Designing with Color

    Do you dare paint that wall magenta?  Most of you would say no, but color is a direct reflection of your personality.  Color affects us every day and the color of your kitchen, your home office, or the master bedroom can influence your mood, your thoughts, and even your emotions.

    This year’s color of the year is anything but color (Simply White by Benjamin Moore, Ivory Keys by Behr, and Alabaster from Sherwin Williams), but it’s the color we turn to for accents like crown molding, window sills, and even your favorite reading chair.

    Here are 10 tips on how to add color to any space in your home.

    CHOOSE YOUR COLORS WISELY

    Think about how certain colors make you feel.  What mood do you wish to elicit in your home?  Although you should limit the number of colors in a room, paint is arguably the most inexpensive way to transform your home with color.  White is polarizing and transcendent; yellow is optimistic and warm, blue is tranquil and peaceful, while pink, or Pantone’s color of the year Rose Quartz, is romantic and compassionate.

    USE THE 60-30-10 RULE

    We don’t know why it works, but look at your favorite magazine or even a Pottery Barn catalogue.  60% is the dominant color (the walls), 30% is a secondary color (furniture or a bedding ensemble), and 10% is an accent color (pillows or a floral arrangement).

    CHOOSE YOUR COLOR SCHEME

    Deciding on the perfect complimentary color scheme can be overwhelming.  Thankfully, many paint brands like Valspar and HGTV have created brochures to simplify this step.  When choosing your color scheme, refer back to how certain colors make you feel.  Choose a complimentary color palette that fits you and your personality.

    DON’T FORGET BLACK

    Add black.  It does amazing things to any room!  It could be something small… black and white photos framed in black, a black linen lampshade, or a black end table.  Try it!

    RESPECT MOTHER NATURE

    Mother Nature is the ultimate designer with color.  Sometimes a color’s value, how light or how dark a color is, can create imbalance in a room, especially with today’s open floor plans where the kitchen, dining room, and great room are all one space though you’re trying to convey that they are separate spaces.  Try mirroring your inside space to outdoor spaces.  Design vertically from floor to ceiling.  Following this tip guarantees a perfectly designed space almost every time.

    DO YOU HAVE A PATTERN? 

    If so, use it!  Whichever pattern is the most dominant in the room, choose colors from that piece.  Following this rule gives you the liberty to paint that wall magenta, crimson red, or fiery orange.  Don’t follow trends.  Follow what makes you feel good about the room you’re in.

    LET THE COLOR FLOW

    This is especially important with the open floor plans we aforementioned.  Does this mean that every wall has to be the same shade?  Absolutely not!  But, use the same shade in the kitchen in a different way in your great room and so on and so forth.  For example, if your kitchen is barn red, maybe your sofa pillows are also barn red.

    CONSIDER CONTRAST

    A high contrast room like deep cranberry and beige will clearly define a space.  Use blacks, whites or Simply White, and grays to accentuate these spaces.

    IN CASE YOU FORGOT, GET EMOTIONAL ABOUT COLOR

    Whichever room you’re considering adding color, think about how you want to feel when you’re in that room.  What emotional impact do you want to have in that space?  What kind of activities will you be doing in that space?  Is it a family room, a media room, or the master bathroom?

    CAN YOU LIVE WITH IT?

    Whether it’s paint, flooring, or furniture, swatches and samples are often available to you.  Leave your samples in the room for a few days before making a decision.  Paint a swatch on the wall.  Can you live with it?  Ask yourself these questions:

    • How does it look in the morning, afternoon, and night?
    • If the room is used mostly in the evening, what does it look like with artificial light rather than natural light?
    • Where are your windows? How do highlights and shadows affect your color throughout the day?

    If designing with color still petrifies you, refer to sites like Houzz.com or Freshome.com where you can save the rooms you like and see the latest in interior design.  Just remember, have fun with it.  Because, at the very least, color should make you feel good.

    Trackback from your site.

    Leave a Reply