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Leigh Hanlon, Tribune Brand Publishing
There’s a longtime misconception that all walls in Florida homes ought to be white.
Nothing could be further from the truth, according to Lynn Goral, an interior designer with Baer’s Furniture, a family-owned group with 15 locations
Goral emphasized that although design sensibilities here fully embrace Florida’s nickname of “The Sunshine State,” lighter colors work just as well as white in achieving a “light, airy and cheerful” ambiance.
Catherine Pliess, program coordinator for The Art Institute of Florida’s School of Design, agrees completely. “There’s a myth that walls need to be white down here,” Pliess said.
She also adds that if done correctly, even darker colors can work, and specifically mentioned Sherwin-Williams Peacock, which she described as a “deep, dark turquoise.”
Indeed, in its guidelines for selecting interior paint colors, Sherwin-Williams cautions that white must be used with care. The company notes that while a white ceiling creates lightness, reflects light and reduces shadows, and that white
walls convey a neutral, clean feeling, a white-colored floor can be nothing less than “intimidating.”
In a bold move away from mundane whitish hues, Sherwin-Williams has declared Coral Reef to be its Color of the Year for 2015. “The uplifting, vivacious hue with floral notes is the perfect m?lange of pink, orange and red that can be used
to liven up any space,” the company reports.
“Coral Reef embodies the cheerful approach to design that we’re seeing for the coming year,” explained Jackie Jordan, Sherwin-Williams’ director of color marketing. “Its unexpected versatility brings life to a range of design esthetics,
whether traditional, vintage, cottage or contemporary. Simply add this carefree color to your home’s palette and watch your creativity blossom.”
To accompany Coral Reef, Sherwin-Williams recommends Cotton White and Black Fox, plus floral shades like Baroness and lush greens like Paradise.
Coral Reef, Peacock and their complementary entourages aren’t the only recommendations that the paint company offers to homeowners. Of particular interest is its Buoyant collection, whose color sensibilities dovetail with many Florida
interior design sensibilities.
“After weathering the recession and finally seeing signs of growth, the Buoyant palette reflects our enthusiasm with colors that evoke big, bright florals in fashion and interiors,” Jordan said. “Our (colors) echo the optimism following
World War II when GIs returned from exotic locales, bringing tropical prints and tiki-inspired looks.”
After the walls are painted, consider furniture and accessory colors that will pop off whatever base color you chose. Upholstered items, drapery and even frames can become accents against a light wall. Sofas or chairs appear smaller and
less imposing in a room when their tone is more neutral.
Rugs are another important factor in coordinating a room’s palate of color. Use a multi-colored woven rug to link different tones in a room, such as those on the walls and accent pillows. A solid neutral color on a floor can help
splashes of accent color pop up, such as on side chairs or occasional tables.
Colors are a personal preference, but when optimizing how they work together, experience helps. All Baer’s locations feature interior design experts that can give advice on choosing the perfect Florida tones for your living space.
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