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  • Yaron Linett

Burning Cold or Freezing Hot


Swatches of gray paint chips in a fan deck
Gray Area

Experience has taught us that the majority of people who read Interior Design blogs are part of the DIY crowd. Every so often I receive a panicked call asking if {popular neutral} will work with {trendy option} or if instead they should use {the other popular neutral}. I think we all know what two shades of ubiquitous paint I am referring to, but apparently unlike the color of the year my content is supposed to be "evergreen".

The same question is asked in relation to mixed metals, wood species, or any number of other things. Normally I attempt to reassure the individual that the most important thing is that work looks intentional. People may disagree on issues of taste, but differences are easier to accept when you believe that someone expressly wanted whatever it is they have. That however probably brings small comfort to someone who is really struggling to define a vision.

With all of the above in mind, here is where I would direct you to begin. Decide if your palette will be cool or warm. Don't try to split the difference, don't try to be all things to all people. If you really are having trouble picking I would suggest warm for traditional schemes and cool for contemporary ones. Could you thread the needle? Maybe. But if you want to feel confident that you are going to get good results I would pick a lane and then stick to the mantra of beautiful things used simply. Let a few statement pieces couched in a coordinating background speak for themselves. You won't be disappointed.

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