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Hardwood floors and colonial colors show historic spirit

October 17, 2013

Hardwood FloorsPicture rooms that feature tan and gray as neutrals and red, mustard yellow or moss green as accents. That will give you an idea of the color scheme that homeowners in colonial times favored. Much like hardwood floors that stand the test of time, and today can be found in Anderson's Monroe oak floors collection, paint colors have been passed down through the generations.

As popular as colonial architecture is among today's homeowners, the colors of early America aren't as well-known. But when they're paired with modern furnishings and decorating styles, the look of colonial homes comes alive.

According to, 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. Paneling was also painted in colonial homes, unless it was made of mahogany, which was left in its natural state. Sometimes a creative homemaker produced grained or marbled finishes on the walls for a more elegant look.

Using gray yesterday and 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 kitchens. With chrome hardware and large mirrors in a bathroom, gray takes on a sleek contemporary look.

In living rooms, light gray walls may be accented with colors that are reminiscent of colonial times but in tune with modern furnishings. Vibrant hues such as deep red or eggplant purple are effective in accessories or as a secondary wall color. For true room design straight from the colonial era, period hues can be offset by a chair rail for trim in dining and living rooms.

Historical accents
Patchwork quilts in bedrooms, needlepoint cushions on upholstered furniture and pewter accessories are all in keeping with what might have appeared in early American  homes.

With gray or tan as a base, modern homeowners can find plenty of accents to fit decor with a colonial touch - pewter lamp bases, silver gray fabrics and rug patterns that include gray and several accent colors. For window treatments, pleated shades come in a variety of materials, colors and finishes to offset a gray-based decorating plan.