Is it Time to Stray from Gray?

Kitchen design featuring bright colors and tile backsplash

For the past few years, homeowners have been playing it relatively safe. Guided by the modern farmhouse aesthetic, palettes of white and black have dominated walls, cabinets, flooring, and d├ęcor, leaving few details to distinguish one house from the next. But experts predict, that’s all about to change.
According to the Research Institute for Cooking and Kitchen Intelligence, a survey of more than 1,000 homeowners revealed 64% of Americans have a greater desire to be home than they did in the pre-pandemic era. As you might imagine, that sentiment is causing many to rethink the way they function – and feel – within the space they spend the most time. The conclusion?
Straight lines and shades of gray just aren’t as satisfying anymore.

Let Yourself Go Bold

One glance around your home, and you may be wondering how you can integrate more color without losing the neutral, clean, simplicity of your existing style. The first step will be expanding your definition of “neutral” to include muted tones like soft blue, sage green, and dusty rose. Once you decide on a color (or colors), the next step is determining how to build it into your space.
The most obvious choice is paint. Rich, saturated colors can add depth and drama to the room without compromising the warmth and calm that make a space inviting. If you’re not quite ready to make the switch from a white wall to a cool blue, there are subtle yet impactful alternatives to consider. Try adding a pop of color with a decorative rug or bright curtains, or start with something as simple as a new throw and pillows.

Play With Patterns

Of course, opting for vibrant paint hues isn’t the only way to inspire more joy in your space. You could choose to stay with a more basic foundational paint color, but pair it with fun patterns and prints that capture your unique personality. Rising in popularity is the use of decorative wallpaper in hallways and on accent walls, including everything from vivid stripes to soft florals. Feeling indecisive? Consider a removable, peel-and-stick version.
Another way to break up the monotony is through the use of tile. If you’re considering a remodel, kitchens and bathrooms are great places to create visual interest with tile floors, backsplashes, and floor-to-ceiling walls. In addition to popular tile patterns like starbursts and mosaics, using solid tiles to create a chevron, crosshatch, or herringbone pattern offers a classic look with staying power.

Try Mixing Metals

It's natural to assume that creating a harmonious space means using one metal finish across every piece of hardware, lighting fixture, faucet, and appliance. Yet, more and more homeowners are discovering that mixing metals (when done appropriately) can add elegance and sophistication to the room. To do so successfully, experts suggest mixing with purpose. Combining opposites, such as satin nickel and polished brass, will create an intentional contrast, whereas metals that are too close in color and finish could look like an error.
One rule of thumb is to mix no more than two metals in small rooms and no more than three metals in large rooms. Select one as your dominant finish in the space, and others as accent finishes, staying consistent with your overall style. Nickel, gold, brass, and bronze tend to offer a more timeless, elegant look, while black, chrome and other polished metals feel more modern.

Create Your One-of-a-Kind Space

It can feel risky to deviate from the trends we’ve grown accustomed to in recent years, but that’s where enlisting local design experts can be helpful. If you’re ready to opt for character over cookie-cutter, attending the Winter 2024 Fox Cities Parade of Homes is an excellent way to view the latest trends for yourself within the Home Builders Association of the Fox Cities’ newly constructed and remodeled homes.
Once you’ve determined what level of change you’re ready for, the team at Community First Credit Union can walk you through financing options like a home equity fixed-rate loan with a locked-in rate or a home equity line of credit (HELOC) loan with access to funds for up to ten years.  
Get ready to mix, match, personalize, and play. It’s time to jump off the gray bandwagon and let your true colors shine.

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