Colour is a matter of personal taste. There are certain colour combinations such as black and white or mono¬chromes that have proven to be classic because they have endured. However, today more than ever, you have a choice of so many different shades of colour that it might be hard to know where to begin.
You can’t isolate colour. When you choose a colour for your main living space, the other rooms will be affected. The colours from one room to the next should live in har¬mony. If a bright or unusual colour appeals to you, for example, perhaps you should use it in a smaller room as an accent, or in the fabrics on accent pieces such as throw pillows.
Using Colour for Effect
Colour can also be used to alleviate problems in a room. As a rule of thumb, light colours will make small rooms seem larger, dark colours make large rooms seem cosier, and vivid colours brighten a dull room. Colour can be used to make ceilings seem higher or lower. Brilliant colour can create a focal point, while deep, vibrant colour cre¬ates drama. Whatever colour palette you choose, it can have a powerful effect on your rooms.
When in Doubt
Since this is your first home, you may be unsure about colour. Don’t agonize over it. Paint every room a shade of white and get on with the decorating process. Linen white is soft and warm, but I prefer a slightly rosy white. Mixing this colour is like making a good martini. The pink is only a trace and the trick is to mix in just that little smidgen of colour needed to cut the hospital starkness. Everyone and everything in the room will have a slight glow that is barely perceptible. It’s very flattering.
Many of today’s top designers are decorating with colours drawn from nature. It is a colour scheme that’s rest¬ful, sophisticated and elegant. Colours like sandy beige; shell pink, taupe, mossy green and terra-cotta are easy to mix in the form of painted walls and textured fab¬rics. Bring the outdoors in with the use of the colours in your environment. In this way your indoors and out¬doors will coexist and interplay. If you can’t bring your¬self to go with the white walls I recommended, the next best thing is the palest shade of a natural colour like sand or taupe or gray.
In southern climates, the colours used for interior de¬sign are often brighter and more vivid, hibiscus pink or orchid purple, for example, to combat the bright sun¬shine that tends to subdue colours. Pastels such as soft coral, pale lavender and celery green all look great in southern rooms.
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