So Your Is: Colorful

What it is: Colorful design celebrates the beauty of the spectrum. It’s not tied into a single set of design specifications — it can be sleek or rustic, contemporary or traditional, cozy or minimalist. But it’s always lively, engaging and full of life.

Why it works: Nothing can satisfy a colour craving except colour. The sheer quantity of possibilities is tantalizing, and it’s empowering to know that no matter what shade you pick, there is a way to pull it off. And we respond so strongly, so personally, to colors that their impact on our mood and mind-set could be magical.

You will enjoy it if… You find yourself humming”Kodachrome” from the shower. You consume the rainbow not just because it’s great for you but because it seems pretty on your plate. Your toenails are painted indigo one week and mint green another. Your garden blossoms with luminous daffodils, brilliant delphiniums and zesty poppies. You do not know why colors drop in and out of style — aren’t they all gorgeous?

Anthony Baratta LLC

Design Secret: A Artful Balance

One secret to combining a lot of strong colors in a room: Pay attention to scale and proportion. In this living area, the strong zones of colour help buoy and balance one another: crimson walls, yellowish chaise, orange couch, green and blue carpet. Take away any of these elements and the entire composition would feel off-kilter. Little visual echoes, such as the red carpet border along with the rainbow of framed polka dots, tie the space together.

Color your world: The useful thing about this guideline is that it applies to every palette you pick. Imagine this room using a mixture of citron green, periwinkle, turquoise and Prussian blue, or using a subtler blend of cream, straw, oxblood red and blue-gray. You could even put it in practice using a stark black and white plot, not that many colour addicts could live with this kind of restraint.

Burnham Design

Style Secret: Color-Wheel Opposites

It’s color theory 101: Hues that oppose each other on the colour wheel work well in combination. That means oranges complement blues, purples play well with yellows, and greens and reds get together. Go as daring or as pale as you like — a distance done in watery blues and crimson oranges can seem as striking as one that is saturated in sizzling tangerine and cerulean.

Color your world: Give a space depth by layering in variations of every colour. Picture a butter-colored living area with a deep eggplant couch, punctuated with accents of taxicab yellow and pale violet. If you are intrigued by the thought of red and green but do not need an area that feels like year-round Christmas, try instead a complex pairing such as olive and crimson.

CapeRace Cultural Adventures

Style Secret: Analagous Colours

Here’s another lesson from the colour wheel: Dress a distance with similar colors, which fall alongside each other about the spectrum, rather than opposites. That might mean yellows and greens, reds and oranges, blues and purples. This distance artfully marries swaths of turquoise, teal, sky and chartreuse into a cohesive whole.

Color your world: One secret to the success of this palette displayed here is that the rich pigments are cut by bands of crispy white. This imbues the appearance with a more restful, less rambunctious feel. If you wished to make a livelier atmosphere, nevertheless, you can skip the neutrals and just go all-out with bold colors.

Kristen Rivoli Interior Design

Style Secret: Judicious Editing

If you crave a hit of colour but aren’t so confident about pulling all the stops, take heart: A room can still read as vivid even when the surfaces are largely neutral. This living space, though grounded in creams, browns and beiges, is anything but bland, as a result of its red chair and ottoman, the green accent pieces as well as the bright art.

Color your world: Because colors perform differently in relation to additional colors that surround them, a neutral base can work to your advantage. Against the pale walls, as an instance, that red chair actually pops. High contrast contributes to drama and energy, and that is part of what a colorful room is all about.

Eileen Kathryn Boyd Interiors

Style Secret: Livable Base Hues

Under a skillful hand, this living area could have caused a headache. But look closer, and you will see how masterfully it’s balanced. Here’s the secret: The reigning colour, green, is easy on the eye (partially because we are used to viewing it in character ) and easy to live with. Regardless of the daring slipper chairs that appear to dominate first glance, the magenta and persimmon colors are really just beams.

Color your world: Recall the colour wheel opposites we spoke about a minute ago? That is exactly what this strategy boils down to — greens and reds — and that is one reason it works. But you can find sufficient orange and purple undertones from the mix to provide the pairing a totally new spin.

Judith Balis Interiors

Design Secret: The Power of Paint

Some individuals are so in love with colour that they hesitate to devote themselves to one palette. What if your connection with kelly green ends abruptly or you suddenly turn against tomato? If that’s the case, paint is your very best friend. It’s easy, it’s cheap and you can’t beat it into bang-for-buck stipulations. Create paintable surfaces, such as walls and wooden furniture, your most important sources of colour in a place, and proceed with neutrals for items that aren’t really easy to replace: couches, tile, carpeting.

Color your world: Those with a colour commitment phobia can go with brightly patterned bits to satisfy their changing tastes. The duvet and shams in the bedroom possess enough different colors that it would be easy to pull out one, then another, then another to replicate about the walls if you were in the mood to create a shift. And when the whole palette becomes old hat, little accessories are a snap to replace.

Erika Bierman Photography

Design Secret: Color Blocking

Color blocking has been around for years, in vogue as well as interior decorating. But sometimes it’s hard to think beyond simply painting squares of varying shades on the walls. Remember that color blocks can take the kind of any material: fabric, flooring, accessories. Within this space a mustard ceiling, blue draperies along with a rainbow of colors on the backs of the storage crates along with the throw pillow produce a obstructed effect that goes far beyond the paintbrush.

Color your world: Color blocking doesn’t have to be permanent. The next time you throw a dinner party, consider using a different shade for every place setting and fitting vessels into the tone of these meals served in them (a red transferware bowl for berries, possibly, or a green majolica platter for asparagus). Or how about a modular gallery wallsocket? Hang a set of canvases that are each painted a different solid color, then move them around or swap them out as you’d like.

Style Secret: A Lighthearted Twist

Color and whimsy go together, so don’t hesitate to have some fun. Paint every one of your kitchen seats another shade, spatter your ceiling with wild hues, follow the lead of artist Scott Ingram and trickle nail polish a blank sheet of newspaper for a first abstract work. Or compile all those paint chips you’ve collected into a picture composition such as the one in this dining room — much fresher than just one painting or a mirror.

Color your world: Look for less obvious opportunities to perform with colour. Maybe you can organize the books on your shelves by the color of their spines or produce a rainbow effect with your collection of Fiesta ware, glass or china. Or mass together a group of plain or clear white vases, each stuffed with blossoms in one, strong colour.

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