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So I'm kind of 5 books behind on book summaries, so you'll kind of be seeing lots of book summaries over the next few days. Most of them shouldn't be as long as the last one though.

Finished The Right Color by Eve Ashcraft (2/5). This is a fairly shallow book that has some useful tips about using color in the home. As some of the Amazon reviewers have pointed out, the book reads something like an advertisement for the author's paint line. This is mainly due to the fact that about a quarter of the pages are devoted to brief descriptions and large swatches of colors from the authors (quite attractive) color line.

Despite all that, I am glad that I read the book. If, like me, you are rather intimidated by color, it is useful to see examples of color combinations chosen by someone who has an eye for color, and it cannot be denied that Eve Ashcroft has an eye for color (although perhaps not amazing enough to justify her self-congratulatory introduction). Although I came away from the book with very little increase in my knowledge of how to choose "The Right Color", I did come away feeling that color could be exciting and dramatic without being overwhelming.

Specific tips from the book that I found useful:
  • Dark grey / black can make for interesting interior window frames; these colors can actually distract from the landscape less than white.
  • Lighting should be part of your color plan.
  • Rooms can be seen from other rooms. This is an opportunity to layer colors.
    • In particular, you might paint a small, transitory space, such as a pantry or entry, a bolder color than rooms you spend more time in since your eyes catch them in passing.
    • Connecting spaces such as halls and stairways should connect the colors at either end.
  • Utility rooms can be livened up with a cheerful color.
  • If you want a punch of color without painting the whole room, try painting inside a closet or the inside / back of bookshelves or painting the ceiling.
  • Use color to distinguish or blend architectural features such a lowered soffit or a column. I particularly like the idea of painting a lowered soffit a different color.
  • Keep a catalog of all the colors you use in a home including name, brand, date, paint chips, room, finish, method of application, and contractor. 
  • Keep a touch-up kit for all of the colors in your home. This should include small mason jars of paint with the brand, color number and name, finish, room, and date. Store in a cool dry place. Use a q-tip to do touch-ups.
Specific things that I want to remember:
  • Satin black could be an interesting choice for our stairs
  • I am currently leaning toward teal blues, wine reds, and greys for a unifying color scheme. Comparables in Ashcroft's line are, from darker to lighter:
    • Teal blues: tide, marine, glass
    • Wine reds: pomegranate, tulip
    • Greys: wool, urn, chalk, mouse (?)

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Erika RS

May 2012

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