As you begin planning your own interior design color scheme, take the time to consider some important questions.
Think about the colors that you enjoy most. What are they? What about the room that is to be decorated in your color scheme? How will it be used? Do you want it to be a place of rest and relaxation? Or will it be used more for entertainment and social interaction?
Some colors are more suited to these particular goals. Soft greens and blues, for example, tend to work well in promoting rest and would be good considerations for bedrooms. (If you haven't already done so, now would be a good time to check out my page on
On the other hand, more active, social spaces like dining rooms or living rooms might benefit from color on the warmer side of the color wheel. An interior design color scheme anchored in shades of red or yellow, for example, might be the ticket.
Whatever the case, there is no absolute rule about color and where particular colors must go in the home. Ultimately, it's best to go with what appeals to you instead of choosing a color scheme just because it's what everybody else thinks is hot at the moment.
Another consideration to make as you plan your interior design color scheme is the type of lighting and the amount of it in the room. A color can take on a whole different dimension based on the surrounding light it reflects. This phenomenon applies in situations involving both natural and artificial light.
A room with abundant sunlight from windows facing south will convey a warmer glow on the wall color you choose than if that color is in a room with northern exposure. A room with windows facing north will reflect a bluer light off the wall color.
The type of artificial light you use will also play a role. Florescent lighting will cast a bluer (colder) light while a standard, tungsten style light will project a warmer glow on the color.
Before completely painting a room with a color that you think looks perfect on the sample card from the store, paint a sizable area on one of the walls of the room. Observe how the color looks at different times of the day and evening. You may decide it's not quite the right hue. If so, you can fine tune it by trying it again a shade or two lighter or darker. This process will help you get the color scheme you really want and save you time and money in the long run.
An interior design color scheme can be inspired by many different things. An intriguing painting can be a source of inspiration. A beautiful area rug, some favorite fabric, or even nature itself could also spark your imagination. The possibilities are endless.
A key to developing a good interior design color scheme from any source of inspiration is to pull out a single dominant color and then support it with one or two other colors from the scheme but in lesser amounts. Working to achieve the right ratios between the colors within the scheme is important. It can often make or break the look.
While the possibilities for an interior design color scheme are practically endless, there are some common color scheme approaches which are derived directly from the dynamics of the
. If you don't have a particular inspiration source at the moment, perhaps a look at these common color schemes will help get you started.
This type of interior design color scheme consists of hues that lie next to each other on the color wheel. It usually projects a very unified and cohesive look that is easy on the eyes.
Analogous color schemes work best if the colors are all from either the warm side or the cool side of the color wheel and not a mixture of both.
The contemporary loft pictured here has been styled in a warm analogous color scheme consisting primarily of yellows and shades of orange.
The well planned combination of patterns in the curtain fabric and area rug in addition to the texture of the couch upholstery provide interesting visual detail. This contributes greatly to the overall look.
If you want to bring some attention to your room consider using a complementary color scheme. The main palette consists of colors opposite each other on the color wheel.
This interior design color scheme creates heightened drama since colors opposite each other on the wheel accentuate each other.
The color scheme in this child's bedroom demonstrates the dramatic interplay that is evoked through the combinations of complementary colors - in this case, tints of red and green.
Smaller amounts of a neutral color, like the bright white in this room, help to enhance and balance the drama while also interjecting a slightly contemporary feel.
The coverlet on the bed ties the whole scheme together. In fact, the bedding fabric was itself probably the inspiration for the color scheme of the room.
This color scheme arrangement consists primarily of any three colors equally spaced around the color wheel.
The lovely living room pictured here is an example of a triadic color scheme based on the primary colors yellow, red and blue. The large, patterned area rug ties all of these colors together and creates a sense of unity in the scheme.
Texture is also playing a key role in this room. The rough stone of the fireplace juxtaposed with the refined fabrics and furniture in the room creates added visual interest and depth in the scheme.
Never underestimate the importance of using different textures within your design scheme. It can be the element that takes your room from the level of "nice" to "beautifully sophisticated".
This approach uses only one color in various tints, shades or tones. Black and white may be introduced as well within this type of color scheme.
A monochromatic color scheme can look very sophisticated and unified. The key to success with this scheme is creating variation in the color you choose. Without significant tonal variation of your chosen hue along with a good amount of texture, the overall result may look a bit flat.
Getting it right can have stunning results, though, and is worth the effort.
In this dining room, the texture of tree leaves and dark, twisted branches creates just the right touch in relation to the straight lines of the contemporary surroundings. Though the monochromatic color scheme is simple in a way, the overall affect is striking and sophisticated.
This is a variation on the complementary color scheme in a slightly more sophisticated way.
It is composed primarily of one dominant color and the two hues that sit on either side of its complementary color directly across the color wheel.
In this bedroom a dominant, red, bed frame is playing off the yellow-green walls and the blue-toned bedside lamp. All three colors are brought together in the bedding fabric to create a unified interior design color scheme.
Perhaps by now you are getting a better sense of how to develop your own interior design color scheme. If you've carefully considered your personal taste, your objectives for the mood of the room, and have evaluated the lighting situation in the room, you are much better prepared to begin developing a color scheme that in the end will be satisfying.
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