What's Your Home's Color Story?

It took me years to figure out what big girl decorators do that make their houses work... and actually, this isn't even a rule. Well for me it is because I'm cheap. 

I once heard a wise man say that often in the beginning stages of starting a home, the home is either decorated in Goodwill Provincial or Early Mother Hubbard.
Take it from me ladies, after 6 kids, it's still hard busting out of these 2 styles when life holds your purse strings from broken arm to broken car. It's hard to save for "the look" we want and stay out of debt... eek, how many of you winced?

So I pose this question: What is your home's color story? 
I have a friend who owns this bed...

the truth is, her entire house matches. It's wonderful.... and it's wise. She has a color story.

She loves black and white and red. She uses them all over her house. Does it mean that every room is the same color? No. However, she has chosen her decorating pieces carefully.
By planning a color story for her house, she can rearrange the house on a whim and the rooms still match... AND she loves it every time because her story reflects what she loves!

If you happen to be decorating in Goodwill Provincial or Early Mother Hubbard and look around at your house that doesn't seem to "go," try thinking about YOUR color story... and then haul out that spray paint. 

Don't be afraid to refinish wood... even if it's in good shape (don't tell my husband, he belongs to a secret society of men who believe painting real wood is sacrilegious and an offense to handymen everywhere)... if the lines of the furniture fit your style, whip out a can of spray paint!

My color story is based upon these curtains... I'm smitten. They own me. They make me feel warm and cheerful, romantic and brave  The color pallet of my house sprang from them... I'm going to be mummified with this fabric when I die.

The key to budget decorating is building your furnishings and decor around your color story. If you plan your furniture pieces, frames and such to match... it's easy to change out a wall color if your sick of it. My friend Nester repaints that door every time she needs a change,

Kimba repaints everything... all the time, Rhoda has wisely planned her home around her color story... and they're all saving money.

So whether you like earth tones and neutrals or the colors of spring or the ocean on your walls, defining your color story helps set the plan for your decorating. Now you can hit the sales and know... this goes, and that would be fabulous if I spray painted it. The end result will be a house that flows from one room to the next and a defined "style" that makes others think you've busted your way out of Early Mother Hubbard when in fact you just painted that bare cupboard!

Now I've got myself all curious! What is YOUR home's color story?

Winner of the Pretty Organizer is ILoveMy5Kids! Congrats! Shoot me an email and let me know where to send it!  

You can still buy hand painted hat boxes here!



You have addressed the topic extemely well. GOOD JOB! Things we love do own us. I have a chest with a marble top that my family will have to "stuff me in" when I am laid to rest. Thank you so much for sharing. By the way, adore the bedroom!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Wonderful post! My husband is also of the school that painting would is a terrible offense. I'm not sure what my home's color story is, but I'm not likin' it these days. My grandmother's home was very tasteful and had colors that blended throughout. Your post reminded me of that. :) I enjoyed reading this today!

Jenna said...

My husband belongs to the same club! We have three tables (THREE!) that are embarrassingly scratched & marred.Paint would work wonders & he still just wants to wait & see. Next time he leaves town for business... I think the paint brushes will come out!!

I remember an old Lynnette Jennings TV show about choosing a color story for your home & making everything work off of one piece. I did that in our last home & it worked. People commented on how nicely things flowed together. I think it's time to find a new inspiration piece & get to work.

M @ Pears & Polka Dots said...

Love a few of those pictures you used as inspiration. They are so my color story and what I want and am trying to achieve in my own home! You wrote the topic like a pro!

Magnolia Memories08 Seeing With The Heart said...

Such a beautiful blog.Filled with warmth and inspiration. First time to visit.Your home is just warm and friendly.
Have a great Blue Monday.
Please stop by for a visit.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Thanks for the shout-out!

It really does work if you pick about 3-5 colors and use them all over the house in different ways. One room might have 2 dominant colors and another room might be a completely different color out of the chosen pallete, but if you mix them all up, it def. works!

Pam said...

What a great post! We've only been in our home for just over a year, so my color story is still coming together. But it's pretty much like your friend's black, white and red bedroom! I was drooling when I saw it. I have vanilla walls, cream to tan sofa and chairs, black painted wood furniture, black and white toile curtains with red pillows and accents all throughout my living and dining rooms. It's gradually working it's way into the rest of the house.

Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlam said...

My color story has taken a life as well. I had white walls for years and was afraid to dive in until I went with such a happy green in my great room and yellow in the kitchen. My kids think it's because I was being a good Packer fan. I know it's because it made me happy. still in process, but slowly but surely since I love too many colors and want them all. :)

Scribbler said...

Excellent job of explaining the color story thing. I think if you stick with the colors you like and feel good in, not what's currently the fad, that these colors will always work for you. It makes it very easy, as you deftly pointed out, to move things from room to room for a new look, or when the need changes.


salmagundi said...

You have me thinking about my color story. I think basically it has been the same for 40 years. I may do a post on it soon, after pulling out some old pictures to see how and if it has changed. Thanks for the inspiration. Sally

CatWay said...

Thank you - I found this very inspiring. My homes colour story definitely involves green, but I'll have to think about the other colours now.

Jen said...

I have that black bed, too...but haven't gotten around to adding anything to our room to make it sizzle and pop like the one shown. I stumbled upon your blog somehow and sure am glad I did! I hope you don't mind if I follow?

Bonita said...

Wow! I'm a member of Decorating for Dummies and this post is an eye opening experience for me!

Recently, I tried to go with a "grown-up" color scheme. After pretty much redoing the entire house I decided I must not be grown up because it's not really my style at all.

I didn't know what my color scheme was until I thought about what you said in your post. I can relate with what Jen commented, I like all the colors, but I'm especially drawn to anything light or bright. I guess I prefer the style you see in beach houses.

And that means I have a lot of work to do to make my house look like I really like it to look!

Thanks for the tutorial!

Elizabeth (blue clear sky) said...

Found my way here from the Nester. Glad I did:) love your budgeting post, a great topic in any economic time, but especially now. This post on colour story makes sense too. I have always had a colour story, but didn't really recognize it until recently. I love how you tied colour story to budget, it makes so much sense. Thanks.
Elizabeth from Ontario, Canada

mystipher said...

I just found your blog and I have to say ... "What Took Me So Long?" I love the way you write. I tend to skim over articles but I hung on every one of your words. So, anyway, I have a small butchers block(?) thing I got on the side of the road in Germany (military) from 14 yrs ago. I refuse to part with it and have used it in every room of the house over the years.

Cassie said...

Thank you so much! I've been feeling stumped, and this gives me the beginning spark... ps I love your blog.

entering http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping