Try a Color Scheme as American as Red, White and Blue

Try a Color Scheme as American as Red, White and Blue

By Carleton Varney- Special to the Palm Beach Daily News

Saturday is the Fourth of July, when we’ll celebrate the red, white and blue, even if this year we’re doing it a little differently because of the continuing health crisis.

I am so proud to be an American — and so glad that my respect for our flag was instilled in me growing up in the 1940s and ’50s. Each day at the Harrington School in Lynn, Mass., we pledged our allegiance before classes began. In music class, we learned to sing our national anthem.

So it is with much American pride that I write about decorating with the colors of the nation’s flag.

Now, some might associate that color scheme with New England — the birthplace of the American Revolution — and I have often seen red, white and blue rooms when I’ve traveled in that region. The colors also are common in homes in Texas, where the state flag is red, white and blue.

But these colors also are appropriate to Florida — the land of red hibiscus, white breakers and blue seas. Here is such a color scheme you might consider for your Florida living room or family room.

Paint the walls a rich patriot blue. Blue, I think, is always an appropriate wall color for a living room or family room, as well as a dining room, bedroom or kitchen.

In your family room, the wood trim for doors and window frames should be a frosty white. Install white interior shutters at the windows, the kind with wide slats to easily control light.

Paint the ceiling a sunshine yellow and cover the floor in planks of bleached-white wood for a whitewash look that Tom Sawyer would have been happy with on his famous fence in Hannibal.

If you are just beginning on the decorating project, you’ll have the luxury of getting new seating. Consider using a three-seat sofa covered in a white stain-resistant linen. Enliven your sofa with throw cushions covered in a fabric of patriot-blue-and-white stripes. You can mix them with a few solid-color cushions of bold red and white. You might also check online for a needlepointed cushion featuring an American flag motif and add it to the mix.

For comfortable pull-up chairs, I suggest a pair of white-wicker barrel-back chairs with seat cushions of flag red. End tables of lucite would give a contemporary look to your setting. Top them with mercury-silver ginger jar lamps with white opaque shades. I love that silver look. It lends a bit of glitter and punch to any room.

For coffee tables, think mirrored Parsons-style tables, maybe three tables, each 24-inches square. You can push them together or spread them apart as needed. Or choose instead a nesting set of tables and pull out an extra table or two when company is coming.

For wall décor, choose photographs of your favorite places in America. Accent them with white mats and red-lacquer frames.

And there you have it — a room with a color scheme as American as red, white and blue.

Happy Independence Day!


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