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  • Writer's pictureCaroline Gray

Colors Come and Go, But Neutral Is Timeless

"Painting Yourself"

Looking at trends over the years, it's easy to notice that today, more than ever, styles change so rapidly. Back in the day, everyone could pretty much say they were Traditional or Contemporary or Country.

Who knew that Modern and Contemporary have completely different meanings?

Today, when someone says they want rustic, my first question is, "What kind of rustic? Italian, French, Farmhouse or Country?" When Mid Century Modern was simply the contemporary of its time, it wasn't called as such until we reinvented it. Then there's minimalist, Scandinavian, Transitional, Bohemian, Hollywood Glam...or is it Hollywood Regency, no that's different. Urban Modern, Modern Farmhouse and the list goes on.

The thing that I love about these is that even within each, there is so much room for interpretation. It's really about bringing out who you are and making your home a reflection of you. The best compliment you could receive about your home is, "This looks and feels just like you!" This is where your kids get their nostalgic memories. This is why our friends feel special and welcome when they visit.

With all of today's great trends and tastes maturing as we ourselves mature, we're inclined to change our interiors more often; something to consider when remodeling your home or building new. When choosing fixtures in your home, consider staying neutral.

Think of it as a background for all the fun things you will want to do; a blank canvas. Deep down, you know the looks you will love forever, as opposed to those that pull on your heart strings today only to be pushed aside by a new love tomorrow.

When making design decisions, it may help to categorize the topics into years of the life of your home. The 5 year category is the least expensive and could include wall color, window treatment, furniture and decor. Have fun in this area. You'll be more likely to bring out the real you, if you commit to keeping your trendy design decisions here where your dollar isn't at risk. A 10 to 15 year refresh may include everything in the 5 year, plus some appliances, carpeting, lighting and some hardware. Though they won't break the bank, the cost may give pause for wise choices. A 25 year remodel is an investment and may include space altering; adding on to your home or altering your interior space to accommodate current life changes. These updates typically involve the most costly areas of our home: exterior walls, kitchens, baths, appliance packages and interior doors and trim. (Since we are talking design, we'll leave out other important items like HVAC, roof, windows, etc.) These higher ticket items will be there long after you have changed your design style a few times over.

Your blank canvas is your cabinetry, countertops, wood and tile floors, doors and trim. Most often, these items are the first ones we select in the process, so it's hard to stay neutral. These are exciting times and we are ready to make big changes that incorporate the latest style trend that has grabbed our attention. When it comes down to the blank canvas, base your decision on what you have always loved and know you'll love forever. If you love the look of wood, no matter what anybody says, choose stained cabinetry and interior doors. You won't regret it. If the painted white cabinets have always caught your eye, maybe it's nostalgia and every time you pause on a Pinterest photo, the common denominator is white cabinets, go for it. If the entire cohesive space is more important and you would like to balance stain and paint, that's great too. These are all things that contribute to the neutral space.

If you can picture your neutral space in different themes and colors, you have a great blank canvas on which you can paint a reflection of you.

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