Color is personal. Unless property is for sale, color choices should reflect personal choice. From clothes chosen to cars driven and front doors opened, color is a choice. It is the “catch phrases” such as “neutrals,” “color palettes,” and “color trends” that can create mixed emotions when it comes to actually making that choice.
Know the Basics of the Color Wheel
“Color is light, the visual effect resulting from our ability to distinguish different frequencies of light.” When speaking of fabrics and paints, etc. we speak of color
created with pigments, the primary colors being red, yellow, and blue and the secondary colors being orange, green and violet. Tertiary colors come from the combinations of the primary and secondary colors, such as red-orange, blue-green, etc. Visual interest comes in the combinations of these. “Monochromatic” is just one color varied by tints, (adding white to a color),tones (a color plus gray or the complement),and shades (a color plus black).
With each step up from a monochromatic color scheme one adds a little more energy and a little more interest. For example, analogous combinations are two to three colors touching on the color wheel and having the same root color (blue-green, green, yellowgreen) has this capability and yet is fairly conservative.
The most dramatic combination is complementary, two colors across the color wheel from another, and split complementary, or a “small triangle” where there are three colors as two of the colors flank the colorʼs complement.
Understand the Power of 60-30-10
These numbers refer to the proportion of colors used in a space. Follow a favorite colortheme with the walls reflect 60% of the roomʼs color, the furniture (or cabinets in a kitchen) reflect 30% of the color, and 10% of the roomʼs color would be that POP of an accent color. This way color brings its energy to the space and the space doesnʼt feel “overloaded” with color.
“Neutral” vs “Beige
For most people the term “neutrals” brings the color “beige” to mind. Beiges are neutrals (those which carry a wide appeal and subtle enough to not represent any one particular color boldly). But the entire span of warm neutrals are colors that create that calm peaceful retreat-like feel. Colors of natureʼs elements as seen in natural materials can be seen as neutrals. Natural materials are long lasting, standing the test of time; stone, pebbles, marble, granite. The colors are classic; the colors never go out of style because we seen them in nature and are comfortable with them. The subtley of the color creating a soothing atmosphere achieves “neutral” easily.
Color Trend With Care
“What makes color trends different from year to year is how you put them together in fresh, inventive ways” according to Leatrice Eiseman, director of the Pantone Color Institute, one of the premier color forecasters in the country. So how YOU put them together should be right for you. Achieve that fresh look with paint and accessories that can easily be changed. Take care when choosing furniture; furniture can be an investment, one that can stand the test of time.
Right now, color still reflects inspiration from Nature and is showing respect of our limited natural resources (kitchen trends still have stainless at the top, tho colored appliances are making a re-appearance). Repurposing materials continues to have a presence in accessories. “Security is the new luxury” as seen with vintage colors but coupled with POP accents (black and white with yellow accents). Color should reflect how space is used: make it fit the style and feeling that is “home.”
All in all… color is personal.