Decorating and Design
Avoiding Color Clashes in Your Home Decor
What colors can work for you
-Sharon King Hoge
Don’t put orange with red, they used to warn us – and for heaven sake, blue clashes with green. Today’s decorators, however, are more adventurous, and strict color combination rules have gone the way of the horse and buggy.
Some people are still hesitant about selecting shades to combine in a room. For those proceeding cautiously, some longstanding guidance still holds true.
Neutrals. The simplest palette is to stick with neutral colors for the room’s basic features. Once the walls, slipcovers, and furniture upholstery are all done up in a basic shade — white, cream, beige, gray — almost any accents can be added without reproach. Pillows, lampshades, flowers, books – in bright red or yellow or green – all attract the eye, adding highlights to a room with a non-rainbow background.
Monochromatic. Somewhat livelier than a neutral room is one decked out in various shades of the same basic hue. Working with several gradations of any basic color can create a pleasant environment out of seemingly disparate shades. Combining forest green, mint green, sea foam, khaki and chartreuse adds a soothing continuity that expands the space by creating the illusion of a single harmonious whole.
Derived from Nature. Those who still want to mix up various colors can consider taking their lead from nature. After walking through the gardens of Lotus Land in Montecito, Calif., decorator Charlotte Moss devised various palettes echoing the plants and settings she saw. Inspired by a camellia blossom, Moss matched the plant’s components with Ralph Lauren paint shades Iceland White, Jacaranda Pink, and Emerald Vestment mimicking Mother Nature’s wisdom to create foolproof color combinations. .
“So many great color schemes exist in nature,” she points out. “Really, they exist everywhere, all you have to do is open your eyes – be relaxed enough to truly see the beauty that exists naturally – and everywhere. All around you are decorating ideas – and, for free!”