Living in Color – Easy as 1, 2, 3

27 May
May 27, 2014

When it comes to home furnishing trends, nothing is hotter than color.  From painted wood finishes to fabric selections for sofas, color plays a huge role in setting the tone.  Whether you’re looking to infuse new life into a neutral space or you’re ready to make a bold statement and embrace color in a big way, here are a few tips you can use to decorate like a pro.

1.  Choose a color scheme.  Deciding on the right color scheme for a room, much less an entire home can be difficult. Simplify the process by using a color wheel and narrowing down your choices to two color schemes. Try one of these.

Complementary Color 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 are often more formal and visually challenging.

Analogous Color Scheme Analogous colors are next to each other on the color wheel such as blue and violet, yellow and green, or red and orange. Rooms using an analogous color scheme typically are more causal, restful and muted in terms of coloration. This color scheme is best used in the more informal areas of the home, such as family rooms, dens and bedrooms — places where you’re searching for rest and recovery from the day.

Monochromatic Color Scheme The monochromatic color scheme uses variations in lightness and saturation of a single color. This scheme looks clean and elegant. Monochromatic colors go well together, producing a soothing effect. The primary color can be integrated with neutral colors such as black, white, or gray.  This color scheme, much like your little black dress, easily transitions from classic casual to glamorous.

2.  Set the Mood.  What mood do you want to create?   We all have emotional responses to color.   Colors that are less saturated and relatively bright, such as sage green, are relaxing to look at.  Meanwhile, colors that are saturated and not very bright, like a rich sapphire blue, are energizing.  Use these emotional associations to their greatest effect in a space by deciding on what impact you want the room to have. Would you like to create a lively, energetic space to entertain family and friends? Choose reds and yellows.  If you’re trying to create a calm, tranquil space, select blues, greens and browns.   Purple and lavender hues, like Radiant Orchid (Pantone 18-2334), Pantone’s color of the year for 2014, inspire creativity while bringing the same restful quality to rooms as blue.

3.  Follow the 60-30-10 rule.  What does 60-30-10 mean, exactly? It’s a tried-and-true formula from interior design experts: 60 percent of the room should be a dominant color, 30 percent of the room should be a secondary color and 10 percent should be the accent color! This formula works because it creates a sense of balance and allows the eye to move comfortably from one focal point to the next. The easiest way to follow this rule is to focus the 60 percent portion on your wall color, 30 percent for your furniture or upholstery, and the 10 percent for accents like throw pillows, floral arrangements and art. There it is, easy as 1, 2, 3.  Grab your paint brush and live in color!

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