The Color Barrier: What to do When You Can't Agree


My Husband is Color Blind but Won't Admit It!
What to Do When You Two Can't Agree on Paint

He wants blue. You want yellow. He wants green. You want chartreuse. He says, "What the heck is chartreuse?" One of the unfortunate facts of living together is that there will be a number of times when you simply can't agree.

Color is an important factor to the decor of any room and it ultimately defines the look of the room. Nothing changes the look of a room faster or more inexpensively than paint. Since the human eye can differentiate between hundreds of different shades, choosing a color is never easy. It's even more difficult when two opinionated people must agree on one color.

Take heart though, this isn't as hard as it seems. You can come to a decision you both can live with, especially when you take into account all of the choices available to you.

Here are a few tips to consider when weighing your decision:

  1. Whose Room is This?—Try to honestly assess who uses the room more. If it's an office or a den one of you uses more than the other, then that person should have precedence. Keep in mind though, that a 51%-49% split on usage doesn't really work here! Assuming each of you has your own space, if you compromise on the color of 'his' room, you can freely choose the color of 'your' room.
  2. Solid Choice—A paint color doesn't have to be a solid color. You may hate burgundy, but you may not mind it so much when it's applied with a faux painting technique such as aged leather or chamois. There are literally dozens of techniques for faux painting using a single color of paint, so even if the color may not be your favorite, the way it's applied may appeal to your senses.
  3. Don't Wall Yourself In—A paint color doesn't have to be on every wall of a given room. You may want to consider using the most striking color on just one wall and then a contrasting color on the other three. The 'striking' wall is often referred to as an "accent" wall. Use a palate of complimentary, but softer colors in the remainder of the room to help balance what might be a more eccentric or unusual color scheme.
  4. Crown Your Room—By adding a bit of molding to a room you can give any color a bit more flair and panache. Crown molding, baseboard molding, chair rails and even wainscoting are beautiful additions to any room of the house and are easier to install than you think! Add easy-to-install prefinished molding for a new look.
  5. Color Combinations—There are a few basic color rules that many designers swear by. By applying these rules to your paint choices, you have a better chance of enjoying the outcome. Before we outline these "rules" remember that rules are meant to be broken. So, if there are color combinations that are appealing to you but aren't outlined below; it doesn't mean they're wrong! However, if you need to show your mate why orange and green look best on a pumpkin and not in the living room, then here we go:
    • Blues & Greens—Just like the ocean and the sky, blues and greens go together in almost every combination. Blue is a complimentary color which when used in the right combination, can have a dramatic effect on any room.
    • Yellows—Yellows go best with oranges and greens.
    • Violets—Violets are beautiful, but too much violet can be, well, too much. When combined with greens, violet can create a wonderfully warm room. When combining violets with blues or reds you'll want to make sure the shade of violet is complimentary; such as a blue violet with blue and a red tinged violet with reds.
    • Browns—Orange warms up any shade of brown. Blues and reds tend to be too overpowering while dark greens can often add a touch of class.
    • Reds—Pretty much all pinks and reds go together and can bring a sense of passion and romance to a room. Just be aware that painting a wall the color red does require special techniques.
    • Oranges—Orange can come in a wide variety of shades and while soft oranges can warm up a room, dark oranges should be used sparingly.
    • Neutrals—Grays and neutrals provide a colorless backdrop that creates an excellent canvas for any other color.

Whatever colors you decide on should be ones you both enjoy. Take both of your likes and dislikes into consideration when making your choice. After all, the end result of any decor choice for shared rooms should be to create a place where you both like to spend time.

See also:
The Color of Love
Is Your Home in the Mood for Love?
A Bedroom for Romance

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