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How To Plan A Colour Scheme

So many colours, so little time…..

My clients find the hardest part of starting a room is deciding just what colour they want to play up in the room they are decorating. Here are a few handy tips that you will find that are helpful to get the ball rolling.

Start by assessing the furnishings and any artwork that you want to keep then look for a colour combination you can build your new decorating scheme around. Look to a rug, painting, or even a quilt that sparks your interest. These can provide you with the inspiration you need. In the case of the photo I have used here for the blog today I used a peach pie as my inspiration. Yes…even peach pies can be used to create a colour scheme for your room. If you don’t have a peach pie handy you can always use a print fabric to help you plan your colour schemes. Professional artists have already worked out those colour harmonies for you so all that you have to do is to build on them.

The dominant colour in the fabric you are using will become the colour for the largest areas in the room – the walls or ceilings – with at least a hint of that colour being used in the floor coverings.

The next brightest colour can go on a large upholstered furniture piece. It is a good idea to repeat a bit of this colour at floor level and perhaps in the window treatment as well.

The sharpest colour in the fabric becomes your accent colour in the room. Use it sparingly in art and accessories. This is often a complimentary colour to your main colour choice.

Never give two or more colours equal importance in a room. Let one colour dominate, the other colour or colours in the room play counterpoint.

One more thing… never use a colour just once or it will end up looking like a mistake. Use touches of it elsewhere ideally in at least three areas.

If you are still stuck for ideas and looking for a few fail-safe colour schemes, try these: • Neutrals using pattern and texture • One dominant colour plus white • One strong dominant colour plus black & white

And lastly, if all else fails do not be afraid to enlist the help of a professional. Decorators are trained to see things in colours that an untrained eye cannot (kind of like a psychic!). They will save you hours of anguish, money in labour and paint from potentially choosing the wrong colour, and yes…..sometimes we’ve even been known to save a marriage over colour choices!

In a world full of beauty….

Gail K Allen

Interior Design Consultant

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