Decor & Decorating: Express Yourself with Color

Are you courageous when it comes to decorating your home? Many of us would like to be as creative as possible but need guidance to venture out from the neutrals -- and into something more powerfully beautiful.

Color is the most important tool in the toolbox, say experts, who often add that one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to infuse the home with color is with paint.

"People often feel intimidated by this type of expression and that's why so much of our country is beige and off-white," says Genevieve Gorder, a renowned interior designer and color expert for Valspar Paint. "We need to remember that color is a great balancer in a space; it's a juggling act between neutrals, grounding shades, highlight and accent."

When choosing a paint palette for any room, Gorder notes, there are four key components to ensure powerful effects while keeping a harmonious balance: neutrals, which are the beige or creamiest versions of any color; the grounding shades, like blacks, browns and grays; the highlights, like the bright white on moldings and window trim; and the all-important saturated pops of color which add life to any room.

"You might want your pop of color to be a powerful accent wall," Gorder continued. "Then, you can complement it with neutral upholstery and grounding accents in the accessories to balance it all."

For additional guidance, inspiration -- and even liberation -- here are this decorator's favorite tips.

* If you want to incorporate a trendy color into your home but feel intimidated, start small with paint or decor accents that are inexpensive. This way, you can always change your mind if you fall in love with something new or want to refresh the look of your room.

* Use the chip rack at your retailer to find color families and their complementing shades. A popular way to find an accent, for example, is to go a few shades darker in the same family.

* Feel free this season to express yourself fully without risk. Valspar Paint is offering a complimentary replacement color to anyone who has a change of heart about their first choice. This Love Your Color Guarantee runs through October 7, 2013, and you can get all the details and offer terms at

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