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8:23 AM Sun, Dec. 16th

Ask the contractor: Paint is the most dramatic, impactful way to add color to your life

Q: We are having a color conundrum. We just completed a new custom-built home (furniture and possessions arriving from Michigan in April). I want color, my husband wants off-white walls, so we are looking to your column for information on how to overcome our stalemate.-Ed and Lacey, Prescott, Ariz.

A: This is a challenge that should probably be a combined effort with you, your husband and a design professional. I will start by saying that most people have a misconception that using a design professional is going to be way too expensive. "That is not at all the case," says Amy Favour, of Amy Favour Interior Design. Getting a designer involved at the front end of your project can save a lot of money in the long run.

A painting project is "like a puzzle" said Dave Berry of Century Painting - you need to know how each color fits together.

Do you favor neutrals? do you like vibrant and exciting color? Consider color psychology when working on any project, and take into consideration the room's lighting conditions and furniture. Designers will be in sync with your goals and will be there to guide you during the selection process.

Color represents something different for everyone. I just painted my bedroom a deep red and find it relaxing and restful. But color psychology reports say red makes our heartbeat quicken and our blood pressure rise, and we should consider avoiding red. I like red - it inspires me with warmth, and I sleep like a baby. My laundry room is a vibrant sunflower yellow - they say that yellow means warmth. It is a bright color that represents the sun, light, happiness and joy - is that why I love doing laundry?

Color can also give meaning to your life, such as embracing a change or a new state of independence.

Everyone has an idea of what they like for color, and it is a designer's job to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Doug Noble of Douglas E Noble Painting said that color is as "unique as each and every one of us" and he has seen some stylish colors over the years that have looked really great. Don't shy away from colors that seem to swerve from the norm - there really is no norm. Just remember color is unique just like we are. Color helps define who we are, and the ultimate goal for using color in a home reveals the personal side of who lives there.

There are no set rules or laws that govern color. If you love a color, wear it, live in it and embrace it - with the help of a designer who can offer advice on how to use color. Amy said to keep in mind that color changes our moods.

There are so many sumptuous colors and trends for 2014. There are what designers call the "new" neutral palette of colors and these are beiges, light grays and parfait type colors - light and soft. Another palette that is taking hold according to Amy are the warm saturated colors that are green, gold and brick colors. And of course a color palette that will never go away are the medley of whites - the oyster shell and rolling sandy beach kind of whites.

You can create inspiration and comfort from color - any color - so take a leap with your designer and work together to create a sensation of a heavenly look on your white walls. Remember, color can be playful, silent, sumptuous, spiritual, beautiful and emotional Yavapai County Contractors Association (YCCA) is a professional association representing licensed, bonded and insured contractors, suppliers, distributors and business entities. Call YCCA for information on hiring a contractor at 778-0040. Submit questions to ycca@cableone.net or through www.ycca.org.