Monday, August 7, 2017

Becoming More Confident With Color

If you want to become more confident and skilled at creating better color schemes in your home, you'll want to master the language of color. The key to combining colors with great success is to learn the three characteristics of color-value, temperature, and intensity. I don't want you to be intimidated by the word hue, it's just another name for color. The other skill we'll talk about is combining colors.

So first, let's learn about "value", which is merely the lightness or darkness of a color. Keep in mind that light values expand a space, while dark values contract it. You would do better to use Robin's Egg Blue in a small room as opposed to Navy Blue, for example. There are an infinite number of values in the world of color today, from the lightest lights to the darkest darks. So you are not limited in any way when it comes to color choices.

The second characteristic is "temperature" and can be easily understand by just about everyone. It invokes a feeling of warmth or coolness. You'll find, if you were to draw an imaginary line across a color wheel, the colors ranging from yellow-green to red-violet invoke a feeling of warmth. They are referred to as "advancing" colors because they appear to be closer. They actually draw you into a room. While the opposite colors are considered to be "receding" colors. They appear more distant and create a calm, cool and spacious feel.

The third characteristic of color is intensity, which describes the brightness of a color. There are 12 colors on the basic color wheel and they are all fully intense, or what is referred to as "saturated". You'll find that lower-intensity colors are more muted.

You can become more comfortable with this particular color distinction by picturing two different versions of your favorite color. If we use a yellow-green for example, Lime would be much more intense than something like Willow.

Use the same intensity of colors to unify your space. By choosing colors that have the same intensity, your room will seem more put together than a room with mixed intensity colors.

You may have trouble, as some people do, with deciding the intensity or value of a color. If this is so, simply ask yourself first, if the color you are looking at is light, medium, or dark. That would be the value. Then proceed to distinguish if it is bright or dull. That would be the intensity.

Next, we will explain color combinations. The word "monochromatic" refers to using one color in your room design. Keep in mind that monotony can set in quickly in one-color space, but if done well, and we found if it is mixed with a lot of white or off-white colors such as linen or cream, it can be done quite successfully.

An "analogous" color scheme is achieved by taking colors that are side by side on the color ring, such as yellow, yellow-orange and orange. Using one common color is the key to creating an analogous scheme and adding an array of textures, patterns and finishes will help bring more variety to the look.

"Complimentary" colors schemes will be those that are created by using opposite colors on the wheel, such as blue and orange, or yellow and violet. If you choose to use full-strength colors be sure to repeat them liberally throughout the space. It certainly doesn't hurt to wonder a little into colors that are near compliments to ease up on the sometimes, overpowering look.

Our final color combo is "complex" color schemes. This is created by choosing colors that are evenly spaced around the wheel. You can use a three-color, or " triad" combo, such as yellow, blue, and red. You can also create a four color scheme which is referred to as a tetrad.

Whatever the look you're going for, we hope you have gained a little insight on the use of color. Choosing the right color scheme for your rooms is crucial to the way you will feel in your new space and it should be discussed and decided on by the whole family. The truth is, different personality types should also be considered when choosing a color scheme since colors have a way of making us feel calm or excited, so start with a sample and work your way up from there. Good luck in your endeavors.
This is an example of a triad color scheme, same intensity.
























Thursday, August 3, 2017

Creating a Feature Wall

With all the many ways we can add appeal and interest to a room, creating a feature wall is probably one of the more attractive options. Simply choose a wall that will hold the heaviest piece of furniture such as your sofa or bed and make it stand out. Browse the Internet or use your great imagination to change the look and feel of your room. If there is already a great feature in the room such as a fireplace, add some drama to that wall, or choose the opposite wall if you wish. A feature wall is usually the wall that visitors will see the moment they enter. It should completely draw their attention.

There are lots of ways to do this. Painting it a bolder, contrasting color than you paint the other walls of the room is just one way to make a bold statement. There are lots of painting techniques that can be used as well, such as ragging, color washing, combing, stamping, sponging on, and sponging off. I used a large stencil design in my bedroom to create this feature wall and I love it.




Wallpaper is another great option and you can find some really beautiful patterns. If you do decide on wall paper make sure you buy strippable paper, it will make things easier if you decide you want to take it down at some point in the future. Always use a wallpaper primer before you apply the paper.  Don't buy a pattern that will make it harder for you to incorporate your existing room colors, furniture, and accessories. You could divide the wall up behind a bed by putting up a wall treatment of some kind directly behind the wall and use wood trim pieces along the edges. This will really add drama and appeal to the room. If you're someone who changes your furniture around, this would not be a good idea.

Wood flooring planks hung horizontally make for an interesting and attractive look as well. You could also find some old door panels and repaint them or use them as is for a rustic look. Shutter doors work great too. Simply hang them side by side. I've also seen people use wood planks that are stained and hung in various heights side by side. You could even finish them in different shades of stain finishes. Bead board and shiplap are some more great wood options for your walls.

Faux brick or rock wall designs are great for bringing in the outdoors. Although they are usually used for the fireplace, they are becoming a wonderful addition for making a statement in any room. Many people use them for bar or recreation areas in their homes but they would make for a really nice rustic feature wall as well in a living room, kitchen, or family room.

If your room is small, use various size mirrors, or one very large mirror to make the room look larger.  These mirrors can be yard sale finds or store bought, and can make for some real fun when you're searching for your ideal pieces. Don't get too hung up on finishes. You can mix and match different frame finishes to make the look a lot more interesting. You could also have mirrors made to fit the entire wall if you wish.  A collage of family photos or art work can add appeal and interest to a large wall as well.

If you're an avid reader and like to actually hold a printed book in your hand and keep it afterward, think about a wall of book cases. They are great for displaying your nick knacks and family pictures and add a great amount of extra space for your collections.

It's all a matter of taste. Just remember that the feature wall should contain colors or items that really stand out and draw the attention of visitors as soon as they enter the room. Have fun with your ideas and you'll find that creating a feature wall in your rooms can be anything from dramatic, to calming, depending on your choices.