Decorating With Color

08 Apr 2011

Colors - from the clothes we wear to the cars we drive - can evoke certain emotions in all of us. They have the ability to calm or to energize. Check out the following two rooms to see how you can use color to create new ambience, whether you're changing a lot or just a little.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT COLOR COMBO

Have a favorite color but feel a bit unsure about how much of it you should bring into your home? We've tackled that conundrum in this first scenario. We painted the walls of this room a cool blue tone and then played with different amounts of color to see how the mood changed. The space was outfitted with a goes-with-anything white couch and overstuffed chair as well as another chair in an easy-to-match neutral shade. In the slides that follow, you'll see how we changed the look and feel of this basic space using different accent colors and accessory styles.

STICK WITH SHADES OF ONE COLOR

Monochromatic color schemes can be a bit ho-hum, especially when the chosen color is on the serene side. To prevent a single-color space from becoming too sleepy, mix-and-match shades. Here, the designer chose a medium blue for the background and then punched up the scheme with accessories in shades of blue from light to dark. Throw in small doses of pattern-including circles, stripes, and squares-for more visual interest.

ADD A COMPLEMENT COLOR

If a one-hue home leaves you wanting more, try adding a second color to the scheme. Pick a tone that mirrors the mood of the first, such as the soft green paired with the calming blue hues seen earlier. In this scenario, the new color scheme as well as the style of the accessories chosen transformed the funky flavor of the all-blue room into a more serene cottage-style space.

CHOOSE NEUTRALS FOR EASE

A neutral, such as chocolate brown, can be the foundation of a color scheme or act as a bold accent-as it does in this space. Here, the combination of medium blue and chocolate brown in contemporary artwork and the oversize pattern rug lends an uptown, urban feel. Balancing the punches of dark brown-in the pillows, lampshade, tables, and accessories-with lighter-feeling bamboo shades and a Lucite table creates a more relaxed environment.

ENLIVEN WITH COLOR

Changing the color of your walls and accessories can be much easier than purchasing all new furniture for a space. So in this scenario, we used the same basic brown chair and couch as the constants in our room and then simply changed up the look with accent pieces, rugs, and paint finishes. See how a simple color makeover can give a tired space and not-so-new furniture whole new personalities.

CREATE A CALM, COOL SPACE

Traditional-style furnishings in a dark color can overpower a room, but pairing the pieces with a calming blue backdrop and blue-and-white accessories keeps the look breezy and light. Painting the ceiling with the same chocolate brown of the furniture keeps it cozy, and clean white crown molding keeps it crisp. Peppering the space with blue-and-white pieces-the checked window treatment, Asian-inspired dishware, and floral-pattern rug-gives it a traditional-meets-country feeling.

WARM UP A SPACE WITH RICH TONES

Warm colors-red, orange, and yellow-can make a space feel more inviting. Changing the color scheme of this space to a lively tangerine creates a cozy feel and takes the look from traditional to trendy. Doses of hip patterns in the brown-and-tangerine palette-the striped rug and circular-motif pillow-break up the large blocks of color and further enhance the contemporary vibe.

BREAK THE BLAH WITH PATTERN

Though this room showcases a monochromatic color scheme of earthy hues, it's anything but boring. Pattern keeps things lively and fun, yet color matching is a snap since all the pieces feature the shades of earthy brown. Here, stripes in varying widths and shades of brown-from the subtle grass cloth on the walls to the bold rug and floor-length window panels-keep the eye moving. Play with inserting punches of a color, like the red used here, in small accents that are easy to replace when you want a different look.

Tip: Mix vertical and horizontal stripes to keep the eye interested.

Courtesy sharing by: do it yourself