Have you ever walked into a room and for whatever reason, you can’t make it look like the magazines? Is it the furniture? Or perhaps the decorations? Are they too small or too large? Does that rug make my room look small? Although, these factors could all play a part in why your room doesn’t seem to “work,” there is an easier factor to address.
“Alright, tell us already!” The truth is, you don’t have a solid color scheme to design around. You likely have too many colors of distracting elements that make the room feel a little more eclectic and a lot less put together. As I always say, if eclectic is your style go for it. I say this with one caveat, eclectic style is not meant for beginners. There is a fine balance of cultivating a full room with unique and colorful pieces versus cramming a bunch of items in one space. It’s a challenging style to pin down but the end result is well worth the time and effort.
While eclectic may be challenging, selecting and executing an artfully crafted color scheme can be just as difficult. This is why I’m going to help you through how to effectively choose and coordinate a color scheme for your room or home.
Do you often find that items look great on the shelves in the store, but don’t seem to work when you get home? Do you know why? Well, it’s because home stores have mastered the element of cultivating ravishing color schemes that catch the eye. Each aisle or section is specifically crafted with pieces that fit into a specific scheme helping to create a dashing display that captures the true beauty of each piece.
The key is to take this same concept and execute it in your home. The hard part is knowing where to begin. I recommend starting by taking a look at your more staple pieces that will move from home to home with you. For my family, our staple pieces include the large furniture we’ve invested our finances into such as our dining and breakfast room tables, sofas, and bed frames. That doesn’t necessarily mean your furniture should be your staple piece, though! Perhaps it’s a work of art, unique decoration, or something else you absolutely love. Regardless of the piece, you should look to build your color scheme around this piece.
In our case, the darker table set needed some lighter elements to help brighten the space. My mom loves neutrals, so we chose to accent the furniture with lighter tones such as tans, greys, and whites. Each staple item will need its own consideration for building the palette. This requires a lot of trial and error. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! You can always return anything you don’t love.
Next, consider what colors you like and what emotion you want to invoke. You may think your gloomy wall color plays no role in your lethargic mood lately, but believe me when I say it does. Color psychology is well documented and the colors you include in your home greatly impact your daily outlook. The good news is, you can use this to your advantage as well! Selecting white for a bathroom or bedroom can make the room feel fresh and clean while choosing a light blue or purple could invoke feelings of relaxation. Understanding the function of the room can help guide your decision for that particular space. If you are still skeptical a quick google search could send you down a rabbit hole of fun information!
It is also important to select colors you like for the space. I can’t imagine painting my workout room bright yellow to keep me happy and energized (but that’s just me). You may love neutrals and elect to keep your color scheme more muted, or you may want to spice it up with bright colors. Either way the most important factor determining your color selection should be you. I have seen some stunning rooms dawning colors I would never dream to include in my home. My advice? Be bold and be you!
I know I said pick colors you want in your home, but I need to define that a little better. Pick two to three colors you love for each space. If you pick more than 3 colors, the space can start to lean towards busy. If you maintain two or three core colors and utilize varying shades, this will create a cultivated aesthetic to help make the room feel more elegant. For instance, the display above dawns varying shades of tan, green, and white even though there appears to be much more color than that.
This rule excludes neutral accent pieces which means your black hardware will still work in your grey, tan, and white color palette. I almost like to think of neutrals as an exception to the three-color rule because they technically go with anything! White is the inclusion of all colors and black is the absence of any color so I consider these two freebies to include in any color palette.
Once you’ve selected your colors you need to find your “tie-in” piece. The tie-in piece is an item in the room that combines all the colors in the space. This piece could be a large painting, a rug, table runner, floral arrangement, or any piece that blends your color palette. I love using large art pieces, pillows, or rugs filled with varying hues of the space’s colors. They tend to make the largest impact to help create the perfect finished look!
If you need more help cultivating your desired color palette, try building a mood board. Lay out fabric swabs, tile pieces, paint chips and more that correlate to the colors you have selected. You can mix and match varying elements and colors until you find your desired combination. I do this before I design almost any room. Sometimes I get lazy and build it on Pinterest or in my camera roll with pictures of pieces I want. At the end of the day it performs the same function, therefore do what’s easiest for you.
The most important thing is to just do it. Play. Make mistakes. Try new formulas, colors, and materials. It will take time to find the right pieces, but decorating takes time! Wait for a piece you love that fits into your plan and go for it. I’ll also share some of my favorite color schemes with you soon. In the meantime, let me know in the comments below if you have any questions!