(This article will be published in the October issue of the Westchase WOW.)
Of all the design elements, color is the one that inspires me most. Scale, form and function are all certainly important, but color has the distinct ability to transform a space and grab attention. Whether it’s soft and subtle or bold and outrageous, there are definite guidelines to using it effectively in your home.
After defining the mood a client wants to create in their home, the first thing I look for is color inspiration. Sometimes this can be a painting, rug or patterned fabric on a chair. If my client isn’t particularly attached to anything in the room or if the room is empty to begin with, I’ll use the floor and fixture colors as my starting point. From there, we zero in on colors that will coordinate well.
To actually use the color, I look at the walls, floors, furniture, accessories and all the elements that will interact in the room. My goal is to “infuse” the space with appropriate color. If the goal is to create a serene, calm environment, I will pick one hue and work with it in various values. If more energy is needed, I will pick 1-2 coordinating colors and place them in the proper amount and proportion around the room.
The decision as to where color will go in the room is strategic. Lighter colors on walls are usually a safe choice, with mid-tones for furniture and darker colors for accents. If my client prefers a more dramatic approach, this process is reversed. Darker colors are used on the walls and the lighter colors are used for accents.
The step that I see that is most ignored in many homes is when we “throw the color around the room.” Different hues should be used a minimum of 3 times each within a space. They should relate to each other in a triangular formation and be at varying eye levels. The goal is to use the color to create visual interest and move your eye around the entire room. The color becomes the element that ties everything together.
Cynthia Keenan is certified in Interior Redesign, Real Estate Staging and is a Color With No Regrets Color Consultant. Visit her website at http://www.floridaredesigner.com.