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Colonial grays and hardwood floors live on in today's homes

June 04, 2013

While colonial architecture is popular in many regions of the country, not many homeowners try to emulate the color palette that was prevalent in homes of the colonial era. But when paired with modern furnishings and classic features like Anderson's Sugar House collection of traditional oak plank flooring, the look of early America comes alive.

While colonial architecture is popular in many regions of the country, not many homeowners try to emulate the color palette that was prevalent in homes of the colonial era. But when paired with modern furnishings and classic features like Anderson's Sugar House collection of traditional oak plank flooring, the look of early America comes alive.

According to IdeasForHomeDecorating.com, most colonial homes had painted walls because wallpaper was too expensive. Usually, walls and ceilings were painted white and colors were reserved for wood trim in. Paneling was also painted in colonial room design, unless it was mahogany, which was left in its natural state.

Paint colors in these early homes included red, mustard yellow and moss green, as well as tan and gray. Sometimes a creative homemaker produced grained or marbled finishes on the walls for a more elegant look.

For an interior that matches American colonial architecture, homeowners have two distinct types to choose from - early colonial, which is more rustic, or late colonial, for a refined look.

Colonial gray today
In recent years, gray - one of the colonists' favorites - has become a trend-setting color in home design, and its various hues are definitely not drab. They range from shades of silver to the natural look of fieldstone, all of them imparting a sophisticated style, according to House Beautiful magazine.

With variations like that, home decorators can team blue-gray wall tiles with traditional white cabinetry and stainless steel appliances in a kitchen. With chrome hardware and large mirrors in a bathroom, gray can take on a sleek contemporary look.

In living rooms, light gray walls may be accented with colors that are reminiscent of colonial styling but in tune with modern decor. Vibrant hues such as deep red or eggplant purple are effective in both accessories or as a secondary wall color.

In today's home, colonial colors can be offset by a chair rail for trim in the dining and living rooms. Patchwork quilts in bedrooms, needlepoint cushions on upholstered furniture and pewter accessories are all in keeping with what might have appeared in a colonial-era home.

Pewter lamp bases, silver gray fabrics and rug patterns drawing in several gray shades, as well as an accent color, work well in a room with this newest neutral. For window treatments, pleated shades come in a variety of materials, colors and finishes to offset a gray-based decor.