Have you ever walked into someone’s home and it is absolutely the perfect colors? You want to curl up in a chair and make yourself right at home. Maybe grab a glass of wine and a really good book. And while you’re sitting there you begin to wonder how they accomplished that daunting task?
There are many tricks, tips, and secrets that designers use to create the perfect color palette for themselves and their clients. And one of these is to let nature do the work for you.
One of my favorite things to do when I’m outside is to take a good look at everything around me. I notice the textures of tree bark. I look at the way light plays on a mountainside. Maybe it’s the art classes or the quilts I’ve made that have created this awareness. Maybe it’s just one person’s passion for color and texture. But through each experience, I’ve learned that nature is the best form of color combination you’ll ever find.
As I was looking at this beautiful lake photograph, thinking about Fall, and feeling nostalgic about leaving our lake home behind for new adventures, I realized that most of my favorite colors are in that photo. And, most importantly, I use these guides to help me with my own color selections.
Let’s look at the photo above to see how you can make it work in your home for your next DIY project.
1. Find one dominating color that really speaks to you and use it freely. For me it’s the beautiful blues of water that range from deep blue to turquoise.
2. Next choose a secondary color from the photo. Red would be my personal choice. One of my favorite pieces of pottery just happens to include both of these colors!
3. After that, choose one or two more to be accents. These colors can be present in pillows, throws, towels, and any other accent piece you’d like to use.
4. Finally select one color for a background and paint your walls. My go-to neutral wall color is usually Benjamin Moor Cedar Key. It goes with everything and makes a good background for colorful art work.
Take a look at these accent pieces found online. They’re great examples of how you can follow the steps above to create your own color palette, and then shop on your own to find the perfect accents to pull it all together.
If you’ve been thinking about adding some pizzazz to your home this Fall, and don’t know where to start, be sure to grab our FREE report! All you have to do is add your name and email on our home page.
I don’t know how you feel about this, but I love color!!! I love looking at color, wearing color, and using it in my home. Have you ever noticed that your color preferences change with the seasons or the mood you’re in? I’ve discovered that certain colors can lift my spirits when I’m down, and ground me when I’m feeling overwhelmed and scattered. In the winter there are colors that I love to be surrounded with (usually warm, cozy colors), but when the hot Georgia summers arrive, those same colors no longer feel right.
So how do you choose colors that work great in your home? Colors that feel right for you and your family. Colors that let your personality shine through. I’ve put together some tips that I use when I want to select colors with confidence. I hope you find them helpful!
Observe how colors are combined in nature. I learned this little tip in a quilt workshop that I attended several years ago. The instructor showed us slides of reptiles, bugs, exotic animals, birds, etc. Some were beautiful, some were disgusting, but looking closely at the combinations of colors was fascinating, and a wonderful learning experience! So…picture a blue sky against a turquoise sea next to a sandy beach. Take a nature walk and notice the color combinations of insects, animals, flowers, trees. Look at your surroundings as if you were a painter. Visualize the colors in your home.
Study rooms in home decorating magazines. As you go through the magazines, look at the room design from a different perspective. Instead of simply thinking “I love this room” or “I hate this room”, look at each room for the colors used. How does it make you feel? Does your heart sing when you see the colors? Do they make you feel closed in, agitated, nervous, excited? When a color combination really speaks to you, that would be a good place to start in planning your room.
Be mindful of how a color makes you feel. I know that I keep going back to this point. But, to me, it’s the most important thing in selecting colors for anything… your home or a new outfit. If it doesn’t make you feel happy or joyful, comfortable or cozy, think twice before using it. Colors resonate differently with each person. I am not a fuschia or ochre person. When I see them, I want to shake them away! But I attended a coffee last week where two women were each wearing fuschia blouses, and they kept talking about how much they love that color. So no matter what the “hot” color of the moment is, if you feel uncomfortable with it, you should never use it.
Less is more! Be cautious of using too much color in your home. Usually, one main color with 2-3 accent colors is a good place to begin. Make sure that the colors flow throughout your house. It doesn’t have to be the same exact shade everywhere. Variations are good too. Remember that the amount of color you use needs to fit your personality. I’ve had a few clients that insisted on painting a different bright color in every room when we started. Once we narrowed it down to 3 or 4 colors the design flowed much better. By using small amounts of the colors in each room, we created unity.
Collect paint chips. Once you have an idea of color combinations you might like to work with, visit a paint store. Pull several colors and play around with combining them. Think about everything for the project, not just the walls. Will there be window treatments, cabinets, custom bedding? Find paint chips to represent the colors that you might want to use. Better yet…add some fabric swatches!
Posterboard is your friend! When I’m choosing a new paint color for a project, I always recommend painting a large piece of posterboard. Having a large painted area really helps in my decision-making. Another great benefit is that you can move it around the space to see how the lighting affects it. Some colors look totally different in light and shadows!
Be happy with your choice! Remember that pillows can be changed and walls can be repainted.