Color rules are made to be broken, right? Now, I’m the first to acknowledge that some color rules are there for a very good reason; don’t mess with them. However, the use of color in your interior spaces is a highly personal choice.
For some, the idea of a bright purple room sounds like a horror show. For others, they have no particular opinion on it – purple’s a nice enough color, so why not? The latter category is as determined as the first, but in the opposite direction: a bright purple room? The single most amazing idea they have ever heard; they’ll be a real-life Marie Schrader before you know it!
Despite the highly individual colour preferences we all have, there are still certain color rules when it comes to interior design. Remember when “blue and green should never be seen’? Even the mixing of stripes and florals was once considered a big design mistake. But that rule has changed. Yes, there are some colors that just ‘work’ together in harmony and others that ‘work’ because they create interior design tension. It depends on what you can live with.
However, some color rules are made to be broken.
Color Rule #1: “You Need A Pop of Colour!”
Not necessarily. Not if you don’t want a pop of colour.
The thing about neutral tones is that they look simple and efficient. They allow an open plan to flow and they are easy to maintain. Neutrals don’t clash with other decor options and they remain fresh and timeless. You don’t have to throw a splash of colour into the midst of a neutral or all-white palette because you think the room may otherwise look dull.
Do It Your Way: If you want to keep things uniform and muted, then do so. Neutrals can also be used at different strengths to create interest or a mix of matte on walls and gloss on architraves. You can create interest in other ways rather than relying on the staple “pop”. Interest can be created with Amonson lighting, for example. Ask an electrician to install intricate pendant lighting for you or run LEDs around the floor surround. Neutral doesn’t have to mean dull.
Color Rule #2: “Nothing Should Be The Same Colour!”
If we’re talking style rules, then over-matching is right up there as a potential for worst offender. It’s a backlash against a matching style that often passed right into fashion, too; where every item in a room or outfit was meant to be perfectly co-ordinated. To rebel against this 1970s-esque aesthetic, now we’re told to do the exact opposite; unless you’re looking for Scandinavian furniture because you want a nordic aesthetic.
Do It Your Way: The thing is… matching colors look neat. A room can look too deliberate and over-styled if each piece is sourced via color not aesthetic merit. While everything in the same shade is not ideal, there’s nothing wrong with sticking to – for example – green for everything. To keep it interesting, you could use different shades of green or different strengths of green. Aren’t baby blue and mint green shades realistically more similar to one another than mint green and forest green? It’s all about tone and shade. Consult a color wheel and see which colors sit together and which sit opposite each other.
When choosing a more monochromatic palette, add texture to stop decor boredom. Add accessories such as faux fur, a heavy knotted wool rug, velvet curtains, silk cushions, floor lamps, and vases to create interest.
Color Rule #3: “Stick To A Rigid Palette!”
It doesn’t matter if you have three, four or ten colors in your palette – but everything should go with it. If it doesn’t, paint it. If you can’t paint it or reupholster it, then just don’t have it. Is it really so offensive to have a single piece in colors that are unique to the room?
Do It Your Way: If everything fits into a palette and then one solitary piece doesn’t… who cares? Look at it another way: it could easily be described as a “pop” of unique interest. Eclectic if you will. Go with what you like, not what the rules tell you to enjoy.
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