50 Shades of Grey
50 Shades of Grey is a box office hit and as you know, it’s not about how to select the perfect fashion-forward shade of grey for your home’s décor! So now that you’ve read the book and saw the movie you’re in the know about greys 50 shades, but still don’t know how to pull together a neutral color scheme for your next decorating project, don’t be discouraged, I’m here to help! This month’s newsletter will help you understand the various elements necessary to create a neutral color palette that is sophisticated, calming, and interesting.
Many homeowners are comfortable being surrounded with bold color, while others love the quiet calm of neutral colors. If you are one of those people, you’ll need to know the tricks of pulling off the scheme to achieve a perception of depth, yet keeping the scheme from being lifeless. This month’s Tips and Tricks will help you create a neutral palette that is calming, sophisticated, and yes—-exciting.
Vary the Intensity of the Neutral Color. One intense color makes for a flat scene that will get boring quickly. Mixing lighter and darker shades of your chosen color throughout the room keeps the scheme from becoming stagnant. Add a charcoal shade of grey, or a dark chocolate, to the walls and mix dove grey or latte to the fabrics. The contrast between the intensity of the shade adds the perception of depth to the room.
Add a Punch. Neutral rooms are often at their finest when a dose of color is added in. Color adds a focal point in the room. If you want to create a relaxing atmosphere, stay away from lipstick red and turquoise. Instead, using a bit of burgundy or navy will create that calming atmosphere you want. One of the great things about a neutral backdrop is that it gives the option to inexpensively change the look of the room by shifting accessories by season, or at a whim.
Never Pick Color in Isolation. All neutral colors have undertones—the characteristic of the color that is often concealed when a color is viewed in isolation. The undertone can be pink, yellow, green, blue, and even peach. An incorrect undertone will throw off your entire scheme. To avoid making a mistake, view fabrics and paint chips in the lighting where they will be used and the undertones will become apparent. Be sure to keep the undertone in the same color range.
Add Texture and Pattern. Mixing texture and pattern adds interest to the room and is an absolute necessity in a neutral room. Use different materials with different textures. For example, mix smooth ceramic tile with tactile fabrics; natural slate with fabrics with a sheen; flat paint and textured wallpaper; or elegant marble counters with rustic plank floors. Add pattern to add depth to the space. Incorporate tone on tone patterned stripes, damasks, geometrics or polka-a-dots to create the illusion of depth.
Add Dramatic Furniture and Accessories. Use accessories with different weights and sizes to break the sea of neutral color. Look for accessories with intricate designs or exceptional details. Select furniture that has unique dimensions or a distinctive design; even mix contemporary furniture with antique pieces to bring the old and new together.
Lighting, Lighting, Lighting. Bad lighting can completely ruin a beautiful interior design so add lots of light sources, like table lamps, sconces, floor lamps and overhead light sources that will layer the lighting and keep the room flattering. Ambient lighting should be soft but use task lighting and accent lighting to show off artwork, sculptures, and other accessories.
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