COLOR FOR INTERIOR DESIGN

COLOR FOR INTERIOR DESIGN

fireworks

Downtown Miami July 4, 2007 — The colors here are analogous, red/white/blue

In the last couple of weeks, my blogs addressed dark tones and color distribution. Color distribution is the industry phrase for the Law of Chromatic Distribution.

In this blog, please note that the discussion is about color basics and its application. The basics are applicable to all the arts, as well as to interior design.

A room is divided up by four areas:

  1. Dominant Areas—Walls, floor and ceiling
  2. Medium Areas—Draperies and large upholstered furniture, bedcoverings, etc.
  3. Small Areas—Small upholstered furniture, chair-seats, pillows, table covers, etc.
  4. Accents—Piping, welting or fringes on draperies and upholstery, lampstands or shades, pattern motifs in wallpapers and textiles.
Monochromatic color distribution

Sample of a Monochromatic color distribution

A color scheme is principally formed by the color used in the dominant and medium areas. The colors in the small areas and accents add punch, but are of less importance in the general effect of the composition. They can accentuate the colors used in the larger areas and sometimes help to tie the colors together for unity and harmony.

The basic color schemes: Monochromatic, monotone, complementary, analogous.

Monochromatic bedroom design

Monochromatic bedroom design

 

 

 

 

 

A monochromatic color scheme uses a single color on most every room surface. In this type of scheme, various darker shades, grayer tones, and paler tints of the main color may be included in the palette. In addition, the one color is often paired with white or another neutral. For example, a monochromatic room in gray might use single shade of gray paired with white. Yet it might also include dark blue upholstery fabric, pale gray walls, medium gray draperies in contrast with the walls, sometimes edging the draperies with a contrasting fringe or piping and welt the seams of the upholstered pieces in the same manner, also use a patterned area rug that includes both gray and white. The window and door trim as well as the ceiling might be painted in white.

Monotone livingroom

Monotone living room

A monotone color scheme uses a single neutral color, such as gray or taupe, in the same tones, values and intensity. Although it is well unified, to avoid monotony, add accents or create textural variety in fabrics, such as velvet, satin, tweeds, linen, tapestries, etc., or in types of furnishings, such as plexiglass, glass, chrome, bronze, or a variety of exotic woods. This type of color scheme can be elegant by its simplicity. It is useful as a backdrop for art of exceptional merit.

The Night Café, (1888), by Vincent van Gogh, used red and green to express what Van Gogh called "the terrible human passions."

The Night Café, (1888), by Vincent van Gogh, used red and green (complementary) to express what Van Gogh called “the terrible human passions.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A complementary color scheme uses colors opposite each other on the color wheel, or the complement, such as green and red, blue and orange and purple and yellow. The distribution of these colors would vary in tone and value, as in pale green and soft pink, etc. In this scheme, a more agreeable harmony will be attained if each color is slightly tinged with similar colors to make them more appealing. So in that green and red scheme, it’s more visually appealing if the red is slightly tinged with yellow, (red-russet) and the green is also slightly tinged with yellow (citron). Or if the red is on the blue side (re-mulberry) the green should also be on the blue side (green-slate). For color

Impression, Sunrise by Claude Monet (1872) featured a tiny but vivid orange sun against a blue background. The painting gave its name to the Impressionist movement.

Impression, Sunrise by Claude Monet (1872) featured a tiny but vivid orange sun against a blue background (complementary). The painting gave its name to the Impressionist movement.

harmony, the same principle should be applied to the other complementary schemes and the proper color may be easily selected by inspecting the color wheel. Here’s a great website for you to explore about complementary colors: http://color-wheel-artist.com/complementary-colors.html.

Color wheel 1908

Color wheel 1908

color wheel wikiBezold_Farbentafel_1874

Color wheel

And for my artist colleagues, please note in the color circles what happens when you mix two complementary colors together on your palette. The three primaries when mixed with their secondary colors (complementary colors) all do the same thing, they neutralize each other. Yet, placed side-by-side they intensify each other. The color schemes can also be used in your paintings.

