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How to Work With Color in the Home


A colorful home is interesting.  It makes people smile and offers insight into the homeowners personality.  Now I’m not just talking big color, everything has color whether bold or soft and subtle.  Beige is a color, not for me bit it counts.  An all white room has color but let’s get back to the how-to work with color, a little or a lot.

Honestly the only absolute rule when it comes to good color results is discipline.  Believe me I go through this too: but I want to use this color or that color or I don’t like that one.  I’ll want to use a certain color, but if it is not part of the program (color key) the answer is always, “no.”

When coming up with a color scheme I’ll pull a bit of everything and weed out from there.  You’ll notice a few color keys in this pile.  For this space there is no rug or art to serve as the color key, hence the need for one in a fabric.

The worst piece of decorating advice I’ve ever heard is “if you love it, it will go.”   It is a lie.  Imagine all of this together in one room – hideous!  The home has enough royal blue, pink is covered, so is lime.  Next we break down the color key options and possible coordinates.  Now these fabrics, other than the color key, are guides to saturation, percentages, textures and what works.

Emphasis on lavenders and blue, green is the extra surprise – the pop.

Purple and green interior fabrics

More purples and greens and what I thought was turquoise but turned out to be more aqua.

This last one is the #1 choice with a focus on turquoise.  The color key is the sheer silk fabric which has turquoise and equal parts grassy lime and deep pink.  A combination of textures and patterns & solids leads to very rich results.

Turquoise, pink and green color scheme

Turquoise with a little pink and a little green.

This sets the stage for a master suite project with a bedroom, bath, closet & dressing and small seating area.  Calm is in order: plenty of solids, a repeating pattern in 3 scales and some enjoyable texture.  Now decisions can be made about what goes where and what hard surfaces (aka ones which cost $ and aren’t easily changed) will be.  No dark woods, blue, terracotta tile or black lacquer – all things one might like, but not here.

Having the color key selected and an idea of the coordinates makes selecting the rest of the items a breeze.  This is the roadmap and just like with driving – if one deviates the result is often lost and confused.  Same thing happens in home decorating.  Deviating from the color key or worse, not having one to start with, is where interior design goes bad.

Regardless of the amount of color one wants to end up with, starting with a color key and employing a heavy dose of self discipline is a guaranteed formula for a beautiful interior.  It is a tried and trusted friend of designers world wide.

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3 Responses to How to Work With Color in the Home

  1. Thanks for stopping by Theresa!

    XO
    Decor Girl

  2. Sarah

    I love turquoise and your pairings with the fabric are gorgeous. I never thought of combining it with pink, that is going to be my new favorite color combo for awhile! I have to admit on your color hierarchy all my favorite colors are under your “don’t care for” list! Good that we all have our own personal styles!
    Sarah @ made in usa challenge

  3. Thanks for sharing. This is what is so fun about color, it is so individual. I can appreciate the colors I don’t like when I see them done well. We all gravitate to different colors like a internal magnetic pull. To be honest one of my least favorite colors is on the floor, ceiling, walls & furniture in a room in my house: because it makes the colors I really like – look even better! Sneaky.

    XO,
    Lisa

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