Bringing color into your home can help to infuse some additional joy into your indoor spaces – especially when you may be spending some extra time in them these days. Perhaps you have a home office space that you rarely used and this could be a great time for a refresh to help keep you inspired and in the groove throughout the entire day.
At first, it can feel intimidating when you begin to think about issues of proportion, scale and trends. Fortunately, bringing in color doesn’t have to be so daunting! Here are a few tips to help you along your way:
1. First things first: Think about the emotions you want to convey
Before introducing color into an otherwise neutral space, think a bit about what message and emotions you want to bring into your room. Blue tends to be universally calming, red is invigorating, and yellows tend to bring up feelings of cheerfulness and optimism. Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the connotations of the color you’re trying to bring in. We could easily write an entire article just on color alone but the internet is an excellent, easy resource for you to begin your research at home on the relationship between color and how they make us feel. Once you’ve found a color you like, don’t be afraid to bring in several items of similar hues.
2. Second, take a minute to understand color harmonies and proportion
Spend a few minutes researching color harmonies and color theory as well. Once you find a color or two that you like, read up a bit on complementary, analogous, and split-complementary schemes to find some options that incorporate the colors you’ve chosen.
Monochrome rooms will feel more soothing while a room filled with bright complimentary colors will bring dynamic energy into a space. To that end – watch proportions of each! Sometimes just a little splash of a compliment is all you need.
There are several interactive tools on the internet that allow you to plug in a color or a series of colors to start with and then create color combinations based on your desired outcome. Many of these tools were created for graphic designers but also work beautifully for any situation that involves color. For example, Canva, an online graphic design program intended for social media content creation, has an interactive color wheel tool that easily allows you to create color palettes along with a bit of color theory explanations that will have you off and running with inspiring palettes in no time!
3. Use nature for Inspiration
Ever see a sunset in San Diego and think, “Oh, that’s why surfers wear all these vibrant colors!”? Look outside your window for inspiration and also consider how the different scenes make you feel. Colors that can be found naturally in your region tend to be fail safe when bringing indoors. Here in Seattle, there is a special moment immediately after a storm when the sun starts to come out that blends the deep blue-purple storm clouds with the yellow-orange of the sun that creates a spectacular color combination with depth and cheerfulness all at the same time.
Don’t be shy with plants either! Not only are plant-filled interiors on trend right now, they’re also a great way to make your home a little healthier.
4. Level with the Trends
For the sake of longevity, it’s ok to start with a base of neutrals. When it comes to applying trendy colors, appreciate what your wallet and your free time can afford. Painting can be inexpensive, but if it requires more time and labor than you’re willing to put in, avoid giving your future-self a headache from repainting. Some low-risk ways to bring in color are through textiles, artwork, table lamps, ceramic vases and cabinet knobs. These items can all be readily switched out when the time comes.
Moreover, it’s helpful to adopt color trends that are going to last through all four seasons as well. Those toffee colored throw pillows may look great in the fall and winter, but come spring and summer you’ll be itching for something with more life. To that end, avoid purchasing any holiday décor integrating this year’s hottest color unless you’re ok with donating it next year.
5. Placement: Keep The Eye Moving Around the Room
The key to creating an interesting interior is to keep the eye moving around the room. When using boldly colored pieces, balance their impact with smaller touches of the same hue elsewhere in the room. Although the accent wall had a strong showing over the last 15 years, it’s starting to fall away in favor of painting the whole room with one striking color. It’s less about a singular eye-diverting pop of color these days and more about a well proportioned sprinkling.
6. Last but not least, if you’re still feeling intimidated try using texture or pattern instead.
If you’re still not sure about bringing color into your home, use a set of neutrals highlighted by unique or trendy textures to make your space feel more current. Matte black hardware is having a moment, as are mixed-metals, cane webbing, and reeding. Apply these to timeless forms – or don’t!
cover image source: Sight Unseen