The Value of Adding Color to Your Home
Trying to decide on the right color scheme for a room or entire house can be challenging. By paying attention to the patterned fabrics you are considering, in curtains, drapes and carpets, the manufacturers have actually taken a lot of the guesswork out for you. Take notice of the other tones used along with your anchor color. These become your accent colors—use them abundantly in both vertical and horizontal places. Be sure to include white, off-white, beige, and black as accent colors. Other finishes for accent pieces in chrome, brass, copper, and pewter work well with all colors, so be sure to include them as part of you color scheme.
Keep in mind that you can also use your anchor color as the background color in patterned fabrics as a tablecloth or pillows. Here are some other tips to keep in mind:
The Value of Adding Color to Your Home
- Color is the key element that creates and sets the tone in every room.
- Wall art and accessories enhance the room.
- Treat each room individually—forget the old myth about rooms that have to “flow”.
- You do not have to use the same color scheme throughout the house.
- Floor coverings that abut each other indicate a change in style and mood: terra cotta floors up against wood, wood up against carpeted floors, etc.
- Do not worry about your home looking “choppy”.
- Coordinating your colors allows you to pull together all the architectural elements and your furnishings so that your home has a cohesive look.
So go ahead and mix textures, color schemes, and fabrics! Make the place uniquely yours.
Analogous Colors Scheme
Analogous colors are next to each other on the color wheel, such as yellow and green, blue and violet, or red and orange. Rooms using an analogous color scheme typically are causal, restful and muted in terms of coloration. This color scheme is best used in the more informal areas of the home. Family rooms, dens and bedrooms — places where you are searching for rest and recovery from the day — look and “feel” great in analogous colors.
Complementary Colors Scheme
Complementary colors are across from each other on the color wheel, such as red and green, blue and yellow, or purple and orange. Rooms decorated with a complementary color scheme tend to provide a clear separation of colors and often are more formal and more visually challenging. Complementary color schemes should be used in the more formal areas of the home — for example, the living room or dining room.
Do not forget the Black—by adding a black element — say, a black box, lampshade, picture frame or other accent — you clarify and enhance all the other colors in the space. Try it — it really works!
Follow Nature’s Lead
Try designing your interior space by replicating the color values of the outside world.Choose darker values of color for the floor (ground), medium values of color for the walls (trees and mountains), and light values of color for the ceiling (sky). If you divide your colors by value from dark to light as you decorate “vertically” in the room, you’ll get an interior design that looks good every time.
Pull From the Pattern
To help you choose a color scheme, look at the colors in the largest pattern in the room first, be it drapery, upholstery fabric, an Oriental rug or a large artwork. Then choose colors based upon that piece.
A high-contrast space (a room that uses light and dark values of colors in combination appears clearer and more highly defined than a space that incorporates low contrasts So think about using high contrast to enhance the formality of a room and low contrast to introduce soothing qualities.
When paired, black and white are somewhat formal in appearance, not unlike a tuxedo. White with beige, however, has a low contrast and a feeling of calmness. Combining white and black with gray is very low-key and creates a restful space.
Get Emotional With Colors
We all associate colors with what they represent. In our minds, red may represent fire, blue the air and sea, yellow the sun, and brown and green often represent trees. These are considered emotional responses to color as opposed to intellectual responses. Use these emotional associations to their greatest effect in a space by deciding on what emotional impact you want the room to have. Would you like it to be lively? Choose reds and yellows. If you prefer subdued, try blues and browns.
The emotional impact of color should reflect the activities of that space. If it is for rest, such as a bedroom or family room, choose darker values of colors that relate to restfulness such as greens, blues, and browns.
Think About your Locale
A simple way to get a quick colors scheme is by using colors from your locale; you can easily choose colors that reflect the area in which you live.
In addition, by studying color schemes from the past — Victorian, arts and crafts or, perhaps, 18th century, for example — you can build a room’s colors quite simply by incorporating these already-accepted color schemes.
Seasonal colors variations
This is a great way to choose colors. Fall colors such as mustard yellows, russets, and browns will create a calm and subdued space, perfect for resting. Spring colors, on the other hand, are more uplifting; pinks, lilac, and saffron yellow impart a naive, fresh look to a room.
Value of Adding Color – Live with Colors before You Buy
When shopping for upholstery fabric, furniture finishes, window treatments or rugs, always ask for a sample to take home to see in the space you are decorating. Then leave it in the room for a couple of days and see what the color looks like in the different kinds of lighting used in that space. Pay careful attention to how the samples look during the times when the room will be used the most.
If the room is used most often at night, after everyone is home from work and school (under the “artificial” light of lamps), check out the color during the late afternoon and evening hours. If the room is used during the day, when there is an abundance of natural sunlight, check out the colors during the morning and early afternoon hours.
The direction the room’s windows face (where the natural light is coming from) will also influence how a color appears in the room. Dark colors tend to look darker in rooms with northern exposures. You may want to lighten the color values of your choices a bit to reflect this in such spaces. The opposite is true for rooms with southern exposures: colors appear lighter.