Color in Design

By August 29, 2018 July 10th, 2020 Interior Design Tips

Color in Contemporary Interior Design - modern orange barstools

Fall is finally here! And what better way to celebrate the new season than by introducing warm hues into your home? We’re all aware that color has the power to transform a room. But how do you use it and where do you begin? Choosing a color palette can be overwhelming and at times, confusing. But, we’re here to let you know that it’s easier than you think and surprisingly fun! Below, we’re sharing five different ways to add color to your home along with some basic color theory tips and examples.


Color In Design Tip 1) Start Small

One of the many things we love about color is that you don’t have to use a lot to make an impact. Other ways to slowly introduce color into your home is through small decorative items like pillows and vases. One other thing to keep in mind if you’re introducing color into your space for the first time is that it can have a profound impact on your mood and emotion. So, while it’s important to pick one you like, it’s also important to make sure it’s a color you feel you can live with. For example, you may love red, but that doesn’t mean you necessarily want it splashed across your bedroom walls.

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Color in Design Tip 2) Warm colors

Include red, orange, and yellow, and variations of those three colors. These are the colors of fire, of fall leaves, and of sunsets and sunrises, and are generally energizing, passionate, and positive.

Red and yellow are both primary colors, with orange falling in the middle (making it a secondary color), which means warm colors are all truly warm and aren’t created by combining a warm color with a cool color. Use warm colors in your designs to reflect passion, happiness, enthusiasm, and energy.

Color In Design Tip 3) Cool Colors

Cool colors include green, blue, and purple, are often more subdued than warm colors. They are the colors of night, of water, of nature, and are usually calming, relaxing, and somewhat reserved. Blue is the only primary color within the cool spectrum, which means the other colors are created by combining blue with a warm color (yellow for green and red for purple).

Because of this, green takes on some of the attributes of yellow, and purple takes on some of the attributes of red. Use cool colors in your designs to give a sense of calm or professionalism.

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Color In Design Tip 4) Neutral

Neutral colors often serve as the backdrop in design. They’re commonly combined with brighter accent colors. But they can also be used on their own in designs, and can create very sophisticated layouts. The meanings and impressions of neutral colors are much more affected by the colors that surround them than are warm and cool colors.

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Color in Design Tip 5) The 60-30-10 Rule

Last but certainly not least, the 60-30-10 rule is a timeless design tool that helps to formulate your color palette and serves as a guideline for determining how much of one color and how little of another should be used. The concept is meant to bring balance and works in tandem with the color wheel, so it can also be applied to your space

Your 60% is the main color for your room. Most likely the 60% in a living room would be most of your walls, large accent pieces like area rugs, and perhaps a sofa. The idea is that the 60% color anchors the space and also serves as a backdrop for what comes next.

Your 30% is the secondary color. You’ll be using half as much of this color as your main color. So this could be draperies, accent chairs, bed linens, painted furniture, or even creating an accent wall. The idea is that the secondary color supports the main color, but is different enough to set them apart and give the room interest. The real fun comes with the accent color you’ll be adding next.

Your 10% is your accent color. For a living room, this is your throw pillows, decorative accessories, and artwork. For a bedroom, this could be accent pillows on the bed, lamps on the bedside table, and candles on the nightstand. Your accent color can be pulled from artwork in the room, or from a printed fabric on larger items.

Using the 60-30-10 rule can make choosing color simple, and help you achieve balance in decorating.

When it comes to designing the possibilities are almost endless. We hope you are feeling inspired and less apprehensive about designing with color. If you are looking for more help achieving these looks or if you need design advice, space planning, or custom services, SFD is excited to be a part of your journey to help you to realize your unique vision. Contact us today to get started on your next project!

We look forward to seeing you soon.