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   COLOR The Mood Enhancer
2009 - Fall Edition
Interior Design
Article:  Joe Burgess
            Charlotte Tallman
Photos: Bill Faulkner
            Russell Bamert
            Joe Burgess
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"Colors set the mood of the house," says Corrine Bachman, Vice President of French Brothers in Alamogordo, "and to me, it is the most fun part of decorating."

"My first question is 'do you lean toward bright and cheery or warm and cozy…what is the desired side effect.' Most colors have tones or shades that will allow creating many effects," Corrine continues.


Corrine Bachman
French Brothers
1010 Zuni Road
Alamogordo, NM 88310

Sherwin Williams
1681 E Lohman Ave
Las Cruces, NM 88001

Sherwin Williams
5425 N Mesa St
El Paso, TX 79912

Kwal Paint
6950 N Mesa St
El Paso, TX 79912

Kwal Paint
N Solano Dr
Las Cruces, NM 88001

Dunn-Edwards Wellborn
7930 N Mesa St
El Paso, TX 79932

Dunn-Edwards Wellborn
2301 E Lohman Ave
Las Cruces, NM 88001
"Determine what kind of a color person you are," suggests Andy Holowell, store manager for Sherwin Williams in Las Cruces. "List the colors and combinations you like and those you don't like. Sherwin Williams offers an online color personality program that can be helpful to the process. We also have gloss indicator cards that allow you to visualize various sheens and their affect on color. An eggshell finish might not appear to be the same color as a semi-gloss or matte finish. Just don't be afraid of color – not everything in life has to be beige."

When searching for a quality look, Corrine leans toward flat velvet paint – "it just gives a richer appearance." Corrine likes the richer colors, but warns customers that the vivid colors they see on charts may be overpowering when applied to the walls of their home. She usually guides them toward slightly more subdued, claiming, "Less is more."

"Color, of course, is an individual perception," adds Andy, "and in a room, it is affected by ambient lighting, the angle of the light striking a surface and so on. The amount of light reflected off another wall or object can play havoc with a person's perspective of a particular color. It is difficult to determine how a specific color choice will affect the room from just a small card, but your designers and quality suppliers can help you get close."

Using intense colors in accent areas above a fireplace or behind a bed, creating a particular impact upon entering a room, establishing a starting point for the color theme of a home and determining the elements that will carry that theme from one room to the next are all issues that require some thought and preparation. Designers should be your key to tying it all together.

The next segment of this article will give you feedback from Interior Designers, who not only tie together the colors of your home for a living, but who are bound to uphold good practices, including health, environmental and cost concerns. The following sampling of their thoughts on various aspects of interior decorating is meant to open your mind to the endless possibilities and to highlight the value of working with local professionals. Designers, contractors and suppliers are trained and responsible for providing consistent quality and good records for future use. In the long run, they will provide you with the best possible options and likely save you money.

Conversations with the Experts

When and how do you infuse color into the interior décor of a room?

I consider myself a colorist of sorts and use color liberally to define space. This one element can quickly transform an interior into a truly inspired living space. –Connie Hines

I try to do more strong colors and I still like to add intense color in some areas. Generally I like to choose a medium tone and carry it through the house. With open floor plans it is necessary to use one color. But if there is a distinct start and end to a room, I can use a different color. I try to tell clients not to use more than three colors in one house and all three colors should be compatible with each other. –Anne Steele

Color is such an easy tool. When you infuse color in the décor of a room, you create feeling. You can take a small room and make it appear larger and a large room to feel smaller and cozier. Color can make you feel relaxed, anxious, hungry, or happy. Your eyelids can take in color as you sleep. It's important to make the bedroom as restful as possible. It doesn't mean it has to monochromatic, just spa-like, especially for those with a sleep disorder. –Sherry Franzoy

Would you consider using a mural? How?

We have installed vinyl murals at Kitchen Concept on Lohman Avenue. They illuminate images of a doorway depicting a Tuscan street scene and a kitchen window with shutters and geraniums on the window seal. I have also commissioned a local artist to paint a kitchen back splash and breakfast nook wall with a country farm scene. A blank wall can become an interesting atmosphere where there was none. In a small or large space, they can simulate vast openness and "trick the eye." –Bernadette Valdes

In large rooms, murals are a great way to expand on color and fill a large wall space. The theme of the mural should fit the design of the home. It's not something you would change as often as you might paint. –Sherry Franzoy

I think murals need to be used carefully and tastefully. Some of my favorite interiors feature beautiful scenic murals in the dining rooms but they are usually very traditional. –Fran Timbrook

Can various colors be used throughout a home? How?

A variety of colors can be used to create an appealing palette for use throughout a home. Color influences the mood, attitude and atmosphere of all spaces. It can be bright and lively, warm and relaxing, cool and sophisticated, rich and luxurious or deep and dramatic. The combinations are endless. For the most part, I consider color to be the ever-changing essence of our world. We experience color in all that we see and do. The harmony and balance of color are driven by observation and interpretation. –Connie Hines

More color is being used throughout the home. I do try to limit the color palette to three colors. I often use a soft warm tan on the major walls with accent walls of soft sage green and soft terra cotta to coordinate with the furnishings. –Bernadette Valdes

Various colors can be used but I try to relate to one another thru fabrics and other elements such as the brightness level and the tone of color. –Fran Timbrook ///

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