Color selection is the single most requested interior design dilemma. How do you pick out colors? Will I like them when they are all together? Should I just stay neutral and use color only in my accessories? And the questions go on…
At the base of the color selection dilemma is emotion. Color evokes strong feelings, and this is hard for people to commit to. Yellow makes you happy, red makes you tense or angry, and blue feels cold to you. Now someone may say that red is passionate and blue is soothing- who is right in their color assessment? Why, of course, you are since it’s your home, after all! Color is a personal choice, but interior decorators can help guide and direct you through the selection.
First and foremost, pick out colors that you like. I always advise clients to think of the colors that they wear in clothing. These are generally complimentary to their coloring and what they like. It does not have to be different for your home. If you do not wear orange or particularly like it, then why paint the kitchen orange just because the designer says to? There are some easy to follow tips that can be applied when picking out colors for your décor.
When you walk into your home now, do the colors feel warm or cold? This will tell you what tones you like. My theory is that brunettes tend to gravitate toward warm colors (reds, yellows, browns), and blondes like the cool tones (blues, lavenders, and pinks). The major concept in selecting a color tone is to keep the same tone throughout the house for good flow of color. You do not need to use the same color family, but the tones need to be the same. If your dining room is painted red (warm), it would be very jarring to have a lavender (cool) kitchen adjoining it.
After you decide the tone of colors that you like, color selection flows easily. There is a color formula that can be used in every room. It is as follows: 50% of the dominate color- usually a neutral on your walls and in your flooring, 30% of a secondary color- the furniture and larger pieces in the room emphasize this color, and finally 20% of a third color- your accessories. For example, a popular color trend is the “sand and surf” combination. Blue and brown are a natural pairing, just check out any body of water with a beach! So, in our formula, let’s use a taupe for the walls and flooring (50% of the room). Throw in some furniture, slip-covered in denim for a casual feel or with a blue patterned upholstery- that is our 30%. Finally, with accessories bring in that 20% of a third color. In this room- a chocolate brown or moss green would really add punch to the color scheme. This color formula can be modified a bit, but really does work every time.
Now you know some of the secrets of color selection! Color in your home is something to have fun with and enjoy. It should evoke good emotions, not anxiety and worry about “picking out the right color”! Try some of these easy suggestions the next time you are sprucing up your space, and remember- it’s only a can of paint. Change the color if you do not like it!