Color is one of the most potent tools in your design toolbox. It can brighten or darken an area, make it seem larger or smaller and bring disparate parts of your home together into an attractive whole. This can be especially important in many modern houses and condominiums, where open floor plans provide a line of sight between living room and kitchen. The colors you choose for walls, appliances, furnishings and window treatments can bring the two areas together or, conversely, provide a clear definition between them.
Bringing Rooms Together
When you're working with an open floor plan, unify the rooms by using the same or coordinating colors in all areas that are visible from other rooms. All the walls can be a soft, neutral color, or you can choose different colors in the same intensity to create distinct rooms that work well together. If you prefer to paint all the walls the same color, vary accent colors for trim or for accessories. Color combinations like chocolate brown with pale blue or sandstone with soft yellow are surprisingly sophisticated when paired with granite countertops and burnished steel appliances.
Invoke the Mediterranean with warm yellows, soft blues and earthy greens and browns. Buttery yellow walls make a small kitchen seem larger and warmer. Combine them with a colorful tiled backsplash rich with blue, green and brown, and add a chair rail or woodwork in deep brown to give the room an outline of sorts. In the living room, opt for a more sophisticated palette of cool colors that invoke the same aesthetic. Pale blue walls with deep olive green and brown accents, for instance, provide a subtle background for furnishings and accents in rich, warm colors like dusky orange and deep red.
Sophisticated Living Room Palette
Invoke sophistication without formality with a cool--but not cold--color palette. Soft gray walls offer a neutral backdrop for nearly any highlight color and accent. Warm pearl-gray walls with soft apricot or lemony yellow sheer curtains at the windows for a sunny effect. Add depth to the design with pine green woodwork and trim, and choose furnishings in darker shades of gray or blue to add a finishing touch.
- "Colors for Living: Living Rooms;" Melinda Levine; 1998
- "The Color Scheme Bible: Inspirational Palettes for Designing Home Interiors;" Anna Starmer; 2005
- Photo Credit paint image by Chad McDermott from Fotolia.com
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