Written by stacy w, Edited by charlotte w
Creating an environment you love can be a daunting experience for even those with a knack, and for others, deciding and executing a design concept can seem overwhelming.
We hope that over the next handful of articles from basic green box as we provide you with tips, ideas and specific color lessons that we'll help to get your inner designer thinking and reacting to color, textures, and space.
We'll share color concepts and examples to provide you with confidence and adventure to create your perfect space. Be sure to sign up for our email newsletters at the bottom of any website page if you haven't already - we're sure you don't want to miss this article series!
products shown here:
› mohair pillow
› silk squares pillow cover
› sheat straw placemat
corn husk placemat
› willow round
The perfect space (for you).
When we talk about creating spaces that are perfect, we mean for you; just for you.
After all, your home is a reflection of who you are, and how you want to feel in it. Color is an important part of that and we're excited to share concepts we practice in our own homes, at basic green box, and our product selection.
Color can be tricky if you let it, however many wise interior design professionals have said "There are no bad colors, only bad combinations of colors."
There are millions of colors available, and you know it's going to be a crazy ride when all you want is white, simply to realize..."which white!" There are hundreds of options, even for that 'ever basic white'.
Most of us have a tendency to believe that white is the best background color for any scheme, but we're going to tell you that you don't have to play it safe, don't be afraid of color!
Using a color scheme
Using a monochromatic color scheme can be a brilliantly simple but successful way of using color within a space.
Monochromatic is a fancy way of saying "one color." Notice how our example is mostly soft buttermilk yellow. Balance and visual appeal follows this easy to create scheme. By emphasizing this one color family, it allows you to play with textures and be confident within your design to build around your monochrome choice.
We love our 100% silk washable pillow covers and in this case we highlight a greek geo pattern with our silk squares cover. Greek design is classic, and this small repeating pattern is more consistent than busy, along with the sheen of the silk…simply luxurious.
The sheat straw placemats of a similar buttery yellow introduces both visual and actual texture. Placed beside the french scroll vase and the ruffle dish with its smooth curvy lines and glossy finish, the placemat seems of a different school, but in this case is acceptable due to its relationship in color.
A philosophy we like to practice starts with the critical element of establishing your baseline color as your neutral, then working from there.
Adding a touch of brown with the willow round and the iron and glass village lantern adds an element of variety but keeps consistent with our color theme. The darker neutrals with our chosen colors add a nice depth.
In this case, we have used some great browns as our neutral. Off white would be too washed out and beige just wouldn't work…too blah, and frequently beige has a green undertone. However, our chocolaty brown, now there's something to work with. A rich full color (think coffee!) with a soft welcoming color…ahhhhhh.
Veering away from starker contrast, a monochromatic color scheme can be a great option for getting started with your walls, furniture, and even accessories.
The great thing about working with a neutral background is that you get to show off what you want to focus on - is it the fabulous retro couch? The fantastic artwork in the corner? The copper accessories?
If you're willing, don't be afraid to play with shades and tints of the same color for this scheme; if they're of the same color family they'll blend and play off of each other very successfully.
first steps to building your space
If you want to introduce this concept into your home, don't feel like you have to start from scratch. Slowly bring in a color and repeat it as you come across home goods that appeal to you.
Don't buy it because it matches; buy it because you love it.
As you spend more time with color schemes, you'll easily find yourself mixing and matching colors more often based on what you like; when you're more confident you might just find that you'd like to pair that buttery yellow with a beach teal blue…
Monochromatic color schemes are restful but can still be exciting. Don't forget to play with texture, avoid your room being too flat by playing with velvets, satins, silks, cottons, leathers, and trimmings. And pattern! You CAN play with stripes and solids, plaids and floral patterns. If there's a time to mix and match all of them, it is when you're dealing with a monochromatic design…the consistent color will be simple elegance.
› color emphasis
Emphasizing one color throughout a room helps to add volume. Try this in a small office or bedroom, even a power room. The consistency in color visually enlarges a space.
› shades and hues
Avoid a boring room by playing with shades and tints of the same hue.
LESSON: Hue is the actual color. For example, red. A shade of red would be adding a touch of black, for a slightly darker color such as maroon. Adding white to the color would provide you with a tint of that color, red would become pink. More simply:
Color = Hue
Hue + Black = Shade
Hue + White = Tint
Hard surfaces have actual and implied textures too, consider your flooring; hardwood, carpet, and tile. Due to cost, these are great elements to choose in neutrals. Don't forget other surfaces…glossy, opaque, matte, rough, etc. when considering texture and color. Accessories too such as frames, linens, pottery, and flower arrangements.
Copyright 2006, basic green box