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Home Trends By Melissa Birdsong

RISMEDIA, May 19, 2008-Homeowners now have permission to go beyond beige.

With a desire to create spaces that are just right for them, today’s customer is looking for an experience inside the home. Neutrals are nice, but homeowners are moving “beyond the beige.”

birdsong_melissa.jpgWhen buying or selling a home, a neutral color scheme is the safe choice and often used as a way to provide a blank canvas, allowing potential buyers to paint their personal vision of home. But thanks to the world of home makeover shows and an abundance of how-to palette information available online and in stores, consumer color confidence is higher than ever. With permission to go beyond beige, many homeowners are rediscovering the power of color to create personality in their home that can, if executed thoughtfully, establish a unique and memorable impression-while they’re living there as well as when it’s time to sell.

So what is a “thoughtful” way to color scheme a home? Over the years, I’ve compared it with creating a musical composition-one that combines soft melody and slower tempo with louder and faster parts. The rhythm of the piece creates continuity, but the contrast between the parts adds drama to what could otherwise be a monotonous experience.

Translated to a room-to-room color scheme, neutral zones are the quiet parts; those painted with more color, the livelier ones. Transition between areas becomes very natural when you weave in the color and finishes of the furniture, artwork and accessories that playfully create a more interesting composition.

The actual selection of quiet colors vs. more dramatic ones depends on the mood and the feeling that you want a space to have: a peaceful space for contemplation and reading or a more dramatic backdrop for dining? By aligning the mood with the color “volume,” you create an expression that makes a home feel just right. And opting out of the beige box can provide an experience that’s colorful beyond the hue.

Melissa Birdsong is vice president for Trend, Design & Brand, Lowe’s Companies, Inc.

For more information, visit www.lowes.com.

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