We know that feeling when we walk into a room and something’s wrong, don’t we? The furnishings are great, and the layout works, but still, is something missing? Most of the time, this feeling is due to (lack of) the right color palette or poor color harmony. This is one of the reasons that restaurants and hotels can look so attractive; In fact, designers know that there is nothing like color to create ambiance and a feeling of coziness.
That’s not to say color palettes should be overly prescriptive. Having a color palette to refer to, even a flexible palette, will help all spaces evolve in a cohesive and inviting way. This not only includes your walls, but also your floors, furniture, accents and more!
So where do you start to find a color palette for a room or an entire house?
1. FIND YOUR SOURCE OF INSPIRATION
The first thing to do is to find inspiration for the possible color combinations by looking at what you have already chosen. What are your favorite colors? Take a look around your house and see if there is a color pattern you already like. Some people don’t realize they have a favorite color, but an indicator can be a color scheme or a repeating pattern in most of your purchases and acquisitions. Look inside your closet. Do you tend to wear more neutral or more colorful clothes? You might not want to create a color palette out of what you have at home, but what about the outside? A magnificent view is like a painting coming to life after all. Is there a building, office, car that you love and want to see every time? What color is it?
Get inspired by paying attention to repeating color patterns that make you feel easy and make you happy. The ones you choose naturally, without thinking.
2. TAKE INTO ACCOUNT YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Something that you definitely want to consider is what you are trying to get the colors for. Especially any items that you may not be able to change. What are the existing colors that surround you? Take a look at the colors of your flooring, cabinets and counters. Are you dealing with wood, carpet or tile floors? With warm or cold undertones?
Are your cabinets a warm wood type or not? Or are you super lucky they are very neutral and will go with anything? (Great!)
What about your walls? In the event that they are white be sure to ask yourself if they are pure white or off white. If you are dealing with other than pure white, you want to choose warmer colors for your decor so that your interior does not have a “dirty” look. Be prepared for the look of the place and the need to reconsider the first color palettes you had in mind, if need be.
Sometimes the solution is to replace the pre-existing colors with ones that match the design you have in mind, but this option is usually not available to tenants, for example. So you just have to be aware of the colors already present and make the decision to take them into account in your color palette.
3. USE THE CHROMATIC WHEEL TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
The colors that are close to each other on the wheel are called analogues and create a harmonious, casual and relaxing atmosphere (perfect for a bedroom).
Colors that face each other on the color wheel are called complementary colors. They will create a colorful and warm atmosphere in your home and can be categorized as “pop colors”. They give a fabulous result, if used in small doses. At least for those who love colors!
For those who prefer the monochromatic palette at home, that’s great too! Just grab your favorite color and use different shades and shades for your space. It will also give a good look!
And be aware that most neutral colors can give a warm or cool undertone. It is therefore important to know how to distinguish one from the other.
- Warm colors will give a cheerful, fun and energetic vibe. They tend to fill up space, sometimes making rooms appear smaller than they are.
- Cool colors lend themselves to a soothing and relaxing atmosphere. They give the impression of a greater expanse, so the rooms will feel larger.
Personally I prefer cool colors like blue or green, but I like adding pops of pink and yellow for fun and energy!
Do you have any idea what your color scheme is or should be now? If so, then I am glad I could help! But it’s not over just yet. The next step is to choose the furnishings in your design. Do you like geometric structures and figures? Or are you more in love with flowers and prints? While the color you like and the one around you should help you choose your color scheme, your personality, and the future use of the space, are things to consider when choosing furniture. And that’s what we’ll discuss in Design Your Dream Place (Part II).