As you decorate your home, color is one of the most crucial elements to consider. It creates the mood you want and makes home restful and enjoyable. Color is also highly personal. It is easy to fall in love with a vibrant room layout in a magazine. But, it is often not so comfortable to use someone else’s design in your home because you will have to live with it daily for years. Armed with a little knowledge, you can choose a harmonious color combination to your liking.
Choosing the Color
To start, decide on the mood of your room and consider how you use it. In general, pick neutral colors for large pieces such as a sofa or paint job. These items are often harder or more expensive to change. Use a more vibrant or unusual color on easy to remove accents such as pillows or curtains in case you get tired of it quickly.
Next, choose an existing interior design element and building around it. You may have a sofa that you love, but it doesn’t match anything in your living room (yet). Or, you may have a treasured piece of glassware in your dining room with a lovely color scheme. Sort out what you like and don’t like, then pick a main color to start with.
As you shop, take a small item such as a plate, paint chips, a pillow or piece of fabric in your chosen colors with you. It may seem easier to photograph the item, but cameras are all different and have endless variations in color and contrast.
The simplest way to match colors in your home is to keep a monochromatic color palate. Choose one color, such as pink and add pieces of light, medium and dark pink. Add neutral tones such as light grey, cream or white. For example, if you have deep blue curtains consider painting the walls in a soft grey and adding a dark blue sofa. Light or medium blue accents tie it all together.
Neutrals are another simple way to unify your interior design. They are simple to match and is easy to make the room look soothing and tasteful. Black, white, grey, and cream are all classic neutrals. Whites with various tones, such as off-white, cream or with a touch of yellow or brown are all versatile and easy to work with. Start with big pieces, such as the furniture or carpet, in neutrals and add smaller items in your favorite color.
If you are more ambitious about color matching, consult a color wheel to create harmony. It shows you the relationships between primary, secondary and tertiary colors. As children, most of us learned that primary colors are red, yellow and blue. Secondary colors are two of the primary colors mixed together, making green, orange or purple. More subtle variations are apparent in tertiary colors, such as red-orange or blue-green.
Analogous colors three colors next to each other on the color wheel, such as yellow, gold and orange. Pick a color and use those around it to match. This is almost like a monochromatic color palate, but the subtle variations add more interest and help create a theme. For example, yellow-green, green and blue-green make the room look summery.
For the more adventurous, choose complementary colors. These colors are opposite each other on the color wheel, such as blue and orange. Use them to create vibrant, high contrast designs that look modern. This may not be what you want for an adult’s bedroom, but it creates a fun look in a family room or child’s room.
Color matching can be confusing, but use the colors in what you already have to build a pleasing and comfortable interior design for your home. Relax, have fun, and know that you can easily change it if you don’t like it.