6 Color Tips

Here are some tips for using color in interior decorating:

(1) Choosing a color palette can be a difficult task, but set yourself up for success by knowing the basics of the color wheel and how different schemes work.

(2) Follow the color principal of 60-30-10 to create an aesthetically pleasing color scheme. Divide your color choices into percentages: 60 percent is a dominant color, 30 percent is a secondary color and 10 percent is the accent color.

This is currently my favorite color scheme.  Using the 60-30-10 rule, I would do 60 brown/tan, 30 red, 10 plum.

I have two questions in thinking about this though:  (a) Can you use different shades of brown for the neutral color?  Like, could I use tan as the neutral in the living room and brown in the bedroom without violating the 3 color rule?  (b) How does white/cream fit into this scheme?  Is it an alternate neutral? Or is it a non-entity in a color scheme, as in, it doesn’t could for 1 of the 3 colors?  If you have thoughts, please share!!

(3) Always consider how lighting will affect your color choices. Before finalizing your selections, see how each color will look in the room during different times of the day.

(4) While beige is a neutral, shades of your favorite colors can also act as neutrals in your room. A neutral just needs to be a balance of warm and cool tones, like the shade of red used in this living room.

(5) While a mixture of colors can be beautiful, too many or the wrong shades together can create a disastrous look. Follow a favorite color scheme, like monochromatic or complementary, and stick with the 60-30-10 rule to create the perfect palette.

(6) Adding a trendy color to a room’s palette can be the fresh take you need, but choose where you use the trend wisely. Wall colors and accessories can be easily switched out, but when purchasing furniture, choose shades that will stand the test of time.

(7) Pink isn’t just for girls and blue for boys any more. Bring shades that are usually marked for gender specific rooms into the living areas of your home.

The picture below uses pink and it definitely don’t look girlish, in my opinion.  While I don’t know how I could sell this idea to my husband, this picture definitely shows how pink can be used tastefully without being girlish.

The credit for these tips goes to http://www.hgtv.com/decorating/7-color-mistakes-to-avoid/pictures/index.html.  Visit yourself to see the accompanying slideshow!


2 Responses to “6 Color Tips”

  1. 1 zmumsey
    February 5, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    You are doing a good job on the color study. The pink and red room that you show is a “happy” room. To add to the complexity -The red and white/slightly off white room I did at the lake has wood floors and beige walls, 0ffwhite trim and ceiling and red and white fabric. Not sure what my neutral is there, but everyone thinks the room is just red. I think that you can change colors in rooms that do not flow into each other or are not visually connected. The visually connected rooms should have variations on the same colors but can emphasis one more in one room than the other, I would think. If you are using brown in one room and tan in another, the paint store can make one be a lighter shade or complementary shade to the other if you would like them to do so. Keep up the good work.

  2. 2 Mom
    February 7, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    I love the pink room! Great tips – I am learning much from you. It makes me want to redecorate my house. Well, maybe not. But, I will rethink the colors I choose for painting the interior walls and ceilings this year. I was going to just repaint the same colors, but now I might change things up a bit. Thank you for the inspiration!

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