Color Consultation With David Bromstad

HGTV Magazine called in help from the paint pro himself. David Bromstad, host of Color Splash, solves your headaches over hues.

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Joe Schmelzer (styled by Kyle Schuneman)


Q:
I’m worried about scuffs on my molding, so I want to paint it black. Is black as neutral as white or wood trim?—Alicia Garant, Freeland, MI

David says:
Black may be neutral, but it’s actually the toughest color to take care of. I put black floors in my house and, honey, I’ll never make that mistake again! They show every footprint, paw print, and piece of lint. White trim, on the other hand, hides dust and is easier to touch up. If you’re set on darker trim, try an espresso stain. A stain seeps into the wood, so you’re less likely to see dirt on it.


Q:
My house has an open floor plan, and everything in it is beige. I like pale blue, gray, and plum. How do I work them into the space so they flow together?—Cheryl Rykwalder, Old Hickory, TN

David says:
To break free from your beige prison, I suggest making a big move: Paint the walls a mid-tone gray. It’s a soothing color that will make the space feel sophisticated. People think painting walls different colors in an open plan will help define the space, but it ends up looking disjointed, so use one color. Then bring in the blues and plums with upholstered furniture, an area rug, art, and accessories.


Q:
What wall colors look good with dark woodwork? I don’t want to paint the trim that’s original to my house.—Linda Nicholas, East Liberty, OH

David says:
Dark woodwork can be incredible, but only if the wall color majorly contrasts with it; otherwise it’ll look like a haunted house. That’s why I would go with white. (Yes, Mr. Color Splash loves white walls. Shh!) The lighter the walls, the more high-end the trim appears. If you love color, choose a pale shade, like a gray-blue or muted green, which will freshen up the dark wood.

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