Try This Idea: Color Your Cabinets

A vanity painted more than one shade stars in this bath.

Next time you're tempted to make a quick change in your home, here's an idea with an almost instant payoff. Choose a paint palette of three or four complementary colors, and use all of them to spruce up a cabinet.

Triple Your Colors
Because Teresa and John Gaskin's home sits on the Florida coast, a cool gray-blue scheme makes perfect sense for their bath. Designed by architect George Israel of Birmingham, the beach house is refreshingly colorful with splashes of whimsy. Who says you have to settle for just one paint color? Brush a mix of hues on cabinet drawers and doors. In this bath, the vanity takes on a fun checkerboard pattern that echoes the tile design on the floor. How's that for livening up the decor?

Paint Store Prowess
Shhh! Here's how to cheat your way to a fresh, new paint palette. Pick up a color card at the paint store or look through a paint fan, choose several colors from one strip, and then select one contrasting color. We love shades of yellow--from lemon meringue to deep mustard--spiked with a pale blue. Or green is always nice. Try a pale mint with sage, balanced with a richer, darker olive or gray. Use this idea on cabinets, children's dressers, or bookshelves. Hint: When painting woodwork, select a semigloss or high-gloss paint to give your piece the right amount of sheen.


"Try This: Color Your Cabinets" is from the May 2007 issue of Southern Living.