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Choosing Color


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As a homeowner, it can really be hard to visualize what a room is going to look at when it’s finally done. The veritable sea of paint colors, wallpapers, tiles, wall treatments and fabrics can be overwhelming, particularly if you haven’t really worked with color much before.

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Choosing Color

  1. 1. Creating Color SchemesAs a homeowner, it can really be hard to visualize what a room is going to look atwhen it’s finally done. The veritable sea of paint colors, wallpapers, tiles, walltreatments and fabrics can be overwhelming, particularly if you haven’t reallyworked with color much before.Thankfully, there are ways to solve this problem.The first is to use a simple color wheel, which is available in most homeimprovement stores. Colors that are the opposite of each other are known ascomplementary – they make the other appear more vivid. Those that lie besideeach other will look good together because they share a common hue. Those thatare equally spaced on the wheel are known as triads. They will create a livelycombination, but you need to let one color dominate and let the other two serveas accents.
  2. 2. Color can be warm or cool, and these descriptions can help you stir emotions.Half of the color wheel, from red to yellow green, is the warm side. The colors arestimulating. The other side is cool and includes blues, greens and purple.A couple basics where warm and cool colors are concerned. If you want to have awarm color to look livelier, use a cool color to accomplish that. For example,green may liven up a yellow room. The same is true for a room that is painted incooler colors. If you’ve ever seen how a slash of red makes a blue and white roomcome alive then you know how warm and cool colors can work hand in hand.Of course, you’re probably not going to be using the full value of these colors.Instead, you’ll be using hues of the colors, a minty green shade or a forest green.But with a little practice you’ll start to see how the colors of the wheel can worktogether or compete with one another.Another good way to visualize a room is by creating a board with all the colorswatches, fabric samples, tile choices and window treatments in one place.Simply laying these together on a black piece of poster board or foam core canmake all the difference in the world.Eventually, you’ll want to glue them all down so they create a working plan forthe room. But initially, you want to simply change out the samples you have thathave been short-listed. Almost immediately, you’ll start to see trends of whatworks well together vs. those that don’t seem to fit.
  3. 3. Selecting colors and working with a sample board isn’t something you want totackle lightly or finish in a day or even a week. You can to take your time mixingand matching, then considering your choices. Live with them for a while on theboard before you have to live with them in the room you’re redoing. You’ll begrateful for the time and money saved.This is the same thing a lot of interior designers do when they present ideas toclients. They bring all the samples they’ve selected, along with perhaps somephotos of furniture that would work well too in the room, if you’re also thinkingof buying new furniture. With the Internet, it’s easier than ever to snag photos offurnishings you like from online furniture stores and furniture store websites. It’sfar cheaper than buying a lot of designer catalogs and more efficient, since youcan search by concept to find just what you’re looking for. For instance, “whiteleather modern sofa” will return hundreds of designs on that you canthen narrow by further search queries.Learning to work with a color wheel and a sample board can save you literallythousands of dollars in mistakes as you realize that the choices you had in your
  4. 4. head weren’t workable in the real world. More important, it can also save youtime and give you valuable experience in how to thoughtfully and effectivelydesign the rooms in your home.Best of all, it can be a lot of fun to play with concepts, knowing that they are a loteasier to change on paper than they are in your home.