The Color Palette Primer
Joann Eckstut
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Buy *The Color Palette Primer: A Guide To Choosing Ideal Color Combinations for Your Home* online

The Color Palette Primer: A Guide To Choosing Ideal Color Combinations for Your Home
Joann Eckstut
320 pages
June 2005
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Having viewed countless episodes of cable television shows on home design, I once considered myself somewhat knowledgeable on the subject. But when it came time for my own DIY/design projects, I wasn't so confident, particularly when it came to choosing paint and other color elements for a room, which is why JoAnn Eckstut's The Color Palette Primer caught my eye.

Eckstut, a New York City designer, soothed my damaged ego by stating that very few people can naturally identify hue, value, and chroma (intensity), and that even professional designers tend to get overwhelmed by the enormous amount of color choices. The author professes to have an innate ability to compose pleasing color combinations, resulting in the creation of a "harmonious environment."

The book begins with a brief tutorial on primary, secondary, and tertiary colors, and how to break down and categorize them. She also shares some design concepts: A room with lots of reds and greens would be considered to have a complimentary scheme, a red/orange room would have an analogous scheme, and a red/pink/burgundy room scheme would be considered monochromatic.

Before moving along to her 280+ pages of color palettes and corresponding illustrations, the author takes a moment to advise the reader on choosing a particular color scheme. Readers are urged to consider items already in the space, the lighting, and local climate, among other factors. The palettes themselves are composed of three colors; one dominant, one neutral, and one accent color. Eckstut smartly chose to use iconic illustrations instead of photographs, the latter of which may not, in its translation from the camera to the page, accurately represent the colors. Though not captivating, the illustrations get the job done, and show the palettes used in a variety of areas: windows, kitchen, sofa, dining table, and a towel bar.

The palettes and illustrations are categorized by dominant color. At the end of each section, the paint names and corresponding numbers for every color are listed. For simplicity, the color specifications are from five of the nation's major paint manufacturers.

There is tremendous variety in the palettes themselves, and with over 750 of them, enough to please all but the pickiest viewers. Now if I could only decide which palettes I like best!

© 2005 by M.M. Renshaw for

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