Monday, March 14, 2011

Color Injection

by Cherilyn David

Sometimes I can’t figure out my palette. I’m an artist, but I’m conservative too. I like purple in my clothes and jewelry and lots of colors when it comes to flowers and paintings, but in my home I like greens and browns and earthy tones. My house looks it, apparently. I had some friends over recently and one of the husbands remarked as he entered the living room, he thought my house would be awash with color. It isn’t. Brown, black, cream and green are my primaries. We got a little crazy in the new house with some bright pinks and yellows in the bathrooms, but that’s it.

So it’s been bothering me, in the living room mostly. The old piano, neutral quilt and vanilla candles don’t help to lighten the mood. So I decided to inject some color. I do mean inject, not blanket or envelope. Not a complete overhaul and not a big investment. I decided to inject gold and dark teal. You keep your existing colors and just introduce something new!

The way I look at it, it doesn’t take much to makeover a room; fabric, paint and change.

Fabric: Thrift stores yield sheets, robes and if I’m very lucky, actual curtains. Fabric swatches I already had from quilting to cover the existing throw pillows. I am all about a new look for existing items! Keep in mind, the existing items don’t have to come from the same room. Take a walk through your house, dare I say garage ~ and see what you find. (My cost: 0 Realistic cost: $5)

Paint: Obviously, paint is a God send. Anything can be new and different, with a simple coat of paint. My craft drawers are full of fifty-cent bottles of paint and I have more paint brushes than socks. For this project I painted a purple vase gold, brushed a neutral frame with a little of gold and teal, but then wiped at it in a staining fashion. I painted three square canvases and my favorite ~ I had a candle holder, plate-type thing with browns, golds and cream and one burnt orange color. Covered the orange with teal. (My cost: $1.50 Realistic cost: $10)

I was having a hard time with my favorite green lamp. Not teal-green of course, that would be too easy. It’s more of a dark sage glass, and I love it!! So it went to my bedroom, replaced by a gold lamp from the dining room.

My favorite change of all has to be my pillow cover that I dyed teal. I accomplished this by mixing parts of green and blue RIT dye. There is still a black velvet paisley pattern on what used to be a cream, canvas background. Now it is teal, as are some old sheets turned curtains and pillow covers. RIT dyes are $1.66 apiece at Walmart. (Actual cost: $3)

Candles are awesome because you can get them in any color, arrange them in a variety of inexpensive ways and if you don’t care to burn or smell them, you don’t have to. I am not counting my cost for candles, because I would have been buying them anyway, just in more subdued colors. Don’t buy the more pricey glass holders in the candle aisle. Go to the glass dishes or square dinner plates. Don’t buy the marbles and other embellishments in the craft aisle, buy bags of beans in groceries. Split peas, lima beans and black beans are awesome in a glass dish around a candle. Or get even more creative. See the miniature wood slices around my candle? You can buy them, or go in the yard and chop up a branch with some pruning shears! FREE!

So, if you have some crafty supplies around the house, this could be a no cost, no brainer. But even if you have to shop a little, a $23 redo is as good as it gets!


  1. I love the beans idea for the candles. If I had any candles for decoration, I would sure be doing that!

  2. The mini-makeover really did make a nice difference, Cherilyn. I love any color blue, and teal is a favorite. It compliments the earth tones beautifully. You sure did a great job with such a small investment!

  3. Thanks ladies! I have added a few 'finds' here and there. Still no more investment! :)