Creating rooms that change with the season

Paint Quality Institute

If you're a person with a penchant for seasonal decorating, why not fashion the interior of your home with seasonal change in mind? By planning ahead, you can make it easy to modify your surroundings to be seasonally — or even holiday — appropriate.

To accommodate changing décor, you can paint your interior walls a light neutral color, such as off-white, pale taupe or a subtle grey, advises Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert at the Paint Quality Institute in Philadelphia. "To help guide your color selection, think of your wall color as a blank canvas against which to feature your seasonal items," she says.

Once your wall color is in place, you can focus on other elements that can be rotated as the seasons dictate. Inexpensive area rugs are great in this regard even when placed on top of wall-to-wall carpeting, as are easy window treatments that can simply be thrown over decorative curtain rods.

Even a small area rug with red or gold in the pattern will warm up a room in the dead of winter; when spring arrives, replace it with a light green rug. You'll be surprised how big a difference this one change will make.

"When it comes to interior decor, it's always best to repeat key colors to create a cohesive color scheme," says Zimmer. So, take your area rug to a fabric store and find material that matches color-wise. Pay attention to the weight: Heavier fabrics work well in fall and winter, while sheers are best for spring and summer.

If you want to go further, consider purchasing inexpensive slipcovers in "warm" (deep red, orange or gold) and "cool" (light blue or green) colors to use in colder and warmer months, respectively. A more economical way to achieve a similar result is to seasonally rotate warm- and cool-colored pillows or cushions.

Another easy way to render a room more seasonal is with accent pieces placed on the mantel, on shelving or on other furnishings. You can display items with seasonally-appropriate accent colors; or display collections of summer and winter items (for example, seashells in the summer and pine cones in the winter).

Don't forget that art can imitate life. You can hang representational paintings or illustrations to reprise the seasonal items you have on display. As an example, think about repeating dried or fresh flower cuttings in a room with botanical prints of the same plant.

"If you're especially ambitious, you might even dare to do more with your paint color," says Zimmer. "Not that you'd want to repaint an entire room with each new season, but you actually might be willing to repaint a small accent wall once or twice a year. Assuming that the wall is easy to access, you could complete the job in just a few hours — a small price to pay if you're really seasonally driven."

For more tips on interior paint and home decorating, visit blog.paintquality.com or www.paintquality.com.

­—Paint Quality Institute

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