Friday, August 9, 2013

Make a neutral room sizzle with color

Beige and brown still have a grip in many homes.

That's even more likely if you're selling or thinking of doing so. Neutrals are … buyer-friendly.

But some of us are ready to move on.

''What has happened is that we have beiged and browned out,'' says designer Mark Abrams, co-owner of Chicago-based Port 68 and an exhibitor at the High Point Market earlier this year.

Working with a neutral color palette doesn’t mean we have to put up with dull rooms, Abrams said. Red is a powerful tool for resuscitating the bland.

''You may not want a room that's completely lipstick red,'' he said. ''One piece might give it a wow factor.''

That’s the idea behind the red Hancock Chest that Abrams designed for Port 68. ''It gives you a little sizzle,'' he said.

The room shown here also has zebra-print chairs with red cording.

The chairs bring energy into the space -- a pulse.

Of course, red is not the only color that works, but it is a trend. In his own home, Abrams has a Mandarin orange foyer outside his beige living room and rich, bronze dining room.

''It would knock you off your feet,'' he said of the bold foyer.

And for those who love the blues, turquoise is a top pick these days for a softer punch of color.