Everything that is old is new again. We see this with the re-emergence of leg warmers, the various versions of Coca Cola that have come out since the flop of New Coke, as well as details on automobiles and with headphones. Trends resurface everywhere. The classics however, never go out of style. They may not be the most popular choices of the moment, but they are always appropriate choices when used correctly. Whether setting the mood in a home to bring more personality to a space, or to bring back the splendor of a historic home, building, or room, bringing historically accurate hues into the home are a great way to liven up any environment.
The Historic Home
Whether your home is a turn of the century, elegantly detailed home with lots of interior and exterior detailing in woodwork, or a mod-home of the 1960s, there is a color scheme that will bring out the splendor of the home (just short of revisiting shag carpeting). Lots of paint brands have some colors that are pigmented similarly to popular hues from different time periods—without some of the same agents that don’t age quite as well (certain oils and even milk).
Sherwin-Williams offers a Historic Collection of interior and exterior paints in Victorian and “Suburban modern” colors (1950-1960 Mod) to fit the look and feel you might be looking for. They also provide “classic/colonial” (1800s), “The Jazz Age” (the 1920s), and “Arts and Crafts” (rustic prairie and Western). They have some of the very popular looks already grouped into these sets, so if you are looking for a particular feel they have done some of the legwork.
Beyond that, it is important to take note of how paint samples and paint chips look in a certain room at different times of the day in different lights. If the color is not suited to the lighting in the room, a shade adjustment may need to be made. Take your time selecting colors for interior and exterior surfaces, especially if painting historic fixtures that may need to be restored somewhat prior to painting. If there are any photos or paintings of the home from “back in the day” that might show shades of color, it may behoove you to take a look at those as well to see what it may have looked like in its heyday.
The Modern Home with Historic Twist
Maybe you want the kitchen to look like a 1950s soda stand? Or the living room to have the comfortable and sultry feel of the late sixties, early seventies. Maybe the home you live in is a modern marvel, but it needs a little retro touch to identify with its inhabitants better. The right shade of paint will set the mood in the room. A powder pink or a muted teal will bring a tongue-in-cheek 50s feel to a bathroom, bedroom, or kitchen.
It is important to take a look at the types of environments certain colors created in the time period. Photos, movies, magazines and catalogues…everything can help to make an informed decision on the type of colors you may want to start with. After that, gathering paint samples and chips and setting them around the room to make sure the color is desirable in the lighting and with the décor is important as well. Painting the walls is just one step in creating a true setting or vibe in the room, so make sure it fits the room, flooring, and décor to keep it all in sync.
Make Coming Home a Pleasure
Whether re-creating an environment in a historic or time-period home, or bringing a time period into the modern times, the right paint combination or color can really set the tone of a space. Matching original colors in the space from photos and paintings, re-creating a look from a vintage magazine, or simply picking the color you want and finding the appropriate shade will help bring the right feel to the space. Bringing the space or exterior into the correct decade depends on the pigments and combinations, but when done well, it transports the whole area back to a fondly-remembered time and makes the whole experience of coming home much more relaxing.