As you begin decorating any room in your apartment, selecting a room color is the basic first step. Creating a color scheme that works room to room, however, can be challenging. The good thing is that you don’t have to have the color expertise of an artist. You just need to know some of the basics before you paint and begin purchasing colorful home accessories.
Know What Colors Work Well Together
Whether you’re going for a look that’s subtle or downright bold, the color scheme still has to flow. That’s where a color wheel comes in handy. Think back to your elementary school days. The primary colors are red, yellow and blue. Secondary colors come from mixing each of the primary colors (i.e. red and blue makes purple, red and yellow makes orange, and blue and yellow makes green). From there you just get varying shades of the basic primary and secondary colors as they continue to be mixed.
The basic rule is that colors directly across from one another on the color wheel are complimentary (i.e. red and green, yellow and purple and blue and orange). Colors next to one another on the color wheel are analogous. These colors work very well together and create comfortable designs. As you begin decorating and coordinating, start with an analogous scheme. If you need to see a color wheel as a reference, do a search for one online.
Create Color Harmony
Complimentary colors are bold. Think about the brightest red paired with the brightest green. These colors might look good as contrasting accessories in a room, but probably aren’t best for wall colors on adjoining rooms. Analogous colors, on the other hand, are colors that commonly occur with one another in nature, hence they’re calming and visually pleasing. A combination of blue, green and yellow, for example, is analogous. Choosing shades of equal intensity will create the most cohesive design. A sage green is best paired with a muted sky blue and not a bright blue.
When decorating with color, allow one color to be dominant and the other two to accent. This is best done by also using a neutral in your scheme.
Choose the Dominant Color in Each Room
As you begin decorating, choose what you want the dominant color to be in each room of your apartment. Taking inventory of what you already own will help you to decide what the overall color scheme will be. If you have red curtains with gold accents, for example, you can pick up on the red and gold in the next room, possibly with some gold picture frames and red pillows. An easy method to coordinate room color schemes is to paint the walls of one room in the dominant color and keep the walls in other rooms neutral, adding splashes of the dominant color by way of accessories.
Keep It Neutral
When in doubt, start with a neutral base. It’s easier to work with color in small doses. Paint the walls neutral and limit color to accessories and furniture.
Once you’ve picked out a scheme, your apartment will come together. Adding color will make the place feel much more like home-and uniquely you.
Rachael Weiner: I’m a communications professional for a non-profit, which financially necessitates my status as an apartment dweller. Constantly “on-the-go,” I’ve resided in five different apartments across the United States over the past five years. Roommate issues, budgeting, organizing and handling problem neighbors are my specialty.