Saturday, February 12, 2011

Color Me Decorated

When my hubby and I bought our home, we had the great pleasure - and nightmare - of redecorating.  I say great pleasure because we got to choose whatever we wanted... I say nightmare because it was extremely difficult to do that!  We redid the floors, and chose paint for the walls, all the while keeping in mind the big picture of what our home would look like and what kind of furniture we would purchase after the immediate renovations were completed.  
We chose our floors first, keeping our color choices neutral; dark walnut stain for the hardwood that would cover the entire upstairs, and light tile with tans and browns laced through ever so slightly.  Because our flooring was so neutral, we went with neutral paint in most of the house, choosing variations of brown ranging from a very light tan to a deep chocolate for our living room, reading room, kitchen and dining room, stairway, and master bedroom.  The darker chocolate tones served as accent walls in the master bedroom and the reading room.  And we chose a dark, scarlet red as the accent color for the kitchen and dining room.
The base color scheme for our home was SO neutral, we could go with almost any accent color(s) we wanted.  We chose earth tones - olive greens, deep oranges, golds, maroons, etc, giving our home a very pleasing warm, welcome feel.  
Let’s say however, we wanted to go with a different color scheme.  How would we have chosen it?  What colors go with what?  How do you know if you can use pink and blue together?  What about pink and yellow?  Does it work?  
There are some general rules of thumb, and having the teensiest bit of experience, I’d like to help you out.  (You knew that was coming, didn’t you?)
As I’m sure most of you recognize, this is the color wheel:

How does it relate to home decor, you might ask?  What a fabulous question.  You have several different options when choosing a color palette for decorating.  You can choose a “quadrant” of the color wheel and play with the colors in that quadrant only.  For example:

These rooms utilize this quadrant:

Another option in home decor is sticking with varying shades of one color pallette; for example, this room utilizes neutral grey and a few different hues of orange (note the light peach shade of the wall and curtain, different fabrics on each furniture piece, the shade off the art's frame on the wall above the couch matches the corner table's wood accent piece, and the vase in the corner with buds on the sticks that are orange hues as well:

A third, most daring alternative, utilizes colors that are across the circle from each other.  For example, look at this room:

The decorating master mind in the above picture went with greens and pinks, which are directly across from each other on the color wheel:

But remember, all “rules” are made to be broken.  Check out this room, with the main color, red, accented by green:

This room breaks all kinds of home decor color rules, but it works!  The shades of red and green are beautiful together, and somehow manage NOT to scream “Christmas.”
Perhaps the easiest decorative possibility is to stick with the neutral base tones, like my darling and I did, and dress it up with whatever colors you choose.  This is very versatile, and allows for the creation of several different looks.  For example:

Black, white, and grey form the neutral color palette for this room, and a splash of yellow livens things up quite a bit!
And in this photo, the neutrals are used as accent colors, while the main color scheme are variations of blue tones:

As you can see, there are many different ways color can be used to create mood, feeling, and depth to your home.  If you have photos of your own home decor choices, I’d love to see them!!

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