Jane Lockhart Talks Color Tips

Interior designer Jane Lockhart tackles color-challenged rooms, one room at a time.

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Anything ever go wrong when you're working on someone's color makeover?
Oh, it's usually the little things that happen that seem big at the time. We spilled all the coffee beans that represented brown in the room palette all over the floor. We picked up and picked up but every time we'd go in the room there'd be a little crunch and somebody would say "For God's sake did we not get all those coffee beans yet?"

And then, of course, someone ate all of the chocolates off the prop table one time. I guess they didn't realize that I was using them to demonstrate chocolate brown. It was "Where are my chocolates?" and when I'm looking around I suddenly see a lot of guilty looks. The cameraman and lighting guys are trying to avoid my gaze. Well, that's a danger of using real food for your color palette.

How is your own home decorated? Is it colorful?
I live in a loft in downtown Toronto. It has 18-foot ceilings and a spiral staircase in the center. It's quite light. It was all done in gray and pink in the 1980s, so when I moved in I painted it all natural linen. It's really like a greenish beige. And I have a dark charcoal kitchen with really deep accents of taupe and white. And a powder room that is painted a sun-dried tomato color. Throughout the space I use a robin's egg blue as an accent color. It's a neat mixture. My office is another contrast; it has a natural brick wall in it and it is painted an olive green that's almost black.

Anne Krueger is a frequent contributor to HGTV.com. She has written for In Style, This Old House, Martha Stewart Living and The New York Times.

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