Designer Color Scheme

designideas4meDecember 7, 2012
Please tell me from your experience what is the best way to 1... define your color scheme as a homeowner. 2...How is it best to visualize your color scheme( other than samples and swatches all over that can become confusing and overwhelming) 3. Narrow down the exact tone and shade from so many that are similiar. 4. Incorporate that color scheme into the home without making it feel fake ( a pillow here and a vase there with matching curtains for example) 5..what tricks or secrets do designers use to create a hormoneous flow( use only 3 or 4 colors in the whole house). 6. Ideally where do you start when you have a blank slate( floor..cabinets..walls.. etc). I would love to hear some different perspectives on this qustion with as much detail as you are able to share. thank you.
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Such a great question! Can't wait to hear what the designers have to say.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 11:37AM
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Anyone care to respond ?
    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 2:27PM
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Hi, I'm not a designer but really like all the house stuff. Anyway there was a tv show here (UK) I don't recall the title but it was a home makeover show. As people tend to have a lot of their own things and colour preferences etc. it was difficult for them to see past what is. On this show they emptied the house, covered the windows and anything not to be painted. They then spray painted the entire house white. Ta da a blank canvas. People would be amazed at the amount of space they actually had but had filled up (often with stuff they didn't need). From there they would analyze the light (night and day), the function of rooms, the flow and discuss colour and so on. Rearranging furniture, changing colours, cushions, art, all of it from plain white and often the end result was so much better.

I am also interested in how designers just pull it together sometimes, looks effortless but I know it often isn't.
    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 2:43PM
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I liked your comment lisa. It sounds like what I have been trying to do. I always wanted a house to decorate and finally got one and omg its not easy at all to make it all work. If you are someone with perfectionistic high standard who sees flaws and mistakes and how to make it better when you look at a picture than you understand how I feel. whats funny is how I can look at other peoples questions on here and dilema and make suggestions that aresimiliar to what designers say( not to the extent of their knowledge and talent), but similiar. The point I was making is that I cant seem to put my space together as I can someone elses. I did start with a blank slate except of course the house structure itself and the budget limitations. I tended to work backwards for various reasons, most of which was indecision and fear of spending lots of money. But as painters would say to me..choose the color of walls first, and the flooring contractor would say,choose the floor first.. and the kitchen designer would say..choose the granite and cabinet color first, I found myself confused and overwhelmed. Since i couldnt buy the best high end stuff I wanted and make changes to walls etc, I progressed slowly undertaking many many small projectsas I found low cost help. I used who I had that was qualifies to do whatever he could at a low cost. Painting and electrical and carpentry and drywall and landscaping. I purchased lots of nice furniture since my mother had credit we could use at several stores. The house was functional and some would say pretty and others would say empty or cold. It is incomplete and the need to define exactly which floor and counter and cabinets perhaps along with a budget from the start was really the right way to go. A saleswoman at Macys helped me from the start in trying to determine my color scheme and of course many samples of paint and tile and wood etc helps as I would take it home and look and try. I am very good at buying and returning..But I think a person has an inate talent as an artist or just being visually able to see what a space needs to be cohesive and feel a certain way Or they dont have that talent. Now design school which I never went to I am sure would teach a lot of these principles. I was hoping to hear from designers as to that approach. Is it a series of steps that are the same for all? I bet each has a personal style they use to tackle a project. I watched hgtv dream homes and it seems that many designers will use inspiration from the surrounding view or city or culture to incorporate ideas into the space. thats why I decided to use my love of nature and my pool and plants to bring in a earthy look yet keep it modern.The main frustration I have is money. I could have finished years ago with cheap style ideas and products but I would not be happy. You can get a pre-packaged room at some stores thats all matchy matchy. This to me is not style. The designers who have the talent to do some out of the box cool ideas really inspire me. Its like a painting that flows together. I try to disect it and say to myself..I can paint that..but when I try I see it is much harder than it looked to get the end result.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 2:02AM
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I like the idea of starting with a blank slate,where every wall is painted white. When we moved into this house every wall (EVERY WALL) was painted beige. And it was a lot of beige.

I believe it's important to choose colors you really love and can live with for a while. What's your favorite color? What makes you feel comfortable and 'homey' when you're in that room?

I believe in having no more than three colors in any one room. Your primary color should be your big ticket item, like your upholstered pieces. Secondary color should coordinate and flow beautifully, and your tertiary color should be something that will draw your eye in, make the room pop, something unexpected.

So say for instance your favorite color is blue. Search Houzz photos using blue as one of your key words, for instance "blue bedroom" or "navy living room". The rooms that you really like, add them to your ideabooks. Do this for a while, and then go back thru your ideabooks and review your choices. You will find a common thread and that should give you some good design direction.
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 4:38AM
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Hi again designideas4me, I get what you're saying exactly. Money or lack thereof can be a real party pooper! I often think if I had what I needed I could go and get exactly what I want in one trip and that would that. But as you said other issues crop up - paint colour, cushions, art etc. So where are the designers today? We're dying to hear words of wisdom! Saying that I think Bobbi has given some excellent advice. What kills me is that when I look at Houzz and see all the products etc I know what I am missing! I don't think we as consumers in the UK get anything like as much choice as you do in the US or the prices. I had someone tell me it takes 5 years to properly move into your house as you evolve the way you live in it over time. I certainly feel that sometimes.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 5:55AM
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Hi designideas, I suggest you take a look at Design Seeds for color inspiration. The site puts together harmonious color palettes that will assist you in creating a sense of continuity and flow in your own home and those palettes are generated by various themes...nature, travel, and even food. I do agree that design talent is somewhat innate, but by using resources like houzz I think you can refine and develop your own taste and design aesthetic and approach the decor of your own home with confidence. Take your time, don't make impulsive purchases, rely on well-made (but not necessarily expensive) pieces with timeless design and most importantly, infuse your home with art and accessories that reflect who you are.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 7:31AM
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Ok so I went to design seeds but am confused. When I see the palettes how do I know what is the main color to use ? also they have more than 3 colors in them so how do I use 5. As much as I hate conformity and structure in my life and tend to be a free spirt maybe I need to stick to more of an exact process and less options. I have toooo many and cant choose. I can never decide. I like taupe or a light silver. I can live with that. I lived with beige for years cuz the carpet was that color and I had no choice( when in an apartment). Now I have too many choices. I want to do a cool gray tone scheme but much of my stuff is still pulling me towards beige and I cant replace it all. How do I blend the cream beige with the silver gray and white?
    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 3:19PM
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