Top 10 Design Color Secrets & Color Trends

Dec 01, 2016

01/07/11 05:21 PM Filed in:

Opposites attract! Complementary colors – colors found across from each other on the color wheel – make congenial color pairs. They make each other stand out and be noticed. Take red and green, for example...

Opposites attract! Complementary colors – colors found across from each other on the color wheel – make congenial color pairs. They make each other stand out and be noticed. Take red and green, for example. Why do you think butchers used green parsley to separate cuts of red meat in the butcher store? Because the green made the red look “redder” – and red meat appears fresher.
On a more pleasant train of thought, that’s why red and green look so great together during the Christmas holidays – They make each other look their best. Other color pairs: blue and orange, and yellow and purple. Have fun with them!

Be bold – but wise! Don’t be afraid to introduce bold color with paint – but try the color out on a large swatch before you commit to doing the entire wall or the room. Paint is a quick fix and a relatively inexpensive one, but the color can change as the daylight and evening light changes, so experiment with the color. Give yourself some time to see it in different lights before you say yea or nay.
Invest wisely. Buying a new rug or sofa, and you love purple but it sort of makes you nervous purchasing that sectional in deep plum? What if you get tired of it next year? Consider using more neutral colors for your big-ticket items, and go bold with the accents and accessories that don’t cost as much—and can be put away when you are tired of them.
A soft neutral gray flannel sofa would look stunning with plum accent pillows – you have the purple you love, but you’re not stuck with it forever. The same goes for your window treatments – the deep plum can make an eye-catching trim but you may not want it as you face fabric.
No boundaries. There are no exterior and interior colors – just exterior and interior paints. Don’t limit yourself into thinking that barn red has to be on the outside of the house. It could make a stunning cozy kitchen color, or a warm, inviting den. Add some sage green, and you’ve got a great color scheme.
Look for the undertones. Many natural products have undertones of color that we ignore, or don’t even see. Oak floors and cabinets often have undertones of orange. What are the undertones in your wood blinds, or your natural bamboo shades on your windows? Play with that.
Don’t be afraid of the dark. One of my favorite bedrooms was painted a dark black/brown, with a honey –camel colored carpet, and white trim and white wood blinds on the two windows.
Dark? Yes. Did it feel like the room was shrinking? No – it actually expanded. Cozy? You bet! At night, with the lights out, it was as if the walls opened up to the night sky.
Wallflower or wow—factor? How do your window fashions play into your scheme of decorating? Do you want it to blend in with the wall and be a backdrop for your furniture or other objects, or do you want it to be the wow – factor in the room? To blend it out, select colors of fabrics that are similar to your wall color. Want it to demand attention? Use contrasting colors and perhaps bold designs.
Make friends with black and white. Bold color in a room can be toned down with the addition of black and white to the room. Black picture frames with white matting, gauzy white sheers with black tassel holdbacks, Zebra design rugs, black and white pillows or other accessories can help “soften” that bold chartreuse green that you put on the wall. Black and white are “balancing” colors.
The power of one. When using a monochromatic color scheme, consider using the same color in similar values in your choice of fabrics, wall colors and accessories. Color intensities are important to consider, and if you use a strong, saturated color, using a pale pastel of the same family would feel out of place and disconnected, including on your window treatments. You can go up and down one value in saturation, but don’t make huge leaps.
Relax; it’s not a lifetime commitment! Don’t get hung up on making your color decisions. You’re not choosing a life partner. It’s only color. You can change it when the next best thing comes around that you fall in love with. Celebrate color – and move on.