One of the biggest obstacles to a satisfying interior design can be fear of color. While neutral and monochromatic pallets can be pleasing when done well, they can create a sea of sameness in which everything appears to be made of oatmeal.
If you prefer the tranquility of a neutral pallet, consider adding interest and variation through different hues of similar values. The term hue refers to the color category: red, blue, yellow, etc. The term value refers to how light or dark a color is. This means that if the base color of your interior is beige, you might compliment it with a soft moss green, or a soothing pale sky blue. Try more that one complementary soft shade. The effect will still be soothing, but not bland.
While most people have an innate affinity for certain colors, you don't have to limit your decorating pallet to the colors you would wear. You can warm and brighten a dark basement family room with yellow butter-cream walls, even if you wouldn't wear the color. Your home interiors are an opportunity to stretch your bounds in terms of color.
Bold choices in furniture colors shouldn't be feared. The entire look of a room can be changed with a change of accents, accessories, and wall color. A red sofa will feel bold and graphic in front of a white wall, but will seem exotic and intriguing when it is place in front of a taupe wall.
If you are still worried about a bold color choice, then try easing into color. Do you love cobalt blue but are afraid that you will grow tired of living with it? Then start out with blue accents. Candles are a great place to introduce color, as are vases, pillows and throws.
Artists often joke about "sofa paintings," artwork that is selected only on whether or not it will match the sofa. You can use your selection of artwork to cue the rest of your interior's color scheme. When you bring art into your home, select it because you love it, then find a color within the artwork to play up and reinforce with similarly-colored accents and accessories throughout the room. This can inspire you to take your color scheme in new directions.
Color Trends to Watch
Since its emergence in 2006, purple remains a strong choice for interiors. Shades of purple have become redder in hue, moving from orchid to plum and aubergine. It can be bold and vibrant as a rich grape hue, or it can be subtle and elegant as a lilac-toned grey.
Shades of teal are promising to become more prevalent in the market, primarily in analogous color schemes, paired with lighter shades of green and blue. Analogous colors are those colors directly beside one another on the color wheel (blue/green or red/orange). Rich brown also pair nicely with the teal hue.
If you lived through the 1980's you doubtlessly remember the Easter egg pastels of the decade. Today, pastel shades are making a comeback, but now they are grown-up, elegant and refined. Modern pastels, in light shades of blush pink, lemon ice and barely blue, are neither babyish nor preppy. They are subtle, sophisticated and chic.
If you seek a bold interior color scheme, then black and white might be a choice for you. A black and white room doesn't have to be stark and modern. When paired with grey, it can create an elegant and glamorous effect, like a classic movie from the 1930's. Black and white color schemes can take on a quaint country charm with mixed and matched painted furniture finishes, and punctuated with cheery yellows or reds.
Metallic tones have become strong elements in interiors, from daring modern rooms to exotic oriental settings. Tones are not restricted to gold and silver, but include subtle shades of rose gold, bronze, copper and pewter. Metallic finishes are strong on in accessories such as vases and lamps, and on larger pieces such as accent tables and caps on the feet of wood furniture. But metallic tones are not restricted to objects and furnishings made of metal. New metallic tones and finishes have infiltrated fabrics and may be seen in accent pillows, throws as well as wall finishes. The sheen of metal elements may vary from the gleaming effect of mercury glass to subtle matte effects like antique bronze.