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Why is finding the perfect combination of colors for a new room so hard?

Why is finding the perfect combination of colors for a new room so hard? 

Contrary to what you've been told, there are no "color rules." That's what makes choosing the perfect paint for your new room so confusing. 

When it comes to color, there are harmonies rather than rules. Think of music. Using the same notes you can compose a lullaby, a rock anthem, or an opera. The result depends on the way you combine the notes, not the notes themselves.

Using the same color, let's say blue, you can design...

A classic kitchen where the blue stands alone among neutral white paint, brown wood floors, and brass fittings.

Photo by Boaz Meiri, Design by Jackie Lopey, Certified Interior Designer & Founder of Wide Canvas

Or, a rich and vibrant nursery that embraces bold tones like magenta and teal...

Artistic Rendering of Baby Girl's Blue and Magenta Nursery

Nursery design by Jackie Lopey, Certified Interior Designer & Founder of Wide Canvas

Also like music, color has history. 

When I think of blue and pink chintz, I think of the 1980s. (If you remember the 1980s chintz sofas, email me a "Yes, I remember the chintz sofas." That's all you need to say. We understand each other.)

Blue and Pink Chintz Fabric

Blue and Pink Chintz Fabric

Chintz dates back to 16th century India, and the 1980s wasn't the first time we saw the blue and pink combination, but it took hold in that era and in the minds of people who came of age then. We're likely to push away the colors that epitomize the era we grew up in because, really, who wants to live in their parents' house?

Color evokes feelings.

We're attracted to color because of how it makes us feel not how it looks. You see a color combination and it makes you feel something. Maybe you associate it with another place or time. Then, you decide if you like it.

City-dwellers who wants to feel the simplicity and freedom of living in the mountains choose warm brown and black for their kitchen...

Photo by Boaz Meiri, Design by Jackie Lopey, Certified Interior Designer & Founder of Wide Canvas

A grown-up who wants to feel the comfort and warmth of her great-grandmother's kitchen chooses pure white and a profusion of pastels...

I'm the grown-up, and this is the kitchen that I designed for my family. It was inspired by the multi-colored Fiestaware that I inherited from my great-grandmother. (See the teapot and cups in the lower right? That's Fiestaware.)

Photo by Boaz Meiri, Design by Jackie Lopey, Certified Interior Designer & Founder of Wide Canvas

Learn how to work with color in your home.

Interior designers know how color works, understand historical color schemes, and know how to evoke emotion with color. Designers aren't born with mad color skills. We learn them. And, you can too. 

  1. Visit an art museum and analyze the colors in the artwork you see there. (My favorite art museum: Nevada Museum of Art)
  2. Take a good look around the next time you visit a large public place - a hotel, a concert hall, or a high-end store.
  3. Examine a room in your own house. 

Ask yourself:

  • What colors did the artist or designer use?
  • What feelings surface as I look at the painting, the hotel lobby, or my living room?
  • What do you tell yourself about the feelings?  

One more way to learn about color...

Take my free mini-course: The Clueless to Confident Color Mastery System. Confidently coordinate paint, metal finishes, woods - you name it - for your new room. I'll show you how - step by step.

 

Jackie Lopey, Certified Interior Designer & Founder of Wide Canvas

She didn't know it, but Jackie Lopey's days as an advertising executive were numbered when she bought and renovated a 1950's bungalow. She soon went back to school and started her own design studio. Jackie is an award-winning, certified interior designer and the founder of Wide Canvas.

 

 

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