Every home needs some color to help create mood and reflect the personality of its occupants. No matter whether you prefer a contemporary, minimalistic style, a traditional country cottage look or something in between, painting small areas of wall in accent colors, hanging pieces of artwork and strategically placing colorful cushions can transform a room’s character.
A generally accepted principle that tends to work in most rooms is to have the walls and ceilings in a dominant shade, making up 60% of the color, and a secondary shade, provided by the upholstery on seats and sofas etc., which accounts for 30%. Accent pieces, such as flower arrangements, pieces of art and soft furnishings, make up the final 10%.
The colors you use in each room determines whether the space is relaxing or challenging, casual or formal. Complementary colors tend to be used in living and dining rooms, often producing quite dramatic effects; they include combinations such as purple and orange, yellow and blue, and green and red.
Bedrooms and family rooms are areas where you want to escape from the stresses of the outside world, casual areas in which to unwind. These are spaces where you should be looking to incorporate an analogous color scheme; think of oranges and reds, blues and violets, and yellows and greens.
When planning your color scheme, take some time to make notes. How does a particular color make you feel? Does it relax or invigorate you? Pick your favorite shades from a color wheel and use that spectrum to decorate your home. Think about nature and how the colors you see around you inspire you; on the one hand there are the cool and peaceful colors of the sky, trees and water, while on the other there are the warmer shades representing fire and the sun, which promote feelings of creativity, action and energy.
Choose something as simple as strategically placed cushions to make a huge impact on a living room or bedroom. Select boldly patterned or bright, vibrant plain examples to make a statement and add sparkle. Take care not to overdo it though (unless that’s your thing!).
As a change from drapes at the windows, why not fit colored shutters? There is a wide selection of styles and finishes to choose from, and they really can become the focal point of any room.
Hanging pieces of art on the walls of your home is a great way to make a statement about your personal tastes. Take a look around your local art galleries or search for art online; it’s surprising how affordable even original paintings can be. If you’re on a budget, go for limited edition prints or have some of your own photographs printed and mounted. For a formal look, your artwork should be suitably framed, while for a more casual result, hang it simply mounted.
Be adventurous and hang large pieces on small walls to create an illusion of more space. Consider abstract art; you may not understand what the artist is trying to convey, but that doesn’t matter; choose paintings that you like simply for their colors and how they make you feel.
Finally, be sure to include your family in this process. After all, it’s their home as well.