How To – Picking Paint Colors Avoiding The Dated Look

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    How many times have you watched one of the realtor house hunting shows on TV and heard a prospective buyer say, everything looks nice and clean but it seems a bit dated.

    The fact is trendy styles can date the age of your home or when it was last remodeled.  Its similar to fashion and although they say everything old becomes new again you can never bet on when a specific style will be in fashion no matter how much you love it.

    Although we will always see pink bedrooms for little girls pink bathrooms defiantly date back to the 60’s and 70’s. Even if the tile is the best you could buy and in new like condition walking into a pink bathroom has a definite feel that a remodel is in order. And in 20 years walking into a bathroom with travertine tile is likely to date it to the mid 2000’s.

    The same is true for your interior and exterior home colors but unlike wall tile or flooring selections changing the color of your painted surfaces if in generally good condition can be accomplished in about a day for each room.

    When selecting a color you should understand the architectural aspects of the area you are painting. Most homes fall into categories by age and decorative accessories. Lets face it every home is basically a bunch of walls and floors but trim, window styles, stone or brick accents and other items that do not have structural aspects can dramatically change how we feel about a space.

    Other things like vaulted or high ceilings, shapes of roof lines, decks and porches will also add to the style of a home and that is why in some historical areas in many towns you have to get approval before you can make changes. You may also have to get permission from your home owners association if you happen to be living in one of those horror story situations.

    As you can see there are many things that contribute to the overall look and feel of a home and choice of paint should be complementary to the style of all of these other factors.

    Picking A Color

    It almost seems contemptuous to force a color choice on anyone but just like paint arrives at the store before it is mixed the use of White Paint or a very light tint of white in a earth tone should work in most situations.

    Dramatic use of color should be limited in your home unless the style dictates it.  In the 1980’s people were painting living rooms deep chocolate brown because that was considered “Romantic or Sexy” and in the 90’s kids were painting their bedrooms black most likely because they were into rebellion rather then setting up photographic dark rooms.

    You may also see Bright Reds and Greens used in Victorian homes and this was proof of wealth. From the 1700’s on to the 1950’s paint was rather expensive and the farther you go back the colors used to tint paint other then Barn Red made from iron oxide were hard to come by. Decorative wall paper was also highly prized and used not only for borders and walls but also ceilings.

    The Dated Look

    Now in the examples above there are times when color even dramatic use of color will fit the style of both you and your home. However you are just as likely to find that in five, ten or 20 years down the line your home can be specifically dated to the time it was built or last remodeled.

    Unfortunately unlike antiques such as our Victorian home most styles that are within the period of present living people do not get accepted down the line. For example Baggy Shiny Balloon Pants that were worn in the early 90s by hip hop artists will never come back in our lifetime (we all hope) but that same style was part of middle eastern / indian culture but lucky for them mylar had not been invented yet and it wasn’t being used to make pants.

    On the other hand Jeans and a tshirt although not high fashion have always been accepted in our current society. You can look back to the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and maybe a simple button up shirt was worn if you were going to town but for the most part the basic style has kept its own. For women a black dress with black heels is the same thing its accepted because its basic.

    This is the approach you should apply when trying to find choices in color schemes.

    You have basically three choices.

    Go historic and match a style based on the Architectural Design of the home.

    You can go dramatic and understand most people even you won’t like the style in a few years.

    Or you can go basic and use your accents and furnishings rather then broad changes to match trends.

    Final Thought

    I hope this helps you understand a little about how styles work. Remember historic colors and styles have their place in today’s home because generations of people have accepted them.

    This is quite different then trends that you might see on television from companies trying to sell products.

    The YouRepair Store sells a full line of Paint and the Tools needed to get your next job done cheap and right. Most orders over $25 can ship for free directly to your home.

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