6 Ways to Use Color to Create a Home You Love
I recently shared a first look at a colorful DFW house my team and I designed. We had the fun challenge of creating a colorful, contemporary residence that didn’t go over the top or look too trendy with its vibrant hues.
This week, I’d like to share my tips for using color in a way that accentuates and enhances a home’s interior without overwhelming it or looking garish. When you get color right, it can make your home feel cozy and welcoming, brighten dark areas, jazz up boring areas, transform rooms, and bring you much happiness over the years.
1. Make an inspiration board with color choices
One of the first things I ask every new client to do is create an inspiration board online with their favorite photos of interior design. You can use Pinterest, Houzz, or other websites/apps to do this. Save photos that speak to you and look for common color threads. Do you like bright and light rooms? Is blue showing up again and again? Do you like orange as an accent color? Learn from your inspirations.
2. Learn about the psychology of color
Every color affects us psychologically in a different way. For example, in a child’s room where studying is planned, yellow and red would be overstimulating and distracting, but on a front door, red is a dynamite choice. There are lots of resources online. If you are choosing an interior designer, look for Dewey Color certification, something that shows expertise on the psychology of color and how to best use it in interior design — I earned my certification several years ago and it serves my clients well!
3. Consult the color wheel
Take a look at the color wheel and see what colors work well together. You could pick a color scheme based on analogous colors, which is three side-by-side colors on a 12-part color wheel, like yellow-green, yellow, and yellow-orange. Another option is to devise a scheme based on complementary colors, which means two colors directly across from each other on the color wheel. Examples include red and green or blue and orange. There’s lots of information online about color theory — lots of fun to read and research.
4. Take your color choices for a test run
Once you’ve found your inspiration, learned about the psychological impact of colors in specific spaces, and consulted the color wheel, it’s time to get crafty. Create a design board for each room with your choices that includes paint chips, fabric samples, and photos of products. Then give it a few days and let the look sink in. Study it in different light and at different times of the day — colors and textures will look different mid-morning than they do at twilight or by lamplight. Make sure you love your color choices at all times of day.
5. Use a neutral “background” in each room
With large furniture items and most paint colors, go neutral. Save your bold colors for accent pieces, which can easily be switched out to stay current and update your space. This also saves you from color overload, which can happen when you start using large amounts of bold color in one space.