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Choosing Colors: An Expert Choice of the Best Colors to Use in Your Home Paperback – October 2, 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kevin McCloud, one of the world’s foremost authorities on domestic design, has written several books, including the best-selling Kevin McCloud’s Complete Book of Paint and Decorative Techniques. He has written and produced two TV series as well as two signature paint lines. He lives in London.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Watson-Guptill (October 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823099644
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823099641
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.6 x 10.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #903,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Timothy B. Riley HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover
After my last child moved away to go off to college I moved into a smaller home and I was left with the task of designing my living space for me, my needs and my tastes, without having to plan things around the three children that I raised largely by myself. I had no idea where to start other than to start with colors. This book took me step by step through the process of choosing a color palette that worked for me. At times I felt as though it was over my head due to terms and phrasing that I was not familiar with. However, now I get rave reviews on my new home from everyone one who sees it, they always ask me, "Who did your place?", and I humbly tell them that I did on my own. Most women then ask, "How on earth did you ever come up with this color scheme?". This book will be my little secret. I recommend it to anyone, especially those who might be intimidated by choosing colors for themselves for the first time.
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Format: Hardcover
I know when colors work in other people's homes but I'm hopeless when it comes to picking my own. This book is a juicy combination of history, advice and amazing color pallettes that work -- and has been greatly helpful to me in spiffing up my home for the cost of a few gallons of paint. Each color corresponds to an existing, buyable paint color and McCloud explains the color's personality and tendencies -- e.g., he points out the blues that look green in certain light, whether a color will be balancing or overpowering, etc. I especially like his restrained yet, um, colorful opinions on certain colors -- he slips in "this is the color of my kitchen" and expresses passion for some colors in subtle yet reassuring ways. I've taken his suggestions and have used them to teach myself about color, pulling a room together and picking the right paint the first time. Can't really recommend this book enough.
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Format: Hardcover
I recently bought several books on interior color design for the upcoming work I have to do on a newly purchased home.....this book is helpful, but not great for the average joe that is looking to spice up a house with new colors. Technically written, and sometimes over one's head, I had a hard time following the thought process. It seems more geared towards the professional. The photography used to demostrate these colors are in 19th century mansions, and other huge houses. How about the rest of us that live in regular two story homes with 3 bedrooms that don't contain 13 feet vaulted ceilings and 5000 square feet? Colors are grouped and catagorized by periods and eras,... and primary colors with all their variations. I just wanted colors that look good together and make a house flow. I had better luck with other books that grouped colors into styles....contemporary, santa fe, etc.....and demonstrated these colors in a fashion that allowed the average home dweller to dream......realistically.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a great book for ideas of decorative color combinations. I found this book much more helpful that just looking at the color chips in the paint section of the local hardware store. I am planning to repaint all of the rooms in my house and want to choose a color palette that allows all the rooms flow chromatically. While some of the color theory is well beyond my area of expertise, it was interesting to read the history of colors and palettes.

Now we come to the "however" part of my short review. The one palette that I really loved and wanted to do my whole house in isn't included in the insert that does the color matching to commercial paints. Every palette is listed in the insert except for two of the 64 palettes, 28 and 29, with palette 28, seascape, being the one I wanted for my house. I still want that palette, so I guess that I may have to do some color matching if I don't get an answer from my letter to the publisher.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is not for you if you are looking for a number of trendy colour palettes. This book is more demanding for the reader. It is not for the average consumer that would like to have a new colour on a wall or buy a new sofa. To appreciate this book you should also be somewhat interested in historical accuracy.

The book contains a number of palettes mainly from different historical epochs. It is then up to you to decide if you want to create something with an neolithic look, Roman look, 50s middle-class look, 20s sophisticated look, etc. Each palette has many colours so you are in no way stuck into a choice determined by the author. Since the palettes have been used historically they do have some survival value that other more trendy palettes would not have. The palettes typically has 10-25 colours so you will spend some time deciding. Information overload warning!

I first bought The Color Scheme Bible: Inspirational Palettes For Designing Home Interiors, but I found that book too limiting. Its palettes consists of few colours so you do not get much freedom. You pick a palette and then go with it. That is a quick solution and it might fit some people. However, in my case, I got fascinated with colour and wanted to go a bit deeper. I wanted to avoid trendy ready-made colour palettes. If you really get bitten by the colour bug you should also check out NSC Colour on the web. They provide a great way to specify all colours, which then can be ordered in a paint shop. I used their system to identify the colours in McCloud's book.
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