Daring to dine with color

Before: The walls of Annie Payne’s dining room were painted in “Accessible Beige,” the same color used on the walls of the rest of the Payne house.

After: “Virtually Taupe” from Sherwin Williams along with some new decorations for the dining room - total cost $150 -¬†added sophistication and formality to the dining room.

After: “Virtually Taupe” from Sherwin Williams along with some new decorations for the dining room - total cost $150 -¬†added sophistication and formality to the dining room.

Erica Burgon, left, a recent graduate in the field of interior decorating, helped Annie Payne choose a new paint color and decorations for her dining room and shared a few trend tips when it comes to paint colors.

I am the type of person that doesn’t need to be talked into color. I need to be talked out of it.

If I had my way, it would look like Rainbow Brite painted my house.

In our last home, I experimented with color (to the chagrin of Secret Agent Man) a lot. I had a “Vigorous Violet” master bathroom and a “Chinese Red” wall in the kitchen, and a “Victorian Rose” front door.

Currently at the House of Payne, I’ve dialed back the experimentation quite a bit. “Accessible Beige” has dominated nearly every square inch for six years. It’s a great neutral color, but I recently decided it was time to spice things up in my dining room.

I enlisted the help of recent a graduate in the field of interior design, Erica Burgon. I needed someone with an education in color theory and good taste to bounce my ideas off.

I appreciated her design philosophy that “if you love it, it works!”

One thing Burgon noticed right off the bat was that the off-white walls of our dining room didn’t lend anything to the feel or look of the room.

“Design should reflect who you are,” she said.

She noted we are a fun family with a busy life and we enjoy being together. She also knew of my desire to give the Paynes a beautiful and formal place to congregate in a house usually littered with jackets, shoes, backpacks and more soda cans than I would like to admit.

“I want to help you discover your flair for design,” Burgon said. And with that she pulled out her color sample fan deck and we set to the task of choosing a wall color that would set a mood and make a statement in the dining room without being a distraction.

She first introduced me to some recent color trends:

Bold brights make a traditional home and pieces look more unique and add an eclectic element. Colors include tomato red, berry magenta, deep apricot, exotic coral and peacock blue.

Complex neutrals are colors you can’t pin down with a single word. They are bluish, greenish or pinkish beige. These colors are inspired by natural woods and hand-dyed fabric. The new neutrals tend to be more refined than raw.

Turquoise and clear, light blue continue to be popular colors in home design. Paired with white for a clean combination or set off with red for contrast, the blue family won’t be going anywhere soon.

I considered all the color trends Burgon presented when picking a paint color for the dining room. I even took into consideration that my feng shui practitioner told me that my dining room was located in the wealth quadrant of my home and, according to Asian tradition, purple is the color of wealth.

Burgon steered me away from using purple paint on the walls, but knowing my need for “good chi,” she promised to bring purple into the room in a floral arrangement for the table.

We finally decided to use a “complex neutrals” color for the dining room. We chose a color in the same family as “Accessible Beige,” just a few shades darker, a greenish taupe named “Virtually Taupe” from Sherwin Williams.

After a cumulative eight hours of labor, including shopping for paint and accessories, and an overall cost of $150, I am in love with my spicier, more sophisticated, formal dining room.

With Burgon’s help, I took my dining room from drab to fab.

Now, if Rainbow Brite shows up for dinner, she’s going to have to ditch the multi-colored leg warmers for something a little more formal.

Learn out more about Erica Burgon’s designs at EricaBurgonDesign.com.


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