Some people make a living from organizing homes and picking colors. Most of us, do not.
There are however a few tricks that even the most amateur do-it-yourselfer can do that will make your living space pop.
Today, we’re going to check out a few simple tips. This isn’t a definitive guide to all things decorating, but if you feel clueless about organizing your space visually, then this can only help.
We’ll break down a photo for you, and see if we can show you how to take “Blah” and turn into “Brilliant”
Decorating is in the details
Movies, they know color
This is why I’ll break down an image from a popular film. I do this, because online, we often see beautiful images of interior design, like this image here, or the one above. And like these pictures, it’s hard to imagine how you might actually live in a room decorated like this, despite how visually pleasing it is.
In movies, we can actually see people interacting with well crafted spaces that look livable.
Let’s look at the movie Matilda.
Below, you can see a well-crafted scene of a living room. Keep in mind, I’m not suggesting that you
consider TV dinner trays part of your décor, those are props meant to show the lifestyle of this fictitious family. what I want you to look at, is the actual decorating.
As you may notice, the coloring here is very consistent. This scene follows a similar coloring scheme as every other part of the movie. They do this to make the whole thing visually pleasing.
As you can see, there are several colors here that follow a fairly analogous style of mixing. Everything from the curtains to the painting on the wall, to the sofa, the carpet, and even the lamp have matching colors within this theme. They’ve taken this a step further and matched the costumes as well, mostly because the movie’s costume department and their decorating department were wanting to stay consistent.
But what are matching colors?
There is a very helpful tool online called Adobe color. I used this site to evaluate these colors. You can play around with it also. https://color.adobe.com/create
For any given color there are different ways to match that color. Like I mentioned above, this scene is very analogous. That may not be a term you’re used to hearing. Here are a few other ways to match this same color scheme:
As you can see, there is Analogous, Monochromatic, Triad, Complimentary, Compound, and Shades.
You can see how the relationships work on these color wheels.
Also keep in mind that you don’t always want an equal amount of every possible color that works well. When decorating, most decorators will have their primary color (think wall paint), then an accent color (think baseboards/casings), then a couple other colors used sparingly.
Notice in this picture, the cream is the primary color, the tan is the accent color, and the green and brown are other matching colors that blend in well but are used sparingly.
In the Matilda picture, the yellowy/mustard is the primary color as seen on the walls and some furniture. Pink is the accent color, and green and black are the supporting colors, used more sparingly.
So which colors are right for you?
In all the years that I’ve been building and selling homes, I’ve seen it all.
I’ve seen people who’ve painted their interiors to match something you might find in a colorful Caribbean town, to deep purples, to light and airy, and dark as leather can be stained.
This all depends on your personal character. If I were you, I’d pick my very favorite color, then go to Adobe’s color matching website and have fun experimenting for a while, using that as your primary or accent color. Don’t worry if your colors don’t match whatever you saw in your local home show. Find the color scheme that works well for you, and you’ll be half-way there.
Next time, we’ll talk about how to organize your space for maximum impact.