One of the biggest decisions in the decorating process is selecting a color scheme. There are many reasons why you are drawn to one color or another, but are you choosing the right colors for your room, taking everything into consideration?
There are certain questions I ask when deciding on colors for my clients’ homes:
1. How will the room be used? Is it meant to be calm and restful; fun and adventurous; thought-provoking or inspiring?
2. Do you have an inspiration piece (i.e. artwork, fabric, area rug) that you want to use to pull colors from? What are your favorite places to shop for home furnishings?
3. What kind of natural light does the space get?
4. Are there any colors you definitely do not want to see in the space?
The answers to these four questions will determine the direction we go in choosing the perfect color scheme. I will give you a real-world example with a client I am working with right now. These are the answers they gave me to my color quiz:
1. The room we are working on is a living room/dining room combination. Both rooms were being under utilized because they weren’t set up for the way the family lives. In the 3 years they have lived in the house, they have never used the dining room and barely set foot in the living room. I asked them how they would use the space that made more sense to them. They said they really needed a place to entertain friends; their teenage son would like somewhere to play video games and watch movies; they also really love playing cards with friends. Ok, so the answer to my first color question is fun and adventurous. This space needs to come to life with color.
2. The clients didn’t have much they wanted to keep, but they did have a couple of pieces of art that they would like to incorporate into the room. The colors in the artwork were primarily reds, oranges and yellow. They like to shop at Pier One and World Market, so that gives me a good idea of their style. We will use colors from the artwork as a starting point for our color scheme.
3. The living room has a very large window that faces west and the dining room has an eastern facing window. They do not want widow coverings because there is not a privacy concern and they like the view to the outdoors. With this much natural light. I suggested adding a cool color to tone down their warm color scheme. We decided on a deep ocean blue that will hold up to the reds and oranges, but add some coolness to the room.
4. I then asked them if there were any colors they definitely did not want in the room. They said their preference would be brighter colors as opposed to softer colors, but nothing that they really didn’t want. The contrast of the warm reds and oranges with the deep blue will give them that fun vibe they are looking for. We decided to stay neutral on the paint and major pieces of furniture, and add in the pops of color with smaller pieces of furniture, pillows and accessories.
Having the answers to these four basic questions, we are well on our way to a beautifully colored room. Here are some inspiration photos for our color palette: