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More on Fabric and Paint Colors


Here are more tips on fabric and paint colors.

Cool vs. Warm Colors

Cool colors are passive and soothing and include purple, blue, and green.  They regress or hide in the background not allowing themselves to be too obvious.  They are the “introverts” of the color wheel.  They are quiet and soulful and help to calm the spirit and restore emotions.  The darker shades of cool colors can be depressing if overused.Warm colors that include red, orange and yellow are active, upbeat and exciting and advance or step out in a space and let themselves be known.  They are the “extroverts” of the color wheel and can dominate a space if not controlled.  With warm colors and fabrics a little bit goes a long way.

Light vs. Dark 

Light colors tend to make a room seem open, airy, and expansive.  This is why people typically use lighter colors in a small room.  Don’t forget though that a darker tone of the right color can give great impact to a small space and make it feel very inviting.Dark colors can help cozy up a space and make an overly large room feel smaller.  Dark and light fabrics used directly together add contrast to design. 

Using Contrast in your Space

Most expertly designed rooms involve contrast—a noticeable division of line.  Rooms with contrast are interesting and we do not tire of them quickly.  There are a number of ways to get contrast —use light and dark, use complimentary fabrics and use split complimentary fabrics.  “Complements” are the colors that are either directly across from one another on the color wheel and “split complements” are one away from directly across from each other.Complimentary colors are –red and green, purple and yellow, and blue and orange.  Split complimentary colors are red with teal (blue-green) or lime-green;  indigo (blue-purple) with yellow or orange and gold (yellow-orange) with either blue or purple.   Lastly the undertone colors are white, black, brown and gray. 

The 60-30-10 Rule 

This is just a guideline but basically means that 60% of the room should be represented by a main color, 30% by a secondary color and 10% by another family color.  You can use various shades tints and undertones.  Remember this is just a guideline—70-25-5 can work just as well as long as it is pleasing to your eye! 


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