Room Color Schemes
Interior design color schemes that look effortless usually aren't, they're often well planned.
Want to do it yourself and get good results? Well, 'it ain't rocket science' but more of an art ~ the art of combining colors, shapes, textures and light to create memorable spaces.
If you've struggled with choosing room color schemes before, you're not alone. On this page you'll find lots of great ideas like: how to pick Your perfect palette, create color harmonies or contrasts, and unlock your emotional connection to color.
It may take you a little bit of time to figure out what pleases you, but once you do, the ideas will start flowing.
If you're still stuck, you can hire a professional home decorator for a color consultation, or a full room interior design if you don't have the time or desire to do it all yourself. Just make sure they're designing with your preferences in mind.
Living room color schemes of black, white, and green, warmed by antique brass accessories and a pop of red/orange, blends well in an open floor plan. (Photo courtesy of Sheila Reilly Design)
Interior Design Color Schemes Made Easier
In chapter three of her book, Color Your Life ~ How To Design Your Home With Colors From Your Heart, Elaine Ryan gives us an easy way to unlock our color memories and find palettes we'll be happy living with. There's also a great section on romantic bedroom color schemes.
Called "The Supermarket Test", she instructs you to go to the market for the sole purpose of buying all the fruit and vegetables that appeal to you. Then, come home, slice them up and put them on a white plate.
I was particularly attracted to sliced papayas with it's transition from deep orange flesh, to yellow just under the skin, to the beautiful yellow green of the skin.
Called a "related" color palette, orange, yellow, and green work well together since they sit next to each other on the color wheel.
Now, I know why they often name interior paint after food. With names like: juicy cantaloupe, anjou pear, citrus, curry and saffron, you can visually and emotionally connect with the colors.
We buy things based on emotion, which is also based on memory, and people are more likely to have good feeling about food. (I once bought carpeting in a color called peanut brittle...Yum!)
To find colors you're emotionally connected to, think back to childhood or your teen years. What was the color of your favorite article of clothing, a treasured gift you received, or it may even be a color tied to your parents or grandparents that imprinted on you.
Nature creates some of the most gorgeous color combinations, and you can find great room color schemes just by being observant.
The orange, gold, black and green color scheme in this flower photo is one example, but there are thousands more if you take a stroll through your garden, a park, the beach, etc. Make sure you bring a camera!
How To Work The Color Wheel
Another great book you may want to get is "New Color Schemes Made Easy" by Meredith Books.
In it, there's a simple explanation of the color wheel, but you get dozens of photos high quality photos of room color schemes, plus color keys so you know exactly how to duplicate that look.
If you're a color nut like me, you may enjoy "Perfect Color Choices for the Home Decorator" by Michael Wilcox, whose a leading authority on color in both the US and Britain.
This book is more about the science of color, with lots of paint ideas and tips for choosing room color schemes. Great for decorators, painters, artists, and serious colour lovers.
Ever heard the term 'warm' or 'cool' when used with color? That's because half the color wheel is considered warm (yellow, orange, red) and the other half is considered cool, (green, blue, violet) As Mr. Wilcox points out, "This can only be a rough guide as the final temperature of a color is largely decided by the way in which it contrasts with others."
He goes on to tells us that cool colors such as blue recede visually and warm colors appear to advance.
The hallways in this home are painted blue to make them appear more spacious, with the added bonus of creating visual depth in this living room color scheme.
You can use this trick of the eye in your room color schemes to create greater depth by putting 'warmer' colors near the entrance to a room and 'cooler' colors in the distance.
Typically, interior design color schemes in all 'cool' or all 'warm' tones don't work out that well, and it is the use of complimentary colors (opposites on the color wheel) that creates more visual excitement.
I highly recommend visiting www.DreamHomeDecorating.com which has a number of great articles on the color wheel chart and choosing paint colors.
Other Factors In Choosing Room Color Schemes
Think about how you want to feel when you walk in the room? Soothed ('cool')? or energized (warm)? Are you more attracted to warm or cool shades? Do you like pastels and pearls or more intense, jewel tones?
How much natural light does your room gets and what type of light is it?
For example north facing windows would get less light than south or west facing ones, and using all 'cool' in those room color schemes could make it feel cold and gloomy. Using 'warm' colors instead or a good mix of complimentary, would make a room such as this feel much cozier.
When you have large rooms with two story ceilings and you want them to feel less cavernous, add some rich color.
Use blue to bring a high ceiling down without making it feel closed in. This works well for both bedroom and living room color schemes.
Paint and accessories are often the cheapest and easiest ways to bring about instant change and pull off new room color schemes.
They make a paint for just about everything!
If you already have furniture, or rugs that need to stay, it can be a bit challenging sometimes, but don't forget that besides painting walls, you can paint fireplaces, ceilings, stairway railings, furniture, light fixtures, kitchen cabinets, accessories, fabric, glass, etc.
The topic of room color schemes is so thick and juicy that there are dozens of books dedicated to the subject. That's why its being continued with living room color schemes and "ll be adding more as they come to me.
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