Color as an Accent

"One can speak poetry just by arranging colors well." - Vincent Van Gogh

As much as we all enjoy a good black and white movie, photo or checkerboard, we can all agree: life is meant to be enjoyed in color. Do you have a favorite? Have a look in your closet. It may reveal a palette that you are particularly fond of. Naturally, there are colors that should not be worn by everyone. Women for decades have been matching skin tone and eye color to their favorite lipstick or blouse. Though different rules apply when using color as an accent in the home, similar principles can assist you to have a cohesive, appealing color scheme throughout your home.

Let It Flow

Deciding on the main or flow-through color of your home will dictate all the color choices to come. It is the first step to creating a holistic feel. It will be the dominant color used on walls in connecting spaces (these are rooms or areas that can be seen from one another and are not divided by a door). A flow-through wall color is essential for open plan living but is equally important for hallways and corridors that open onto larger rooms. Consistency is key and repetition brings unity to space.

Temperature Gauge

Next decision? Choose a color group that will define your accent theme. One way to go about this is by selecting colors from the same temperature family. Our comparison with clothing comes in handy here. People can be described as winter, spring, summer or fall. This is based on their inherent coloring. The use of the seasons helps us understand that some colors are warm and others are cool. Pastels are cool. Jewel tones are warm. Decide which best describes you or the atmosphere you wish to create.


Do I Detect An Accent?

After deciding on warm or cool, attempt to limit yourself in the number of accent colors you choose to incorporate. No hard and fast rules here but beware of making rooms look choppy with too many different colors. Sticking to the same temperature family will allow you plenty of variety. Try starting with 3 colors and you may find you are surprisingly satisfied. Having an accent when speaking a language adds variety and interest to communication. However, if it is too strong, it becomes distracting. The same for color. If you are desperate to add an additional color, consider using the boldest shade for accessories.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

These suggestions should by no means limit your imagination. Remember, there are areas of your home behind closed doors; spaces not in the sight line of other rooms. Are you in love with the deep purple accent pillows you chose for the family room? You could paint the adjoining powder room in that shade. Did you choose sunny yellow dishes instead of a sunny yellow kitchen? Well, do not forget the pantry should be just as happy as any other room. Paint it the color of your dishes.