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Dazzling Color and Texture: Surprising Ways to Define a Room

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It’s no secret — color and texture provide visual drama and can drastically change the look, feel and overall comfort of a space, making it uniquely your own.  Adding color to wall and floor coverings, upholstery, window treatments and accessories can make a huge impact, but with the influx of options, styles, shades and color palettes available, the task of getting the right colors in the right places can be overwhelming. Luckily, interior designers Daun Curry and Robert Passal, along with Lisa Hernandez of Garrett Leather and Christine Haney of Farrow & Ball shared with us some insights on how to use color and texture to radically change any room. And we wanted to share the most useful tips with you:

All colors work together.  If you are like me, when I first heard this I thought that there is no way that this can be true—didn’t any one ever tell you not to wear brown and black?! Well, the fact is, it is true—virtually all colors can work together when the right shades are used.  Still don’t believe me? A good example of this is if you take a closer look at the Van Gogh painting here. You can see all of the different colors that were used to create something quite beautiful. The same concept can be used in your home as well. By mixing the right shades and tones of color, and using them in the right places (walls, floors, accessories), you too can make your home a masterpiece!

Contrasting colors work—pick just two and stick with them. Have your eye on two very different colors that you want to use in a room? Well, you can make this work by picking just the two, and that’s it. By taking those two colors and using them in varying tones throughout the room, it can make a dramatic impact. Designer Robert Passal gave a great example of this in a room he designed for the Hampton’s Show Home. In this bedroom, he chose a bright green apple and an apricot color—two very different and very dramatic colors—and used them throughout the design by varying the intensity and shade.  The result was a room with visual impact and style (you can see more of his Hampton Show Home designs here).

Take inspiration from everyday things.  In the aforementioned green and apricot room , Robert got his inspiration from a bouquet of flowers he saw at a local market. His tip—search out things that are visually appealing to you, pay attention to the color combinations and use those as your design palette.

Monochromatic is a color. Don’t be afraid to paint an entire room the same color. It’s a great way to bring consistency to a room, and in some cases, even give it a more updated look and feel.  And don’t forget about the ceiling. Many interior designers consider the ceiling the fifth wall, so remember that painting that fifth wall can truly transform a space.

Dark colors in small spaces work. You’ve probably heard that if you paint a small room a dark color it will make it feel smaller. Not true. Believe it or not, using dark colors in small spaces does work, and the concept is often used by many professionally trained interior designers. Dark colors can actually make a room feel more comfortable and inviting, or more clearly defined. Most designers agree that dark colors work great in small family rooms, offices, dens and bedrooms where you want a more intimate atmosphere. Dark colors can also be used in the hall, making it a “space within a space” that is inviting and comfy.

Use art for color and play with scale. Don’t want to go all in on the paint? Play with art to make an impact! When choosing artwork for your room, think about the scale and the statement you want it to make. For example, a very large piece of art in a small bathroom can totally transform the room into a space with style. Yes, even your bathroom can be a stylish room you want to spend time in if you use the right artwork!

Don’t forget about wallpaper! Wallpaper is making a comeback like never before due to the beautiful designs and styles available today. Get creative and use different hues and textures to bring life to a space. Large patterned wallpaper in small spaces can add drama and give the appearance of a much larger space. Be sure to check out Farrow & Ball for some beautifully designed papers that are sure to inspire. Like wallpaper but don’t want the commitment? There are also a lot of great companies out there that are doing amazing things with removable wallpaper. One favorite that is doing some really unique removable wallpaper designs is Flavor Paper. Check them out!

All about the trim. As I mentioned above, painting the trim the same color as the rest of the room is a great way to unify and update a space. But if you are a little gun shy about painting your trim the same color as your walls, try painting the trim and baseboards a darker color to give the room a more grounded feel.

Pops of color on the ceiling. Finally, a great way to update any room for very little money is to paint the ceiling. Using a different color on the ceiling (especially when you use a pop of color on a grey or white room) is a way to add drama and impact.

Overall, the moral of the story when it comes to using color and texture in your room is this—just do it! Experimenting with different color combinations in a room is a very low risk way to update the home’s look and feel.  After all, if you don’t like it, you can easily change it back!