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Interior Design

Making Colour Work

Using bright, bold colour has long been a way to make a room interesting and full of life. But doing it the wrong way can really cause a problem if you don’t know how to match them together. Follow these colour-decorating tips to get a colourful space that will leave guests envious of your surroundings.

Accents

Bright colours are often used as accents, and this is a good basic way to begin to integrate colour into your home slowly. Often, in a monochromatic or neutral-coloured room, there’s nothing to stand out from the blank canvas. This can be fixed by using accent colours to bring a bright “pop” to a room.

Don’t be afraid to go bold, because with accents, there is a small amount of the colour in the room. This means the most effective accents will be bright, like hot pink, or deep, like an emerald green or deep sapphire blue. Pastels just won’t cut it here.

Try using throws and pillows on a couch, one focal piece of furniture like a chaise or ornate chair, a framed piece of artwork on the wall, luxury bedding, a cheap rug or a bright light fixture as your accent items and you’ll find the pop of colour adds visual interest to the room.

Combining colours

When more, more, more colour is what you want, you’re going to want to combine many colours together to make the palette of your room. You should do this carefully in order to get the look you’re going for.

For one, when you combine colours, you should see where they are on the colour wheel. The colour wheel is a tool that artists use to determine whether colours complement or contrast one another. For instance, red and green are opposites but work well together. Red also works well when paired with orange and purple because they are its complementary colours. Keep this in mind while combining colours.

You should also consider shade. Shade is what makes the difference between baby pink and magenta, and it’s important to keep the shades of your colours all similar. For instance, you might combine a blue, pink and green in one room, but make sure they’re all jewel tones for a bright and resonant feel.

When combining more than two colours in one room, it’s important to keep the style of the pieces in the room similar, which will insure that the room still feels cohesive, even with different colours happening all around it.

Patterns and solids

Combining patterns and solids in different colours can quickly become erratic and like a cacophony on walls and floors. This is why it’s best to stick to one pattern, and complement the pattern with solids elsewhere in the room.

You can try using a bold, patterned wallpaper on one wall or all the walls in the room, but then make sure your furniture is sleek and in solid colours to make the room feel less busy.

You can also pick a patterned tile for the floor, tabletop or couch – just remember that everything around it should serve to make it the centrepiece that it is.

Test before you buy

Overall, when combining colour, you must make sure that the combinations will work well together, and often making a swatch board of all the textures and colours in the room will help you to picture before you commit to a rainbow room. Then paint, upholster and wallpaper away!

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