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Choose Color Part 3

Interiordezine.com’s Free Interior Decorating ecourse – Part 3

Last time we learnt about How to Brain Storm Your Style Ideas – how to decide what style suits your brief, today we will look at How to Use Color Well.

Part 3 – How to Use Color Well

The subject of color is HUGE!

So large that we have a whole website committed to it, for some background reading visit color

Today I am going to give you some easy ways to use color well when
you decorate.

Always choose one color to start your scheme. That color can come from an existing piece of artwork, a rug, existing upholstery fabric, or a silk flower arrangement. if you are decorating fromplans or blue prints then it is often best to start planning color from the floor up.

An interesting piece of artwork to help you find a color to start your color scheme with.

An interesting piece of artwork to help you find a color to start your color scheme with.

Decide what type of look and or color scheme. (Use your last lesson how to brain storm your style ideas and visit how to use the color wheel as tools for this selection).
Then start “layering” your color using your selected color scheme, start with the largest areas, floor, walls and ceiling.

Slowly bring in other large pieces, furniture, chairs, etc.

Remembering to balance the room. Don’t group all the same color in one area, “sprinkle” it so that it is easy on your eye.

Using patterns is often a hurdle for some people so they just don’t bother, and the color scheme lacks interest. We need to make our schemes look alive by using either pattern and or texture. For more help with these areas pattern and texture.

Think in three dimensions when you plan your color, dark curtains will enclose a room, a similar tone to the walls will keep the space looking open for example. A dark color for the floor will essentially “ground” your scheme.
To create a cosy intimate feeling use warm dark colors, to create light and airy the opposite, pale and fresh, cool colors will open up a room, and it will feel cool. A dark colored ceiling will lower the height of a room, and the opposite if you use white. Color can be used to reshape your room, for example you have a rectangular room, you can make it look more like a square if you paint the two shortest walls a darker color than the longer walls, this will make them appear to advance, and make the room feel more balanced. Find info on changing room size with color

Using color and textures in fabrics creates interest to this bedroom.

Using color and textures in fabrics creates interest to this bedroom.

Test your color scheme – get “test” or “sample” pots of paint and paint large pieces of card or board. Put them in your room or order a large sample of wallpaper or large piece of fabric. Leave these items in the area that you wish to decorate and look at how they change at different times of the day, due to different lighting situations. The will look dramatically different, this is when you need to decide when the room will be used the most and what color looks best in that light.

Ensure that the room or area that you are working in coordinates or is in harmony with the rest of the house. There is nothing worse than a disjointed color scheme with rooms colored haphazardly, it is very unsettling for a designer, an just plain unsettling for the general population.

If you are looking to choose colors that are in vogue now, your local paint store will be able to help, paint companies keep on top of fashion colors and produce ranges of colors to suit, but if you don’t have any luck there then try the fabric stores, they have new ranges of colors for every season.
The other place is of course up to date home and garden or interior decorating magazines.

Make sure the room has enough light to do your color scheme  justice. A very poorly lit room will never look go no matter what  you do. Lighting is the interior designer and decorators secret weapon, (and I almost forgot to tell you!)

Lighting strategicaly placed in this bedroom to enhance the orange colored backdrop of the bed, and the task lighting to the side tables.

Lighting strategicaly placed in this bedroom to enhance the orange colored backdrop of the bed, and the task lighting to the side tables.

The forth part of the e-course Making Fabrics Work for You

If you want to learn more about color I recommend you take a look  at my ebook Interior Design and Decorating Color

For home work you could take a look at:

Color Theory

Color Schemes

Color Articles

Bye for now

Regards

Lee Brown

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