Home Improvement

How to Use Tints as a Colorful Compromise

  • Cynthia Mason Interiors, original photo on Houzz

     (Cynthia Mason Interiors, original photo on Houzz)

  • Kelly Deck Design, original photo on Houzz

     (Kelly Deck Design, original photo on Houzz)

  • S.B. Long Interiors, original photo on Houzz

     (S.B. Long Interiors, original photo on Houzz)

If you’ve been following design trends, then you know that white is everywhere. It’s today’s hottest wall color. We can debate whether white is really considered a color, but that’s a topic for another day. White is on trend and all the rage. So where does that leave color lovers? There are numerous benefits of having white walls in your home. However, there are also advantages of living with beautiful rainbow hues, particularly if you want a room to have a distinct mood.

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I love all types of colors, but I’m going to focus on tints — very light colors with just a trace of pigment. Tints are a great alternative for people who like the virtues of white paint colors but would like to try something a bit different. Likewise, tints can also be an attractive option for color lovers because these soft hues create an ambience without darkening a room. With tints, everybody wins.

Pink. Sometimes we need an element of playfulness in our decor. But it doesn’t have to be in a child’s room. Make it yours — because as adults, when did we become so serious?

Pink reminds us of cotton candy, bubble gum and even a flirty shade of lipstick. And very light pinks are perfect for grown-up spaces. Throw in fuchsia accents and colorful fabrics, and your room will be even more fabulous.

Green. An unexpected touch of color can help you introduce a wow factor. In the kitchen, you can get this by painting the cabinets. Instead of going with the usual white, gray or black, consider a soft, natural green that’s simple and chic.

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Blue. Most people would agree that you can’t go wrong with light blue. Blue is one of the most pleasing colors in the spectrum because it’s so dominant in nature. It is the sky and sea, so it makes us comfortable. Light blue will make your room feel spacious, and it also complements most wood finishes — perfect for a room with hardwood flooring.

Yellow. Yellow is a wonderfully happy color, but I’ve had to color-correct rooms that ended up too bright because of a saturated yellow wall color. I get it. People just want to be happy. But sometimes we don’t recognize yellow’s strength. Even an innocent-looking yellow can overwhelm a space, especially in smaller rooms.

To avoid choosing a yellow that’s too bright, select one that’s a couple of shades lighter than what you consider to be a midtone yellow. Keep in mind that soft, pale yellows can be very warm and just as happy as the deeper varieties.

Off-white. An off-white wall color works well in rooms that have white furnishings. I see many spaces where everything is the same tone of white, and it all blends together so no one element stands out.

I think it’s best to bring definition to a white room by using a wall color that is slightly different, such as ivory. This way, if your furniture, lamps, area rug and other accessories are more of a pure white, those things will give the room depth and interest.

Gray. Gray is still going strong as a huge favorite among homeowners. Some describe it as a dreary color. But light gray is a super alternative to white because it creates a space that looks fresh and current without appearing austere, as white sometimes does.

My favorite grays have warm beige undertones, which are also referred to as greige. They pair very well with deeper, cool grays, as these walls do with the cabinets. Also, any color will look great as an accent, so have fun and throw in a splash of fire engine red!

Peach. Poor peach. For some reason, this color often gets a bad rap. My clients tell me they don’t want their room to look “peachy,” but I say, why not? Somewhere between orange and red, peach is there waiting for some love. It’s a beautiful color that mimics sunshine, and in a light tone, it will give your space a subtle radiance.

Peach doesn’t have to look traditional. Use it in a space with modern furniture and funky lighting fixtures. You may be surprised at how terrific it looks.

Lavender. Purple tones are perfectly balanced because they are part red and blue, warm and cool. Lavender is calming, so it works wonderfully in a bedroom. I chose lavender for my home office because it is thought to foster creativity.

For some people, pale purple can look juvenile, but by adding black and white accents and elegant accessories, lavender will look mature and sophisticated.