Determining Color Schemes
Article from homefurnish.com
Photo from Randall Furniture
there are volumes written on the subject of color theory. Your choices
when it comes to picking out a color scheme for a room in your house
may seem rather daunting. The following is one simple method for
creating a room with that "pulled together" look.
- Step 1) Pick a Pattern
Almost every room has a pattern in it somewhere. It might be in
a picture, a rug, the bedspread or on an upholstered piece of
furniture. It is much easier to start with the pattern, than to
try to find a pattern to fit into a given color scheme later on.
From the colors in your pattern, we will create the palette for
- Step 2) Choose Three Colors
From within your pattern select three colors; a light color, a
medium tone and a darker color. These three colors will form the
foundation of your color scheme.
- Step 3) Use Your Light Color As The Background
Color your walls and floor with a soft version of your light color.
You may choose to "knock it down" with a touch of white
or gray if it seems too vivid for use as a background color. It
is pleasing to the eye to have your floor color a bit darker than
your walls and ceiling. This helps to "ground" the room.
- Step 4) Put Your Medium Tone On The Largest Pieces
Window coverings and large furniture pieces will take the mid-tone
color - especially if it has a tinge of the wall/floor color mixed
- Step 5) Add The Darker Color As An Accent
Now sprinkle in the darker color on the accessories and small
furniture pieces. Use these for punch and distribute them evenly
throughout the room. By rotating the three colors you can place
a greater emphasis on the background or furniture. Your eye typically
will gravitate towards the darker, brighter colors.
The feeling of a room can be created by using different combinations
or values of color.
For a calm, quiet room, select a neutral color and apply different
shades or values of that color to the various elements of the room.
This is a popular approach as it allows you to vary the look of
the room by changing the accents and accessories. Add interest to
the room with the use of a variety of textures on the floor, walls
For a relaxing effect, select a color scheme composed of related
colors: greens and blues or rose and peach are two examples of this
approach. Keep the values (strength) similar for a pleasing look.
Use a color wheel to help you select colors that are similar (adjacent).
A stimulating, lively environment is created by using colors that
are strongly in contrast with one another. You can select similar
colors (as above) in their dark, vivid hues, or select complementary
colors-those opposite one another on the color wheel. Either way,
the effect you achieve is attention-getting.
Once you have decided on a color scheme, bring your samples home.
Look at them at different times of the day, and in both natural
and incandescent light. As you make decisions on the placement of
colors in the room, keep in mind that darker colors will tend to
fade over time more than lighter ones. Be sure to take into consideration
any existing pieces that will remain in the room as well as the
various wood finishes present.