frugal?
I can't explain the lack of variety in today's
decorating world. What I do know, though, is when the tide changes, if you
want to be up-to-date, you are going to have to make some changes that will
affect your pocketbook. You need to be careful about the colors that you
choose for your home.
We spend most of our decorating budget on the finishes
in our home. Decorating finishes include items like cupboards , countertops, back
splashes, flooring, and faucets. There are some materials used for finishes that
have around for so long they are classics. Subways tile, which is used in
both kitchens and bathrooms, is an example of one of them. The more
classic materials we use in our home, the longer it will stay "in style."
Wood has remained popular through the years, but
the color of the wood, and the size of the boards has changed. Wood
flooring can have very wide planks or it can be narrow strips. With the
popularity of the distressed style today, hand scraped wood flooring is
very popular. Wood flooring with a gray finish is also popular.
The safest choice for a laminate or wood flooring
that will stay in style longer is a medium shade of brown. Stay away from
floors that are either too rustic or too shiny if you are concerned about style
When it comes to purchasing furniture you will be
limited by the available colors. Usually there is more than one neutral
color available. Gray is a good color for furniture. The eye does not tire of
gray, and you can use other colors with it to get the mood you want.
If you don't want gray for your upholstery, choose another neutral, like beige
Have you ever noticed how pretty "staged" rooms
are? That is because they are always staged with white furniture. The white
sofas and chairs bring in more light, and make rooms look fresh and clean.
They are also a great backdrop for accessories.
While white may be a great design color, it is not
a color you want to live with. White furniture doesn't last long looking
well in the average household.
If you buy a red sofa, you will eventually tire of it. You are better off
buying a gray or beige sofa and placing red pillows and throws on it.
When you tire of the red, you can easily remove it.
Having said that, if you are a person that has favorite colors,
don't worry about color fatigue or the design world. Use them! If you have always
wanted your living room done in a soft yellow color scheme and you want a floral
yellow sofa, go for it if you have the money. Look around for a store that
does custom upholstery.
Take into consideration how much light comes into
your home when making color selections.
I would never use dark wood floor in my home
simply because my home does not receive enough light. It confounds me to see how
many black appliances are put into tiny houses.
Try not to be too picky when it comes to
decorating. If you decide to decorate or remodel your home in the current colors
and finishes, just to be "in style", in 5 years your home will look
outdated. If you have only picked items for your home because
they were "in style," you won't be happy.
If, on the other hand, you pick
colors, finishes and styles that appeal to you, it won't matter what anyone else
is doing. Your home will be a reflection of your taste, and you will still
appreciate what you have done.
Make good use of neutrals, but surround yourself
with the things that you like. Don't let decorators have control over your
style or your pocketbook. It's your home, and your mortgage!
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!