People often flirt with the idea of adding a cheeky splash of colour in an otherwise drab and dull room. But it can be hard to know sometimes exactly what colour best suits the room, and how much colour should you add exactly without causing an eyesore. You want it to be tasteful and harmonise beautifully with the rest of your colour scheme. But how?
Choosing your accent colour
You need to love the colour you use. Inspiration needs to be drawn from this colour; this colour is the pulse keeping your room alive. This is the colour that’s going to stand out the most in your room or even your entire home. You have to live with it, and you have to be in love with it. Without sounding too over the top, the colour you choose is going to affect you and your visitors emotionally when you’re in the room. Whether it makes a positive impact or a negative one is entirely down to you and your usage of it. And if it doesn’t make an impact at all, then you know you’re doing something wrong.
Use paintings and pictures that you love for your home’s colour inspiration and ask yourself why you love the way the colours are used. If the painting or item you are looking at is intended to be the central focus piece of the room, pick out the colours that stand out the most and determine the ratios of the colours used and how they balance. Which colour jumps out of the picture the most? You can design an entire room around the central focal point of the room, like a painting or a rug. It’s like matching an outfit around a favourite handbag!
Notice in the above example, how the painting is what attracts your focus the most with its vibrant fuchsia, and how that’s reflected in the furniture with the fuchsia throw pillows and seats. Then the subtle dark blues in the painting are also used for the rug. The colours and placement of the furniture, even down to the arrangement around the window’s natural light source, could almost be a mirror of the painting itself. But ever so subtle, and ever so sophisticated.
What to accent and how
If you have a statement piece of furniture in your room, you’re obviously going to want to draw as much attention to it as possible, and using colours to direct focus onto this item is key. Envisage the beautiful Vivo 2 Seater Faux Leather Sofa in an ivory room with a little dark ash to really accentuate the luxurious bordeaux. How could you resist it?
Bathrooms often go ignored, but you can see in the photograph above by Daniel Hertzell that an airy Springtime green has completely livened up a clean white bathroom, giving it a breath of freshness and originality. The citrus green floor space also adds depth to the length of the room, making it look more spacious.
You can use an accent wall to anchor the furniture and frame the room. Accent walls needn’t be a solid colour either. If you’re feeling particularly brave, a subtle gradient can achieve interesting effects when used minimally. The use of a single patterned wall is also becoming a very popular trend, but works best when used with a minimalist design for the surroundings of the wall, so as to avoid a cluttered look.
In the example above, the hot pink really draws attention to the bed in the clean white room. To carry on the pink and white theme, you could use additional furniture to match, such as the Rook Mix ‘n’ Match bedroom furniture set pictured below.
Using a combination of two contrasting colours produces a very bold look, but to go even bolder, you could even incorporate three different colours.
The combination of the pink, lime green with a hint of turquoise in the dining room example above looks especially vibrant against the white and further enhanced even still with a small amount of black to make the bright accent colours truly pop. The floral Springtime colours keep the dining room looking fresh and modern.
If you want to use multiple colours in your design, but don’t want to go as bold as the dining room example, you can get a similar but subtler effect by using midtones and neutrals in your colour scheme instead of completely contrasting colours. In the Nina Oak Glass Top dining set above, you can see how even the neutral cream and blue midtones aren’t too daring a way to accentuate and add a subtle depth to the dining area. Midtones are a great way to calm colours that appear too bold for your taste.
Accent colours are used to add subtle definition to main points of interest, or even architectural features that deserve a little bit more attention. For example, when using an accent wall, typically if you have a fireplace or a certain wall that draws attention by itself, this would be the wall that you would choose to highlight. In the photograph above, the ceiling beams are contrasted with the white ceiling to visually elongate the room in the direction of the room (the furniture is pointing toward the television, as are the beams). Using colours in this way, you can influence the direction in which your visitors’ eyes will look, redirecting their gaze to certain aspects of your home, and distracting them away from others. A splash of turquoise with the throw pillows and odd decorative pieces introduce a colourful and interesting dynamic, even though the turquoise has been used sparingly.
Now go have fun exploring the colour spectrum on your own!
Images sourced from: decoist.com, Daniel Hertzell, freshome.com, franceshunt.co.uk