Analogous interior-resource, Pinterest

Analogous interior-resource, Pinterest

An analogous color scheme are any three adjoining hues in a 12 color wheel, or any three of six adjoining colors in a wheel of 24, as in the Miami fireworks image above. The colors can be used in any tonal or chromatic (intensity) values, as long as the law of chromatic distribution is maintained, (medium intensity on the dominant areas, etc.). In this type of scheme the colors close to each other always harmonize well. Using three colors of mutual tonal relationship is the safest selection. To avoid monotony, tonal variety is helpful, and it’s usually better to use one of the tones to dominate the others, by limiting the color of the walls to one color and repeat in small accents in other areas.

Pinterest illustration

Pinterest illustration of analogous color scheme. Any three colors from a 12 or 24 color wheel.

A basic color scheme will use two colors that look appealing together. More advanced color schemes involve several related colors in “Analogous” combination, for example, text with such colors as red, yellow, and orange arranged together on a black background in a magazine article. The addition of light blue creates an “Accented Analogous” color scheme.

There is much to explore in the color world, but hopefully, this blog gives you some understanding about how to color your life! Feel free to ask questions . . .

Fireworks: By Averette at English Wikipedia – Digital photo taken by Marc Averette.Transferred from en.Wikipedia; en:File:Miamifireworks.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10573309

THE COLOR, TONE & VALUE SAGA

THE COLOR, TONE & VALUE SAGA

Avant Garde - One of the four themes in The Mansion at Sofitel Macau

Avant Garde – One of the four themes in The Mansion at Sofitel Macau

Last week Jack and Jill were in a muddle with their choice of a dark paint color. To get out of their jam, they called in a professional. They knew the eggplant color had an edge, but they didn’t know how to use it. The designer explained how color, tone and value can work to their advantage. Together they created an environment that fit their lifestyle.

Dark colors, like eggplant, black and rich dark-chocolate brown can be a brilliant backdrop for art, furnishings, upholstery and more . . .  simply by contrast and color. You can see how the light colors pop against the dark walls in the picture above. Any room can be painted in dark colors–living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, family rooms. These dark colors are not new, they have been used forever. Dark wood walls, beams, wood floors  and furnishings were all used in the early centuries.

All the paint manufacturers have rich dark colors, Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, Farrow & Ball all make quality paints. Sometimes, although you’ve chosen a dark color, it takes two coats to cover the paint on the walls to get the cover and depth those tones create. So how do you do this? Houzz, a popular site filled with design and decorating information has the answers with pictures: Here’s the link for you.

Last week’s blog talked about tonal distribution, and according to Ethel Rompilla’s and the New York School of Interior Design, Color for Interior Design, tonal distribution is a fundamental principle that goes back to the earliest interiors with the concept of nature’s distribution of tonal values. We feel more comfortable in a room with a light ceiling, medium walls, and dark floors, which parallel the tonal values of the sky, trees and earth. Understanding that, there are numerous variations and exceptions to the theory–like the walls of the black bedroom at Boscotrecase, and the still popular dark wood paneling in traditional rooms seen in the early centuries. In the 1960s to today, we love the variations of the dark walls and lighter floors in contemporary spaces.

This week we are also addressing chromatic distribution. A second general rule follows nature’s distribution of vivid color in its accessories, such as birds and flowers, and is also allied to Munsell’s theory that strong colors should not overpower weaker ones. The guideline states that the largest areas of a room, such as floor, walls and ceiling, should be the most neutral. As size is decreased chromatic value can be increased. Furniture or draperies can be brighter, and small upholstered items or accessories and other accents can be the most chromatic. Many successful interiors break this rule, but you should be aware that there is a chromatic range on walls in which, depending on the light, an intense color can become intolerable.

To be continued . . .

Other news . . . My publisher, Soul Mate Publishing, has  blogger hosts C.D. Hersh, featuring my book, Indigo Sky, on their Friday, April 29, 2016 blog. I would be honored if you visit and comment. Here’s the link: http://wp.me/p1tsn7-16j

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