Decorating with color can be intimidating. Perhaps you’re intrigued by the idea of a bold, red accent wall but not quite ready to make that commitment. Maybe you’ve fallen in love with a bright green mid-century modern couch, but haven’t purchased it because you have no idea how you will tie it in with the rest of your living room. It might seem a little scary, but don’t be afraid to go bold! The trick is knowing how to work with color. Here are some design tips to serve as a bouncing off point as you play with color in your space.
CHOOSE A STYLE
There are so many design styles out there, it’s important to explore what yours is before you start painting walls and investing in lasting furniture pieces. Here are some common design styles:
If you don’t know what style you prefer, click on each of the links above to see an HGTV photo gallery exemplifying that style. Once you find the look you most identify with, then that can help determine color choices, furniture styles, and accent pieces.
RULE OF THREE
The Rule of Three is a very useful guideline for working with color as well as creating visual interest with accent pieces, textures and shapes. Designer Cecilia Walker defines the rule this way, “The basic idea of the rule is that details and objects that are arranged or grouped in odd numbers are more appealing, memorable, and effective than even-numbered pairings.” So a practical application of this in the case of the aforementioned green mid-century couch, would be to tie it into the room by using green in two other places – such as a green pillow in a white armchair, and a piece of art on the opposite wall that showcases the same color. Or if you chose to go with the red accent wall, balance that out with a red desk on the opposite wall and vase of red flowers somewhere in-between.
BALANCING WITH COMPLIMENTARY COLORS
Another way to create visual excitement in a living space is to layer with complimentary colors. Complimentary colors on a color wheel are the colors directly opposite of each other. However, with decorating, feel free to veer a little to the right or left of the direct diagonal to come up with some fun color combinations. Remember, there are hundreds of shades and variations of each color, so there are plenty of options to go a more subtle route, if that’s what you prefer. For example, if you have a lavender-gray couch, you could compliment that with sage-green curtains.
Color blocking is a fun, modern way to play with color that had its origins in fashion design. Essentially, you can create a large, bold pattern by combining blocks of different colors. This could get really adventurous very fast by combining three vibrant colors. This would be a fun choice if you’re looking to make a strong statement, however, consider balancing this out with plenty of white space. A subtle take on this could use three shades of the same color. For a more balanced approach, a helpful guideline is to combine one bold color, one bright color, and a neutral. The applications of this concept are numerous. One example would be to use paint to create color blocks on the wall. This concept can also be achieved through furniture – combining a table and chairs that have bold, solid colors. It can also be an artistic way to arrange your bookcase – sorting all of your books by the color of their covers and arranging one color group on each shelf.
Remember, these are just some design tips meant to act as a framework to help you, not a set of rules to limit your creativity. Have fun with your space! It can always be changed if you decide to try something else. If you’re in the Orlando area, and interested in having a professional painting contractor help you bring some of these ideas to reality, contact us today!