Whether you've been interested in design for a while or you're just getting started on your first room, you already know that there's much ado about color. Color is one of the basic part of style– one thing you'll always have in every room. Approaches to bringing it into a space and feelings on how much is too much change from era to era as trends in design continue to come and go, but unless you have a room with clear plastic furniture and glass walls, a grasp of how to manage color in your spaces is one of the first steps to creating rooms you'll love to live in.
There's another good reason why the color is one of the most discussed topics in design. Not only does it appear in every room ever designed, but it also has a lot to say about what the finished room actually is and what it does. Do you want a room that's energizing? Professional? Or are you just looking for someplace warm and inviting to relax after a long day? Whatever it’s you're looking for in a room, color is that the key to creating a room feel the way you want it to feel. Over the years, a variety of various techniques have evolved to assist designers both professional and novice approach this important point. From color wheels to paint boards, there are many choices with plenty of color theory and psychology in between. And whereas all of it is helpful, it can get a little complicated, significantly if designing rooms are not what you doing for a living. But the good news is that there's really only three kinds of decisions you need to make about color in your home: the small ones, the medium ones, and the large ones.
Small color choices are the ones we're most familiar with. They're the microscopic pops of color like throw pillows, textiles and different accessories that most of us use to feature visual interest to our rooms. Small color choices are often the easiest ones to make and they're the easiest place to start if you're new to design or experimenting with a color that you're not fully committed to. Less labor intensive than painting your walls and less expensive than buying a colorful new sofa, small color choices are a more modest approach to shades and tones that bring with them the significant advantage of being easily changeable. In a space dominated by neutral tones, creating a whole new color story can be as simple as swapping out a few pillows. Here, a classic black and white palette is given an immediate burst of warmth with just a few colorful pillows. Also, notice the relationship between the pillows and the other accessories in the room such as the brightly-colored bouquet on the table.
Medium color choices are generally furniture pieces such as sofas, dining tables or bookshelves. Color choices in this range are a step up from the small ones in two major ways: First, medium color choices require a bigger commitment than smaller ones. It is harder to move, replace or reupholster a sofa than it is to switch out pillows, vases or (most) art pieces. Secondly, however, they have a much larger impact on the feeling of space.
Where small color choices bring in pops of color with the rest of the room as a backdrop, medium color choices have a more determinate effect on the color story of a room. Also, small color pieces will often need to be repeated or layered in some way to have a significant impact in a room. Medium color choices don't necessarily need to be, but when they are the effect is significant. In this room, the warm neutral tones of the walls and floor take on a decidedly moody cast with the introduction of black furniture in the form of the sofas, coffee table, and entertainment center. Keep in mind also that your medium color options are not limited to furniture, as area rugs and drapery also fall into this category, giving you the opportunity to bring your floors and windows into the discussion as well. Here the drapes pick up the black of the furniture and pair it with a warm brown similar to that of the walls.
Reserved for true color lovers, the large color decisions in your rooms concern the things that actually define your rooms – the walls, ceilings, and floors. That's right, we said ceilings. Large color choices are the biggest color commitment you can make in a space. Whether you're looking at wallpaper or paint, the time, effort and relative expense involved are significant.
So it pays to be sure because you want to get it right the first time. Bringing color to these areas is the biggest impact that color can make in your space. That means that if you decide to go this big, it's probably a good idea to be sparing with the medium and small color pieces because you just might not need them. In this room, the striking purple paint on the ceiling provides the majority of color, contrasting the white walls and white stenciled floors. Notice how the ceiling color is picked up and repeated by small color pops in the wall art and flowers while the medium color choices of the table, chairs, and cupboards reinforce the neutral palette that defines the rest of the space.