K+BB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Dec 03 2015

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The Perfect Ratio of Color

For clients, color is as individual as their home, so convincing them to change to a new style and color can be a challenge. And with the holidays quickly approaching and homes filling with guests, K+BB talked with designer Kerrie Kelly of Sacramento, Calif.-based Kerrie Kelly Design Lab to find out how color can quickly and dramatically change a home.


K+BB: What are the best ways for clients to introduce a new color into their home?

KK: Individual colors are interesting, but the real fun happens when you bring colors together in a room. Endless color combinations are possible, but keep a few basic color principles in mind. A monochromatic combination uses shades of a single color and can be serene and elegant. The key to success is to use materials that are similar – but not identical – in lightness or darkness and in brightness or dullness. An analogous combination consists of colors that lie side by side on the color wheel, such as blue, blue-violet and violet.

A complementary color combination is made up of colors that lie directly opposite each other on the color wheel, such as red and green. Approximately opposite colors work well, too; for example, sage green (a yellow-green) pairs beautifully with violet. Sometimes combinations are more interesting when the colors are not direct opposites. Complex color schemes consist of colors spread around the color wheel. You might choose colors that are equidistant on the color wheel, such as blue-green, red-violet and yellow-orange. A four-color combination of equidistant colors is also possible, such as green, red, yellow-orange and blue-violet. Complex color schemes automatically balance visually, but they can be a challenge to put together.

Where you place colors in a room is just as important as using them in pleasing proportions. Even reversing the color choices between the walls and the furnishings – such as having lavender walls with yellow furnishings versus yellow walls with lavender furnishings – can make a difference in how you perceive the room. The visual impact of your decorating scheme is a direct result of color placement.

Wendy Wrzos- blush                        The Blush Room, chosen by Wendy Wrzos

K+BB: How can colors dramatically impact a home?

KK: Color is a powerful tool. It can accentuate architectural details as well as direct traffic and create flow in your client’s home. Blues are all about tranquility and relaxation; reds and rich earth tones are social-gathering colors. Choose your colors according to the use of the room and the mood you want to create for the client.

K+BB: Talk about how color can improve smaller spaces.

KK: You can use colors to alter the perception of space within a room. Generally speaking, light colors give the illusion of more space while warm colors make a room seem smaller. Cool color tones and lighter colors make a room seem more open. More intense colors make a room seem smaller. 

Color is also a useful tool to alter the apparent proportions of a room. Painting an end wall in a long, narrow room a warmer, darker color will help make the room feel more evenly proportioned. In a square room, painting one wall a more intense color than the other three walls can diminish the boxy look. To create a smooth visual flow from room to room, use the same paint color and flooring throughout. To create a layered look and a sense of separation, use different colors in adjoining rooms. Or combine both approaches by choosing related but different colors for adjoining rooms.

Rachel Perls- aubergine                          The Aubergine Room, Chosen by Rachel Perls

K+BB: What would you suggest to clients looking to bring more color into their home but are afraid of overdoing it?

KK: Nothing changes a room more than color. Color can be bold and dramatic, like a classic red or subtle, like a soft mocha. Warm colors wrap a room like a blanket, while cool colors create a sense of calm. How you use color depends on your client’s personal preferences. You don’t even need much color to make a color statement. If your client’s favorite color is too strong for an entire room, use it as a great accent by painting the inside of a cover or decorating a picture frame.

Kerrie Kelly Photo - Navy                       The Navy Room – Kerrie Kelly Design Lab

K+BB: What unique ways have you seen color brought into the home in recent years?

KK: Metallic paints and finishes are now found on everyday furniture, lighting and accessories. Now, when put on a wall or fireplace application, these metallic hues give a sensual and opulent feel to a room. Silver, gold, bronze, copper and pearl add elegance without being too heavy. In daylight, these colors appear neutral; in the light of evening, they impart a welcoming glow.

Kerrie Kelly is one of six national Subject Matter Experts (SME) for Home Depot and is the Interior Design National Spokesperson for Zillow, Inc., as well as one of the five national Trendspotters for Cosentino.

For more info on color trends, check out Shutterfly’s new guide, Color Palette Perfection: The Hottest Hues for Your Home @ https://www.shutterfly.com/hottest-home-decor-hues/?esch=1

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 3rd, 2015 at 7:26 PM and is filed under Creativity, Inspiration. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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