Living in Color

Karen Timothy of Faux Techniques shows us why and how we should all “live in color.”



Reality Check: People too often live for someone else. This is your home and should reflect your taste and personality. Don’t be held hostage by what someone else may or may not like if you someday decide to sell your home. Live in the now. With so many homes on the market right now, you need to stand out. Beautiful walls could be the feature that makes your home more appealing over another.


Reality Check: There are as many color options out there as there are people and moods. Choosing the right color for you is dictated by your personality as well as your color tolerance. Start with a fabric or a painting you love. Look through the colors and find one that you think you may like on the walls. If you can, take the item with you to the paint store where you can hold paint swatches up to it to find the right tone. From there, choose the darkness. Some paint stores have computers or employees who can match a color from a fabric or painting. You may want to choose several colors from the painting/fabric and paint them in different rooms


Reality Check: I know people who have purchased literally dozens of quarts of paint trying to find the right color. This is actually a good idea – – – not the dozens part, the quarts part. Some stores even offer an inexpensive sample size that you can paint on a poster board to give yourself a more accurate vision of what it will look like on your walls. One of the most common mistakes people make is finding a color they really like then going a few shades lighter because they get nervous. Let the professionals at the paint store help you if you really get stuck. They generally know what colors do well in large spaces and what colors people really like.


Reality Check: Look around and see if your home reflects your personality. If not…crack out the paintbrush.


Reality Check: Any home improvement or paint store can give you tips on rolling paint. My two best are: 1) add a paint conditioner to your paint such as XIM latex extender and 2) use a ¾” lambs wool roller.


Reality Check: I don’t think of it as being closed in; I think of it as being cozy. When I walk in my house it feels like it hugs me and I like that. It’s probably a personality thing, though. Some people may feel closed in by dark color. They can still have color. Just choose lighter shades. Along this same line, some people are afraid that the walls will stand out too much. Actually they are a beautiful backdrop….much better than a white wall.


Here are three colors I recommend:

Color #1: “Prophetic Purple” by Kwal Paint.

Painting a living room (or any room for that matter) purple is, by all rights, a scary undertaking but it can be a delightfully confident room if done in the right shade. Dark purple, such as an eggplant color, can be elegant and provides a surprisingly versatile backdrop for other colors. Purple can be strong without being overwhelming. Purple is inviting. It has a personality of its own and gives a home air of friendliness and spunk that speaks volumes about the owner. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking dark walls require light floors. Putting a rich color on the floor gives a dark purple room the support it needs to balance its strength.

Color #2: Robust Orange, Jalapeno, and Emberglow by Sherwin Williams.

Just when you thought purple was bold, along came orange. This sample of a blend of 3 orange shades has just enough red in it to stop it from keeping you up at night. Orange is a happy, bold color. It is cheerful and fills a room with warmth. It, too, works well with lots of other colors. An orange room reminds you not too take yourself too seriously. It’s a fun place to be and invites others to have fun while they’re there. It lets you step out of the real, responsible world and reminds you that life’s too short for beige walls. Caution….all oranges are not created equal. If you choose one that’s too bright or too yellow it will glow into your halls

Color #3: “Fenland” by Kwal Paint.

Green is a color that many people can live with. The right shade of green provides a cozy, restful atmosphere. It’s not just comfortable, it’s comforting. The right green is soothing. Green brings the outside world inside. It can be paired with virtually any color — think flowers here. Green has a feeling of stability to me. It’s kind of like the responsible child that holds down the fort while the other colors are off dancing. This green is welcoming and friendly rather than sassy like a lime green shade would be. It’s a safe choice for people who are just starting to dabble in color.


If you feel like adding color to your walls is too bold of a move, consider applying a glaze or texture to soften the shade (something I recommend!). Here are instructions for a simple latex glaze that will subdue and accent whatever color you choose.


• Glaze (in a charcoal color)

1 gallon “Kwal Ambassador” paint, neutral base, satin sheen

1 qt. Floetrol

Raw Umber colorant – (1-2 ounces depending on how dark you want it.)

Black colorant – (Again, the amount is dependent on the color you want.)

Note: If the glaze dries too quickly you can add more Floetrol but not more than 1 ½ quarts total. This much glaze will paint a large room or two depending on how heavily you apply it.

• Plastic grocery bags

• Gloves

• Paintbrush


1. Turn the grocery bags inside out so that the colored print doesn’t come off on your walls.

Tuck handles in.

3. Using two bags, pick up glaze with one bag and bounce it on the other bag until it is well distributed between the two.

4. Apply it on the wall in a quick patting motion keeping your hands close together.

5. When you run out of glaze, fade the edges of your painted patch.

6. Put the glaze on in puzzle shapes and avoid strait lines.

7. Pick up more glaze and repeat the process but don’t start apply the new glaze right next to the existing piece.

8. Start your new piece in open space and fade it into the existing piece.

Contact Karen for a free bid or color consultation. Karen will come to your home or office and help you choose the look and feel that will create the perfect atmosphere.

Faux Techniques

(801) 540-7786

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