There are various styles of home decorating which include Bohemian, Classical, Sophisticated and Minimalist. The one factor that is likely to remain constant in all these styles is colour. Be it strong bold colours, pastel hues or neutrals, it becomes an important part of décor.
As colour is the most emotional element in design, it is ideal to start by understanding how it works and how it can enhance your life. Along with adopting a decorating style, it is necessary to analyse a room’s decorating requirements together with the importance of tone and texture in design.
The first step is to understand and address proportions in a space. Colours are best used in unequal proportions as they compete for attention when used equally. To make it simple, one needs to know the basics – that your walls are likely to have the largest surface area of colour while the floor and ceiling have the 2nd largest proportion of colour. Next come the furniture finishes be it wood, paint, fabric or leather. And lastly the smallest proportion of colour would be the accent colour which could be cushions, rugs or art work.
Colours are most effective when one understands the concept of neutrals. Neutrals are essentially natural looking colours which don’t have an obvious colour; and these can be used as bases for colour palettes. Generally dark neutrals can be brown, grey or even black and light neutrals can be beige, light grey or white. Neutrals are mostly colours linked to the natural environment and are non-intrusive. They don’t demand attention and are soothing even if used in a larger proportion.
Brown is a neutral found in nature in abundance as it could be barks of trees, soil, ground or even sand. Any wooden texture therefore, is a reflection of Mother Nature and is sure to look good with most colours and under any kind of light.
Having said that, a warm colour scheme using reds, oranges and yellows always compliments wooden furniture in the best possible way. Alternately, greens, limes and yellows equally compliment wooden finishes, as is evident in nature. You can extend this natural colour palette by adding shades of the colours you have selected. You can develop this further by creating a proportionate colour palette for your walls, ceilings, floor and furniture.
Once you have achieved an extended colour palette you can decide on an accent colour. This could be the ‘colour pop’ you may want to use on a feature wall, cushions, rugs or even wall art.
Styling tip: Light and cool colours appear to recede and create space. Warm and dark colours appear to advance and create cosiness. Remember this simple tip to help you manipulate the sense of space in your room.
And finally, texture, which is also an important element in your décor scheme. Even the perfect colour scheme needs a little bit of texture for it to come alive. Texture refers to the quality of a surface such as fabric, wall paint or even a rug. Fabrics and soft furnishings are the most effective way of adding texture to a room. The variety of colours and textures available in fabrics can inspire you to develop many colour schemes to choose from.
Using texture as a decorating element is similar to colour, as the mood or style of your room dictates the type of texture to use. For example, if you have a bedroom that has a romantic, soft mood it’s likely you’ll want to match it with a soft texture such as a transparent fabric on a curtain, a satin cushion cover or a high pile luxurious carpet.
It is also important to address the proportional use of texture in a decorating scheme in the same manner as you would colour. It needs to be balanced with the other elements in the room and enhance your scheme rather than overwhelm it.
Styling tip: Keep it simple – don’t over use texture. Lots of contrasting textures will clash and are unpleasant to be around. Bring in textured elements like floor cushions, throw rugs, or funky table runners as accents. In most spaces, texture should enhance your scheme, not dominate.