How to Choose a Color Scheme

December 1, 2012

A few months ago I decided I wanted to redo my bedroom. One of my first blog posts is about my old bedroom and the colors I had chose to paint it 7 years ago. I decided to go from deep orange and pink walls to painting all the walls the same color. I did not want a very bright color or beige tone so I decided to go with a bold yet light peach/blush color. I wanted a color that would still look great with black and white prints and black furniture. I was so happy I chose this color because it really made everything stand out. Deciding to paint all the walls the same color made my room look larger.

If you are stuck on picking a color scheme for any room you can follow these tips from designer Mark McCauley who has 8 tips for you to take on white walls:

Tip #1: Choose a color scheme from the largest pattern in the space. 
You can pull colors out from a painting, fabric or printed rug. If you are looking for a neutral wall color you can look into the whites and beiges from the pattern. If you want a bolder statement, chose a color that pops.

Tip #2: Start with the formal areas in the house.
Formal areas such as entry way, dining and living room. If you chose a color scheme for those areas first, you can them chose a color from that color scheme. For example, if you have a blue sofa you can use blue tones in other areas in your home such as the bedroom and office. This will make a uniform look throughout your home.

Tip #3: Decorate your place from dark to light, vertically.
McCauley says to use darker color values for the floor, medium color values for the walls and light values for the ceiling. Using a system like this replicates the layout of the outside world. 

Tip #4: Study the color of your wardrobe. 
Because people normally buy clothes they like and think they look good in. Similarly, you should design and decorate your rooms in colors you look good in.

Tip #5: Use the color wheel.
Analogous color schemes are colors that are next to each other on the color wheel such as blue and green - which are casual and relaxing colors. These colors would look good in a bedroom where you do what to relax. McCauley also shares a great tip which is to always put something black in the room such as black frames, a black vase because it clarifies the rest of the colors in the room.

Tip #6: Use the rule 60-30-10.
"When decorating a space, divide the colors in the space into components of 60% a dominant color, 30% a secondary color and 10% accent  color", McCauley says. For example, the walls would be the dominant color, an upholstered fabric would be a secondary color and accessories like pillows would be an accent color.

Tip #7: Go with the architecture.
Just because you may have a small room in your home, you do not have to paint it white or a pale color. Instead, play off the architecture and use a warm, cozy color scheme.

Tip #8: Follow your personal style.
You can make any room look good as long as it's your taste. If you decorate your home according to your taste, others will appreciate that because it's you, even if others would not decorate their own house that way. 


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