While I can appreciate the nuances and textures of a neutrally decorated room, color makes me and my home feel alive. It can be something as simple as a bright yellow vase or a blush pink cushion but a little bit of color in a room can mean the difference between a room feeling a bit bland and something that tantalizes the senses and makes me want to stick around for a while.
But how do you gain the confidence to decorate with color? There are some simple rules to using color that will make your choices a little easier and certainly more enjoyable than slapping some paint up on the walls only to experience crushing disappointment when it doesn’t look as you’d imagined in your head. While choosing colors for your home may be the most exciting part of decorating a room, you will need to first think about your existing furnishings and accessories. Starting from a blank slate can also be a bit intimidating when there is so much choice out there. So where do you start?
My first tip is to either use or find something with multiple colors within it that you love. It could be a painting or a fabric or wallpaper. Try pulling the colors from this item into the rest of your room. You can see above how one piece of art can inspire two very different room color schemes. Which one would you chose?
Are you drawn to a particular color? Most of us have our favorite colors so perhaps start by looking at your wardrobe which colors do you seem to wear again and again? If we surround ourselves with the colors we love, we’ll be well on our way to making our home a happier place to be.
The Color Wheel
Maybe what also will be helpful is to follow in the footsteps of many Interior Designers by consulting a color wheel. I have always felt just one accent color feels a bit boring (unless you are choosing one large knock-out piece like a brightly hued sofa or a large colorful rug) so layering color by choosing 2 or 3 that work well together is your best bet for a room where color works successfully.
These colors sit across from each other on the color wheel and provide your biggest contrast. The look is generally more daring and will create more tension or drama in a room.
These type of colors use the same color but vary the intensity of the color saturation throughout the space. The look is very pulled together and purposeful.
Harmonious Colors sit near each other on the color wheel. This look will give you a calm, restful feeling in a space.
Use the 60/30/10 rule
This rule refers to how much of each color you should use in space for visual appeal. Two-thirds should be of a single colors think your walls or flooring. Many people choose a more neutral color for these as there is so much of it but if there is no reason to let this deter you from using something a little more bold as in our example below.
Just bear in mind if you are going to use a less muted color for your walls or flooring, the furniture and accessories should play a secondary role and so should balance out any brightness by grounding the space. Thirty percent should be from your soft furnishings or curtains (in this case, the turquoise cushions and lamp shade). The final 10% is where you get to have fun with an accent color. Remember to use an accent color at least 3 different times within the space to really tie the color scheme together. That bright shock of yellow in the coffee table is repeated in the artwork to tie the scheme together.
It is a well known fact that colors have psychological effects on us. So a bright acid yellow will make us feel alert, a soft pale green will make us feel restful and relaxed. Think about the area in which these colors will inhabit in your home and the type of mood you wish to create within them. Two very different moods are created in the images below. The first in a clear, calm blue is a place for quiet contemplation. The second, in a saturated pink, is energetic and creative.
Try before you buy
So you’ve chosen your color scheme and are ready to decorate. Time to slap some paint on the walls, right? Well, no not yet. Instead of painting small swatches on your existing paint color, consider instead using white cardstock and painting the colors on large pieces. Pin these up in your space and move the painted card around the room at different times of day. The light in your room will dictate how colors will look in your space. A southern exposure or northern exposure will do a lot to change a paint color so you want to be sure that you like the effect the light has before you make that decision. I hope my tips today have given you a few tools to choosing colors for your home and perhaps gave you a bit of confidence. Have you any tips to add in choosing colors for your space? If so, I would love to hear from you!