It’s fun to be creative with colour when designing your perfect colour scheme at home, but what might work brilliantly in an artistic painting which is to be housed in a modern art gallery is not necessarily going to deliver the best results in a communal living space or working / public area. Nothing can replace natural intuition and personal style, but there are certain colour matching theories which can be used to the designer’s advantage when choosing how to successfully introduce colour and combine different shades in any interior design project.
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Choose a central colour
One really effective way of ensuring colour is used effectively in any space is to select a central colour which will dominate the overall design and from which all other tones and shades will be derived. A colour can only be dominant when it is used more than all the rest. This is not to say that a space which is dominated by the colour red needs to use the same red 90% of the time in the design (including walls and furniture). If red is the colour which has been chosen to dominate the overall design, it will be important to choose complementary colours (see below) to strengthen the impact of the red and to experiment a little with different shades and tones of red. Some reds are closer to orange than others. Some reds exude a distinct purple hue. If black or white is added to the shade of red being used, the colour will naturally appear either lighter or darker.
A monochromatic palette
Mixing just one colour with varying degrees of black and/or white creates a range of tones which, when put together in a colour scheme, make up what’s known as a monochromatic palette. The beauty of this palette lies in its simplicity. As the design hangs off of nothing more than the graduations of one single pigment, it’s impossible to go wrong. Harmony and balance are inherent in this design, which makes it the perfect choice for those people new to interior design.
Colour matching ideas which stem from the use of complementary colours relies on a little knowledge related to colour theory. Basic colour theory suggests that colours which are found opposite each other on the colour wheel form the perfect complementary colour combination. Red should be paired with green, yellow with purple and blue with orange. Not only will these colour combinations create the desired balance and harmony in a design, but they will also work to accentuate and heighten each other’s properties. A red cushion will appear even more “red” when thrown on top of a green sofa, for instance.
When too many risks are taken with colour, the results can be disastrous. Too much colour can be confusing and end up making little impact. A great way of taking risk with colour combinations in interior design is to focus the risk-taking on one single area. One idea is to choose a single wall and make it a feature. The majority of the room could hang off of a monochromatic design while the feature wall introduces complementary colours in a bold, dynamic way. Another idea is to select an item of furniture, or a series of items, to be the dominant focus in the design. In a relatively simple room, a large sofa with a busy pattern or varied colour design can create a stunning impact. Lampshades, radiator covers and cushions also offer plenty of scope for colour risk-taking.
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