How to Match Furniture With Paint & Carpet

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Matching your furniture with paint and carpet colors is they key to creating a coordinated room design. Matching does not have to mean choosing similar colors. Designers often choose colors that are polar opposites but that complement each other and the total design. Using basic color theory that opposite colors are complementary will help you create a harmonious design without needing to find upholstery that perfectly matches your paint or carpet. Complementary colors accent one another without being identical, creating an overall aesthetic appearance that is coordinated without looking flat or boring.

Things You'll Need

  • Color wheel
  • Upholstery samples
  • Find your paint color on a basic color wheel. Look directly across the color wheel to find the opposite color, or "complementary color." For example, if your paint is yellow, the complementary color is purple. If your carpet is a neutral color (like beige, brown, black or gray) it will easily match with your paint and furniture, but if your carpet is brightly colored find the carpet's complementary color. If both your carpet and your paint are brightly colored, consider buying furniture in a neutral shade to avoid clashing.

  • Look for upholstered furniture in your chosen complementary or neutral color. Ask for upholstery samples at the furniture store, and take home the samples that appeal to you. Hold the samples against the paint and carpet to see how the colors look together. Look at your samples at several different times throughout the day to see how the color looks in different lighting. Consider several different shades of the same color; if you are looking for blue couches, bring home samples ranging from navy to robin's egg blue to see what works best in the room.

  • Consider refinishing wood furniture to accent your paint, upholstery and carpeting. Once you choose an upholstery color, use wooden end tables or coffee tables to add another dimension to your design. If your colors are dark and rich, use a light stain to bring light to the room. If your furniture or paint is pastel, consider staining your wood a dark color to bring warmth to your design. You can buy pre-finished wood furniture, or you can refinish existing pieces. (See Resources.)

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