Coming Out with a Splash of Color

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.

It’s true—this orderly blend of colors may look great together on a large swatch of fabric proudly waving in the wind, or hanging by some string on a bedroom wall, but it may not translate well to your average home decor.

While this may seem to leave those looking to show a little extra gay pride in their dwelling places flat out of luck, all is not lost. Whether you simply are looking to spruce up your pad, show a little extra rainbow pride, or give a few more “I’m-ready-to-come-out-but-not-quite-yet” nudges to your friends and family, beautifying a bedroom is one of the quickest and easiest ways to accomplish those tasks.

Not surprisingly, color, or changing the colors in a bedroom to be exact, is perhaps the cheapest way to add not only a completely new feel to a room, but additional class and sophistication, as well. Sadly, this means that striping your walls with paint from the Rainbow Brite collection just won’t do. So, unless you’re under the age of 5, and don’t really have a strong feel for the principles of interior design quite yet, you have no excuse not to tackle your home decor head on.

If you’re having difficulties finding a place to start, walk through a local furniture or design shop, and take a look around. Because perusing doesn’t require the use of a credit card or cash, set your sights high, and make your way to a higher-end shop. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so put that practice to good use, and take notes, either directly in your head or on paper, about what you like and don’t like at the store. Take into account everything from color to furniture style to the overall feng shui feel of the place.

If high end simply isn’t your taste, travel to IKEA, and behold: The work more than likely already has been done for you. The increasingly gay hot spot has rooms set up throughout its two levels for walkers-by to admire. Pick and choose what you like from each room. Maybe you like the style of a particular bookcase, or the color of the bedspread next to the dark colors of the wall. If you don’t have the funds to splurge on new items, at least you now have an idea of not only what you like, but also what works and doesn’t work—at least according to the designers at IKEA.

But, as stated earlier, for those strapped for cash, color is still the easiest way to go about changing a room. Before you leave the store empty-handed, however, find a room accessory that catches your eye. If nothing does, try to think of something you already have at home, and make a mental note of it.

Afraid to take my word for it?

I thought so. That’s where the help of David Bromstad, host of HGTV’s Color Splash, and winner of one of the network’s first dabblings into the reality show genre, HGTV Design Star, comes in. The 35-year-old openly gay Miami Beach hunk has raked in a broad following for not only for his looks and charm, but also his styling capabilities.

According to Bromstad’s HGTV Web site, “Let your favorite rug, pillow, artwork, or other accessory be your color inspiration. Pick up the colors from these items as you choose additional paint, fabric, and accessories for the room.”

But designing around a certain item isn’t the only way to get started, and doesn’t even limit you to inanimate objects. Try yourself on for size, Bromstad advises.

“You’ll want to look good in your space, so choose colors that flatter your complexion. If you look good in an outfit of the same color, then chances are you will look gorgeous in the room,” Bromstad explains.

Designing may be starting to seem like an exact science, but it’s really only a personal scientific experiment. Ultimately, you will be the one who chooses what’s in and what’s out (no pun intended), so designing for yourself may be the best route to go.

Show off as much—or as little—of your personal flair as you feel comfortable with.

Bromstad notes, “Let your feelings guide you. If you’re an emotional type, choose colors that reflect your mood. ‘Hot’ colors like reds and oranges will energize you and get you ready to tackle the day. ‘Cool’ colors like greens and blues will help you relax and chill you out. To achieve a more formal look, choose high-contrast colors like dark brown and silver.”

Just like your decision to come out, taking the color plunge decision leaves many with cold feet.

As Bromstad remarks, “If you’re nervous about committing to a wall color, use a few sample paint packets to cover large sections of the wall with various colors. Live with the color for a few days to see how it changes as the light changes.”

Regardless of the reason for making a decor change, any such decision surely will make a dramatic impact on your home, and even on your overall well-being and mood. A happier, brighter home may put a bounce in your step, just as a cool, calm, and collected home may mellow your mojo.

So, if you’re ready to come out, and you want the world to know, it’s time to let it show.

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