Cookin' with Color

Designer Tracey Rapisardi shares her tips for colorful rooms with plenty of taste.

Show your personality

Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Show your personality

Homeowner Laurie Fisher found her original 1951 gas stove through Vintage Stoves, Inc. ( vintagestoves.com), a Kansas-based company that sells and refurbishes old units. Tracey sent the company a pink potholder. After a precise color match, she received a painted metal "swatch" for approval. When Tracey gave them the OK, they sprayed the stove with the approved shade of pink. The Big Chill ( bigchillfridge.com), a Colorado company, then painted one of their retro-style fridges to match the antique stove.

Coordinate colors

Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Coordinate colors

A designer's job is to give your home a complete look without "making things matchy-matchy," Tracey says. "There should be some individuality to the room, but the elements still have to go together." She wove similar shades of pink, blue, and green throughout the house for cohesion, but chose various patterns and fabrics to spice things up.

Choose a new hue

Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Choose a new hue

"You don't have to repeat the exact same colors from room to room," Tracey says. "If you want to create impact, you have to introduce another color." In the dining room, a bold blue buffet and a yellow-green plate rack pop against the original palette.

Pay attention to proportion

Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Pay attention to proportion

Tracey took advantage of the dining room's high ceilings to experiment with pattern, but made sure the scale was appropriate. "The size of your patterns has to be proportionate," she says. To create balance, she had 8-inch stripes painted on the wall and complemented them with a large checkerboard pattern on the table.

Embellish from every angle

Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Embellish from every angle

If a couch or chair can be seen from several different rooms, make it worth looking at. Tracey covered the seats of the living room sofas in a flirty pink floral, but used a pretty pinstripe on their backs. "The stripe looks nice with the colors and patterns of the dining room," she says. "So when you see the couch from the other room, it blends."

 ALSO: More coastal color.

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