Working with color is the fun part of pulling your home together. Initially, don’t get caught up in getting it right the first time you select your colors, fabrics and patterns. Learning and editing is part of the process. Don’t let all the decisions get in the way of your own imagination and enthusiasm. The sky’s the limit when it comes to designing your home. Making the right choices is a matter of time and experience, so take your time so you are able to learn what it is that you really like. Mixing colors and patterns reveals the style and tone of your home. Let’s explore a little bit about how to get this accomplished.
I am of the school of thought that believes that almost any color can complement another color, if the right hue, shade or intensity are chosen. In almost any decorating scheme, there is always a predominant color. Usually, walls and floors occupy this role. Make sure that your selection of a predominant color is flexible enough, and that you like it enough, so that any other selection plays second fiddle. Second colors play a supporting role in a decorating scheme. Usually, second colors are represented in upholstery, casegoods and accessories. Additionally, any other color is considered an accent color. These can be experienced in the millwork, accent wall or in fabrics used in small quantities throughout your room.
An important part of a room is the patterns or lack thereof. While there is nothing wrong with using one pattern in a room, using a few patterns can liven up a room and make them interesting. Patterns come in all types and sizes. There are so many, but here are a few to give you some food for thought: floral, plaid, stripes, dots, animal skins, abstracts and tie-dye. They can be mixed with solids or intermixed to create a well-decorated and layered home. There are no right or wrong ways, and there are no written rules. Your eyes will be the best judge of whether it feels nice or not.
One important thing to keep in mind about mixing patterns is making sure there is a variation in the scale of the patterns. For example, a room full of small patterns might go unnoticed, and a room full of large patterns might appear loud, as if you were yelling. So, some basic common sense should be developed while mixing patterns and colors to achieve a room that is balanced and appears pleasing to the eyes. This part requires a bit of artistry or experience, which is why I previously said to take your time.
Work with samples of paint on the walls before committing to painting an entire room. Also try cutting small swatches of your fabrics and materials to tack or tape next to the color of paint. This exercise will allow you a sneak peek of how your room will appear. Most designers, although brilliantly talented, use this trial-and-error method in creating a room with lots of colors and patterns.