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“Being Creative With Color”

It’s no secret that painting is one of the most powerful tools in a designer’s tool box. Simply painting a room is not only a quick and easy refresher but its affordable too. Whether you are looking to add a “pick me up” to a tired space, wanting a change or looking for an affordable design tip, painting tops my list of affordable ways to add color to any space.

As an ASID/NCIDQ certified interior designer, I was trained to understand the various aspects of color and its properties. Whether you choose to use a color “full chroma” or its shade (achieved by adding black) or tint (achieved by adding white), you can make a powerful design statement simply by your use of color.


A Lesson in Color

In interior design school, you learn far more about color than the average person would need, but I do believe some of the basic principles of color are of particular interest to design enthusiasts.

The color wheel is a great place to start when looking for either interior design inspiration or guidance as far as using particular colors together.   As a general rule, colors that are adjacent or opposite on the color wheel work best.   Feel free to not only mix and match any of the colors, but don’t forget that you can also use a colors’ shade (achieved by adding black) or tint (achieved by adding white) to create a desired look.

Black and White

Black and white are two of the most popular colors when it comes to clothing apparel and the same holds true for home furnishings.  Black and white are often treated as throw away colors but I believe as a design technique they can simply “make” a space.

I call black and white “foundation” colors because you can pair them with nearly any contrasting accent color and create something truly unique and special.

Black in interior design is almost like “the little black dress” associated with fashion, quick, easy and superbly designed.   I also find black and white to be both elegant colors that add as sense of richness to a space.   In designing, I often pair black and white with gray.

Tone on Tone

Tone on tone is a wonderful way to design a monochromatic color scheme.  Tone on tone involves simply pairing similar or different shades, tones and tints of the same color in order to achieve a harmonious color scheme.  This technique can be done successfully with any color including white! I am sure we have all been amazed by how many different shades of white are on the market!

Accent Walls

When looking to design with color, creating an accent wall is such a wonderful use of color.  Accent walls not only add interest to a space, but is a creative way to add color and paint to a room without it feeling overwhelmed by color.

In making a statement with color, I believe you should use bold, rich colors that allow the room to feel warm and cheery but not overwhelmed. When deciding what color or colors to paint your interior walls, allow yourself to be inspired by the objects you love around you such as nature, fashion, music and your personal influences.  I believe color should be “seen and not heard” meaning it should set the tone of the entire space but it should not be overwhelming or distracting.

Affordable ways to add color

  • Accent walls
  • Toss pillows
  • Area rugs
  • Artwork

When it comes to color, have fun with it, embrace it!  And remember accent walls as well as colors like brown, black and white can often make your strongest design statement.