Choosing a paint color can be tricky. What color do you choose? Do you need an accent color? What color should your accessories be? It can be enough to make you just want to stick with beige! But don’t worry – you know your local Hirshfield’s color expert is always ready and willing to help you pick out the perfect paint color and give you advice.
For a quick lesson in color, we found an article over on HGTV.com outlining the top 10 tips for adding color to your space – here are some of the tips we like best:
Use the 60-30-10 Rule
Decorating a space in terms of color is as easy as 60-30-10. Don’t believe me? Take a look at some rooms in magazines or in Designers’ Portfolio. You’ll notice that the rooms you like the most are almost invariably divided into percentages of 60-30-10. Why this works is anybody’s guess. Perhaps it is the human tendency to see an overall theme in the 60 percent hue, unifying the coloration. The 30 percent provides visual interest and the 10 percent, not unlike jewelry, provides that little spark of sparkle.
So, when decorating a particular room, divide the colors into percentages:
60% of a dominant color
30% of a secondary color
10% of an accent color
When you think about it, this color breakdown is similar to a man’s business suit:
60% of the outfit’s color is the slacks and jacket
30% of the outfit’s color is the shirt
10% of the outfit’s color is the tie
Translated to a room setting, it typically means:
60% of the room’s color is the walls
30% of the room’s color is the upholstery
10% of the room’s color is, say, an accent piece or a floral arrangement
Choose a Color Scheme
Trying to decide on the right color scheme for a room or an entire home can be difficult. You can simplify the process by using your color wheel and narrowing down your choices to two color schemes. There are more, of course, but these are the most effective and provide a great place to start.
Complementary Color Scheme
Complementary colors are across from each other on the color wheel, such as red and green, blue and yellow, or purple and orange. Rooms decorated with a complementary color scheme tend to provide a clear separation of colors and often are more formal and more visually challenging. Complementary color schemes should be used in the more formal areas of the home — for example, the living room or dining room.
Analogous Color Scheme
Analogous colors are next to each other on the color wheel, such as yellow and green, blue and violet, or red and orange. Rooms using an analogous color scheme typically are more causal, restful and muted in terms of coloration. This color scheme is best used in the more informal areas of the home. Family rooms, dens and bedrooms — places where you’re searching for rest and recovery from the day — look and “feel” great in analogous colors.
A high-contrast space (a room that uses light and dark values of colors in combination — for example, deep burgundy with light gold) appears clearer and more highly defined than a space that incorporates low contrasts (say, saffron yellow with sage green). So think about using high contrast to enhance the formality of a room and low contrast to introduce soothing qualities.
When paired, black and white (which, by the way, are not colors but rather the addition or subtraction of light) are somewhat formal in appearance, not unlike a tuxedo. White with beige, however, has a low contrast and a feeling of calmness. Combining white and black with gray is very low key and also creates a restful space.