Few people can afford to pay a color consultant to help decorate their homes, but the good news is that you don’t have to. Help is close at hand. . .and it’s free! Just pick up a color card at your local paint store or decorating center and let that be your guide when developing a color scheme.
The typical color card has between three to five gradations of a particular hue, ranging from very dark shades to very light tints. Having varying intensities, these colors may look quite different, but they are naturally compatible color-wise. As a result, they can be mixed and matched in various ways to create visual interest in your home.
The most common approach is to select one color from the card as your wall color, and another for your trim. For subtlety, choose two colors that are close to one another; for more punch, use the polar opposites on the card.
You can employ the same principles in a host of ways:
- Painting one wall a slightly different shade or tint from the others to create visual interest or to guide the eye to a particular location.
- Painting the walls one color and the ceiling another. With this approach, the lighter color would typically be used on the ceiling to avoid a "closed in" feeling.
- Painting furniture or decorative objects in the same color as your walls, or in another intensity of the same color.
- If your room has chair rails, painting the wall above the rail one color, and the wall below the rail in another color from the same card.
What’s nice about using a color card as your color consultant is that it’s virtually foolproof. The only limitation is your imagination.