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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Choosing colour is not an easy task. That said, there are some common mistakes that are often made that can be avoided with a little colour knowledge.

The top three mistakes that are repeatedly made are:

1) Painting a feature wall.
Individuals concerned with the intensity of a new paint colour sometimes decide to paint only one wall of a room in that colour and leave the rest as they are. Mistake number one! As soon as a wall is painted a contrasting colour from the others, focus is drawn to that wall. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is to arbitrarily choose a wall to be an accent wall without forethought to what the wall will have to dazzle the eye with once attention is drawn there. In most cases it is very disappointing as it is just a wall. The only time that I would ever consider painting one wall an accent colour is if the wall is an amazing architectural feature and support the attention given to it when painted a contrasting colour. Don’t forget that it is contrast and not colour that make a room look smaller, so in most cases you are actually working against yourself if you paint one wall a dark colour to avoid making the room seem smaller. If you are looking to paint more than one colour in a room, consider taking more of a colour-blocking approach vs the accent wall. An example of colour blocking would be to paint two walls in a bedroom dark blue and the other two walls light blue, to create less of a contrast and more interest than just painting one wall dark blue and leaving the rest neutral.
2) Common mistake number two…choosing the wrong undertone in a colour. A colour’s undertone is the secondary colour that is seen within the original colour. For example, white can be a yellow white, a pink white, a blue white, a grey white, etc. On it’s own, it can be difficult to see the undertone within the colour white, but as soon as other white samples are put next to the original it becomes very apparent that some are more blue, more yellow, etc. When choosing colour be very conscious of the undertones that are within the colour and be sure to match the undertones when combining colours. For example, when putting a green and a brown together in a room, ensure that if the green has a yellow undertone in it, then the brown that you choose must have a yellow undertone in it too. This will simplify colour combinations. If you are having trouble seeing the undertones in a colour, ask an associate at a paint store, or seek help from a designer.
3) Mixing warm and cool colours together incorrectly is the third most commonly made mistake. Warm colours are those that are red, orange and yellow. They remind us of sunshine and fire. Cool colours are green, blue and purple. These colours make us think of things like water and ice. To easily create a colour scheme, use all warm colours in a room or all cool colours. Warm and cool colours can be mixed with great success, but the problem that most people have is forgetting about the undertones within these colours. A red can still be considered a warm red or a cool red. Subsequently a blue can still be considered a warm blue or a cool blue. Blue will always be cooler than a red, but there are variations within the colour blue. If you want to put a red and a blue together in a room ensure that you are looking for a warm red and a warm blue or a cool red and a cool blue.

Nadine Andrews D.I.D.
Commercial and Residential Interior Design
Kelowna BC
Ph 250864-9848Fax 250469-9411

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Residential and Commercial Interior Design Kelowna