Colorful Tips From A Decorator Who Knows

Decorating Dilemmas? Color Confusion? Paint Problems? Busy schedule? It may seem that there’s very little time to create the new look you have been admiring in magazines and on home improvement shows. Don’t panic! I have been working with clients for over 20 years, currently at Paint Marts in Shasta County, deciphering customers’ needs and wants to make their homes work more efficiently and be more pleasing to the eye.

My design experience has been in both residential and commercial venues, with antiques, country and contemporary designs. The most difficult question I’m constantly asked is “What colors will look best in my home?” I always ask to see photographs, either from magazines or a cell phone, which helps me visualize the room in question.

The questions I ask are: How do you want your room to make you feel: serene, energized, cozy or calm? Do you like lots of color or subtle tones? Are you uplifted by a bright color scheme, or inspired by colors of nature? (Moving to Redding has inspired my own use of natural colors much more than the city I moved from, Chicago.) I listen for a customer’s wants, needs, what has been an inspiration in the past, and what changes are desired now.

The following simple “how to” steps will help you choose a color scheme, mix colors and fabrics, and repeat color throughout your room and ultimately throughout your entire home.

  • First, choose a style, such as formal or casual. Next, choose a theme for your room, such as American country, English garden, arts and crafts, or techno-modern. With your style and theme in mind, decide on an “anchor” fabric with three or more colors.
  • Use the background color from the fabric as your wall color. Pick a mid-toned color from the fabric for your flooring or large furniture pieces. Select the brightest colors from the fabric for accessories and accents like photo mats, decorative pillows and accent rugs.
  • It is important to repeat colors evenly throughout your home by dividing color use to approximately 60% in the background or lightest color, 30% in the mid-tone colors, and 10% in the brightest accent colors.
  • Color creates a more comfortable space if your eye can rest on a main feature as the focal point of the room. For instance, if your room has a beautiful window looking out to a garden, you might bring those colors into your home. A fireplace can also work as the focal point of your room.
  • A lived-in space can feel more inviting by simply changing the paint colors in your room without spending a lot of money. It’s great to collect paint chips when planning a room, but hold off on making final choices until you have developed an overall room scheme.
  • Remember that a color you select in a store will always look different in your home, depending on time of day and lighting.
  • When thinking of redecorating, remember that wallpaper is back in, big time! An accent wall behind your bed is a great way to bring focus and inspire color within your room.
  • When selecting exterior colors, keep in mind your setting (gardens, trees, bushes, ponds, etc.); don’t be afraid to bring color outside as well as into your home.

At Paint Mart, which has been serving our community since 1966, custom colors are mixed by professionals working to make you happy. The goal is to make your experience easier and to solve your design needs.  An in-home color consultation is available, or you may bring in your fabrics & photos. I will work with you to pull your room together, free of charge.

Roxanne Radice Himmel
About Roxanne Radice Himmel

Roxanne Radice Himmel, mom to two grown daughters, is a new Redding resident and enjoys the beauty and simplicity of life in the North State. She is employed at Paint Mart Stores in Redding as an interior designer and color expert.


  1. These are all great and simple tips, especially for people (men, mostly) who have some trouble with coordinating colors. Focal points and accent walls are things that people often ignore or forget about when redecorating or renovating, and in my mind it always shows. I would have liked to read more garden advice from you though.

  2. I have had the pleasure of having roxanne design in my home FABULOUS !!! work… Wish she was in chicago again.

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