A splash of color can transform any dull space into something completely breathtaking with the right touch. We have gathered the best tips on how to achieve just this, and they are all very easy to use.
Choose a Color Scheme
Trying to pick on the right color scheme for a space or an entire home can be tough. If you need some help check out some of our color schemes. There are more, of course, but these are very effective and provide a great place to start. Just follow your instincts here and pick something that you think will please you.
Consider some Black
This is an old adage in interior design. By adding a black element such as a black box, lampshade, picture frame or other accent, you clarify and enhance all the other colors in the space. Try it, it really works!
A high-contrast space (a room that uses light and dark values of colors in combination — for example, deep burgundy with light gold) appears clearer and more highly defined than a space that incorporates low contrasts (say, saffron yellow with sage green). So think about using high contrast to enhance the formality of a room and low contrast to introduce soothing qualities.
Keep it Balanced and Natural
Many people go astray, not with colors, but with values. Values are the relative lightness or darkness of a color. Every so often you’ll notice a space that is not balanced in terms of value: one side of the room is too dark (therefore, “weighty” or “heavy”) versus the other side, which is light in value and tends to “float away” visually. Try designing your interior space by replicating the color values of the outside world. After all, interior designs are basically our attempt to imitate Mother Nature, who is a great colorist!
Flow the Color
If you are trying to tie up spaces together, simply choose a color you’re using in one area and restate it in a different way in an adjoining area. For example, if your sofa is green, use the same green for seat fabric in the dining room.
Use the color in larger or smaller degrees as you move about the home. That same green from the living room sofa mentioned above can also translate as, say, lampshades in the family room or place mats in the kitchen.
Alternatively you can try to break spaces apart. We go into it on our INTERIOR COLORING BY DESIGN article.
Color the Floor
The floor’s color is probably as important as the walls.
Rugs are a great and easy way of accomplishing this, see it in our Rugs article
You can choose darker values of color for the floor (ground), medium values of color for the walls (trees and mountains) and light values of color for the ceiling (sky). If you divide your colors by value from dark to light as you decorate “vertically” in the room, you’ll get an interior design that looks good every time.
Use the 60-30-10 Rule
Decorating a space in terms of color is as easy as 60-30-10. 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.
Translated to a room setting, it typically means:
60% of the room’s color is the walls
30% of the room’s color is the upholstery
10% of the room’s color is, say, an accent piece or a floral arrangement