All About Colors
Color, the foundation of stunning design, is one of the most powerful tools you have in decorating your home. Whether you are creating a color scheme from scratch or aspiring to enhance an existing carpet or fabric with a new color scheme, this book should inspire you and help you to envision new possibilities for your home. Keep your mind open and you may be amazed at the wonderful ideas you come up with while decorating your home.
Some colors can lift your mood, while others are more calming. Some are romantic and others masculine. Evaluate what colors you enjoy, how they make you feel and just go from there. In most cases, it does not cost any more to paint a room a deep plum than to paint it white. Either color could be dramatic, but in two very different ways. White for its purity and plum for its richness. A carpet usually costs the same in refined taupe as it does in a soft beige, so budgets are not typically a deciding factor in establishing a color scheme.
Include your family when choosing your color schemes. Gain confidence from them by taking a survey and discovering what colors they prefer. If your entire family loves a color scheme, how can you go wrong? Children typically do not have a fear of color, and may prefer bold and vivid colors in their rooms. Go with their preferences in their rooms, particularly in easily changed finishes, such as paint or a bedspread. Eliminate any shade or tint of a color of which you are not fond. Do not necessarily rule out any color completely, because although you may dislike lime green, you may delight in hunter green. As tempting as it is, it is preferable not to involve friends in the color selection; they will not live with the final decision.
Take your color scheme shopping with you to find fabrics and accents that match. It is virtually impossible to “remember” an exact color. Even if you think you are close, you will probably be surprised at how far off you were once you get home with your purchase. Most stores have fluorescent lighting, which is typically a very cool light, and your home probably has incandescent, a warm light. See if you can take an item home on a trial basis to see how the colors work with the lighting in your home.
The color samples in this book are paint chips. However, you are not limited to paint. Once you select a color scheme, use the color chips to select the color of your carpet, wall finish, upholstery, towels, drapery fabric, sheers, countertops and throw pillows and bedspreads. The color samples in each scheme represent all the finishes in your home. For this reason, there are no photographs included with the color schemes. Photographs would limit your creativity in selecting which colors you will use on particular surfaces in your home.
There is an extensive glossary in the back of the book, so when you come across a term of which you are not familiar, the definition will likely be in the glossary. After reading this book, you should be able to comfortably discuss and make color decisions with the best of painters or interior designers.
For people who are “color phobic,” add color to your spaces slowly. Consider the colors you enjoy wearing, and follow your natural instincts. Paint is an ideal place to begin if you are intimated by color. It is inexpensive and you can easily repaint if the color is not what you envisioned. Experiment and you will begin to see exciting new possibilities in your home.
Just remember, do not necessarily compromise with a safe neutral color scheme if you long to surround yourself with color. If necessary, go with the safer neutrals on expensive items, such as carpet and furniture, but use the color you desire on walls and accents.
(From “60 Color Schemes: How To Choose Color For Your Home”)
Neutrals are typically thought of a white, beige, taupe or gray, but you can “neutralize” almost any color by adding a little of its complementary color to “gray” it. Think of all the different shades of gray, some are warm with a tint of yellow in them and others are more cool, such as a steel gray. Neutrals are essential to a well balanced color scheme. Each of the sixty color schemes in this book have at least one neutral each. Some of the schemes are very neutralized, such as Olde World. Others, like Hawaiian Flower are very vivid and clear colors.
When deciding which items in a room on which to use a neutral color, it is wise to have more “permanent” objects, such as ceramic tile, carpet, or an expensive upholstered piece be neutral, because they will be around for many years. As your tastes change, it is easier to give a room a whole new look if the carpet is a neutral, rather than a bright vivid hue. We also don’t tend to tire of neutrals as quickly as pure colors. Therefore, unless you can afford to replace these more “permanent” items whenever you redecorate, do them in a neutral.
Tips for using Neutrals
Many people find that beige is an easier neutral to live with than gray. Beige is usually much warmer and more intimate than gray.
Taupe is another extremely popular neutral. It is a combination of beige and gray and can be either warm or cool. There are literally hundreds of tints and shades of taupe.
Neutrals help to add contrast to a room and they create balance in the color scheme.
If your walls are neutral in color you may want to add patterns or more color in your furnishings. If the walls are bright or patterned, you may want to have your furnishings be more sedate. If walls and furniture are neutral, add interest with accent pillows, textures or accessories. Whatever you do, it is important to have contrast in a room.
Ceramic tile is best in a neutral color. In a bathroom , introduce color into the room with easily changeable rugs, towels and shower curtains.
Some dark colors, such as deep green, navy, black, charcoal can be looked upon as a neutral because so many colors go well with them.
Vary textures in a room full of neutrals to add interest.
If you want a really tranquil bedroom, eliminate vivid colors and use only neutralized colors.
Had trouble finding the “perfect white” paint? Take an example (even if its your grandmothers china) with you to the paint store and have it computer matched.
Neutrals are best used on finishes that are going to be around a while or would be expensive to replace every few years. Therefore, it is wise to select a neutral for carpet, ceramic tile, or countertops and save the colors for items that you can easily switch out for a different look in the future.
The current trend of late has been to use “neutralized” colors instead of colors in their pure vivid hue. But, remember not to follow a trend color in an expensive or permanent finish unless you know you will love it for years.
How color can help you disguise architectural flaws in your home:
Low ceiling – paint white or a light color, a “receding color”
Too high of a ceiling – paint a warm or “advancing color”
Too small of a room – paint a cool and light color and keep the color palette throughout the room similar in color. Have window treatments the same color as the walls.
Too large of a room – paint a warm and dark color and you can use a variety of colors and prints.
Northern exposure room – use warm colors to help with the lack of sunlight.
Southern exposure room – use cool colors to help “cool” the room down.