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Testifying for Color: Celebs Relate ‘Stories,’ Build on ‘Habitat’ Assist

TUESDAY, MAY 22, 2012

By Jill M. Speegle

When it comes to selecting paint colors to liven interior spaces the indecisiveness bug often bites.

Heck, the indecisive bug sinks its teeth in two or three times a day for me…selecting what to wear, where to have lunch, two or three cups of coffee?

But that’s another story. The reality is that there’s no easy way to come up with a color palette that truly reflects your personality. Often, you have to enlist help.

One paint company suggests that insights or “color stories” from today’s hottest celebrities may help ease concerns about connecting a color to a space.

The Valspar Corp.’s Color Project offers an online video series featuring actress, supermodel and mom-to-be Molly Sims, fashion designer Lauren Conrad and cookbook author and TV host Padma Lakshmi.

The color project provides a “behind-the-scenes” glance as Sims designs her new nursery, Conrad brings color into her office space and Lakshmi creates a bold and inviting kitchen, the company says. The Sims video is available here.

Each celebrity uses her favorite color in the company’s paint line to make over her room and reveals in a short video why she loves her color and how it transformed the space.

With the project, the company and celebrity hosts hope to raise $300,000 for Habitat for Humanity, the international nonprofit affordable housing organization. The goal is in addition to the $3.2 million in cash and paint donations Valspar says it will make to the nonprofit in 2012.

Valspar says it will donate $1 to Habitat every time a Valspar Color Project color story video is shared through the company’s Facebook page.

The program ends on Sept. 15.

Paint by Celebrity Style

In her story, Sims chose to bring a nursery room in her house to life with the company’s Zen Garden shade—a soothing, pastel green she says will create a “serene oasis” for her new baby boy.

“The Zen Garden color I chose for my new nursery really reflects my personality, and I’m amazed by how this color has the ability to change my mood as soon as I walk in the room,” said Sims.

Sims also selected her shade in the Valspar+ Interior Paint line, reported to be the first paint certified as Asthma & Allergy Friendly™ by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. The paint is low odor and contains no VOCs, according to product literature.

“Color is such an important part of my world, which is why I’m so proud to be part of the Valspar Color Project and help raise money for Habitat for Humanity. I get the chance to help show people just how powerful color can be,” Sims says.


As for Conrad, she joined the color project after spending several months surrounded by all white walls in her Paper Crown clothing line office in Los Angeles, the company says.

She selected a dusty, romantic hue (Brushed Rose) from her favorite color family—pink—to transform her office and bring cheer and inspiration to Paper Crown’s creative work space, the company says.

Conrad’s color transformation story will premiere on in June.

“I have worked with Habitat for Humanity, and it’s an organization that means a lot to me," Conrad says. “It’s really an honor to be a part of such a great initiative and work with Valspar to help raise money to build homes in partnership with low-income families in need of affordable housing. Through Habitat, Valspar allows everyone to connect to the power in color.”

Sidenote: Conrad posts interior design tips on the “decorate” tab on For example, in her Room Redux: Update Your Space on the Cheap post, she notes that painting is an “inexpensive way to transform a space based on the season.” She adds: “Believe it or not, I used to paint my room several times a year. Why? It made everything feel fresh and brand new.”

Finally, Lakshmi transformed a kitchen into a “colorful culinary environment that inspires cooking and entertaining,” Valspar says.

Lakshmi’s love of ripe tomatoes and red chilies off the vine inspired her to go with a bold red hue (Fabulous Red), the company says.

“A coat of paint in a room can do so much to inspire our imagination, and color is really important to a cook and to a kitchen because we eat first with our eyes,” Lakshmi says.

Her video premieres on in July.

Both Conrad and Lakshmi have set individual goals of raising $100,000 for Habitat through shares of their color-story videos, the company says.

In addition to the video series, the Facebook site allows users to “create a custom color palette that matches your passion.”

I gave it try; after answering a simple questionnaire—the recommendation that came back was the “Herb Garden” color palette, which features soft mint and neutral shades.

Do those colors accurately reflect my personality or passion? The jury is still out, but it was a neat exercise nonetheless.

Color Project Efforts

The Valspar Color Project is part of an ongoing partnership between Valspar and Habitat for Humanity International; see: Valspar Builds on Longtime Support of Habitat for Humanity with New Pledge.

The company says its support for Habitat began in the mid-1980s, when it first provided paint and services to Habitat for Humanity Twin Cities. Since the launch of the partnership in 2002, the paint company has donated more than $40 million in cash and paint to the organization.

The ‘Love Your Color Guarantee’

In addition, the company recently initiated the Love Your Color Guarantee™, a campaign billed as a “powerful color assurance program.”

The company offers a complimentary replacement color to anyone who does not “absolutely love” an initial color choice. The program ends Oct. 8.

More information:


Jill M. Speegle

Jill Speegle is the Editor of Durability + Design News. She earned her B.A. in journalism and English as well as her J.D. from the University of Arkansas. In Sketches, Jill shares her thoughts on a number of topics that may be of interest to the D+D community, including architecture, interior design, green building, historic restoration, and whatever else catches her radar.



Tagged categories: Architecture; Color; Design; Green building; Interior design; Restoration; Coatings manufacturers; Color + Design; Color selection; Color trends; Habitat for Humanity; Trends; Valspar

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