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Coordinating Colors for Your Cabin Interior

Take cues from your view

By Christy Heitger
Published: May 1, 2008

Probably what inspired you to build or buy your getaway was your affinity to a particular setting or region. Now that you’re considering color for your cabin’s interior and walls, don’t forget your first love. Stephanie Gauthier of Wisconsin Log Homes suggests a simple approach to choosing color.

Any color you see in nature around you is going to fit nicely inside your vacation home, says Gauthier. In fact, before heading down the paint aisle, head outdoors – and don’t forget your basket. A few samples of natural items you love such as berries, ornamental grasses, shore rocks, lichen or even cactus flowers can help you when facing a color choice avalanche.

Experts advise limiting oneself to five colors that complement one another. That doesn’t mean painting five rooms five different colors, but rather infusing each of those colors throughout the cabin. Basically, you want everything to be coordinated and interchangeable so that the color scheme ties together while each room maintains its own unique look and feel.

This can be achieved by using, say, cactus flower orange as an accent color in the living room and then on a wall or two in a bedroom. Playing with color and design choices in this way invites creativity and variety.

“I personally love color,” says Gauthier. “But you don’t need gallons of paint to bring a room to life. You can add splashes of color with throw pillows, window treatments, area rugs, artwork and upholstered furniture.”

It’s also helpful to know how your color choices affect your cabin’s sense of space. For example, a room with dark wood floors is brightened by choosing lighter walls, counters and cabinets. Outfitting a cabin with light-colored furniture, accessories and mirrors will also help “open up” a room.

Does your cabin feature a lot of woodwork? Given the dimension and texture of wood, interior light absorbs into it (rather than reflects off of it). However, this absorption of light is partly what makes a home with wood feel so cozy. And while choosing the right color to balance the “weight” of a wood wall can be challenging, it’s also a lot of fun.

“Color can be subtle, playful, and powerful,” says Robbin Obomsawin, a builder and interior design consultant. “The right color can smoothly pull the eye from one section of the room to another.”

It’s picking that “right” color that sometimes paralyzes folks. In cases like these, Gauthier suggests owners explore their closets. “Pay attention to the clothes you wear,” she says. “Because what looks good on you will likely look good around you.”

And though you’ll certainly want to consider the room’s practical use when making color selections, don’t let that be all that guides you.

“Be sure to interject a good dose of your own personality,” says Obomsawin. “That’s what energizes a room.”
 
Frequent contributor Christy Heitger would rather choose a paint color than apply it.



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5 stars
DENNIS THOUSAND from MISSOURI said:
Thank you great ideas. We purchased a modular home 1970's a couple of years ago. All paneled walls. Painted one., and wow what a difference. Tackle the other walls in the late fall. At the moment time to enjoy the water and outdoors.
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