Color is an integral part of every interior design project, often driving the overall design. The right colors can make a room warm and cozy, or soothing and relaxing, or exciting and enervating. The wrong colors can make a room feel somehow “off,” even if it’s not in an obvious way.
One thing we’ve found over the years is that most people have a signature color or color palette that they’re naturally drawn to — even if they don’t always realize it. This doesn’t mean that they don’t like any other colors, or that every room in their house needs to be the same color. It just means they need to follow their instincts on what colors feel best to them, even if they need to consciously ignore popular trends or style distractions.
Consider this scenario: You stay in a lovely and stylish hotel room that leaves you feeling so peaceful and relaxed that you decide you’re going to replicate it at home. You paint your walls, you buy new bedding, you settle into your new space – and you don’t feel at all peaceful or relaxed.
What went wrong? It could be that the lighting is completely different in your home, or that the colors you selected are just a little warmer or cooler than what was in the hotel room. Or it could be that your peaceful, relaxed feeling had more to do with you being on vacation than with the hotel’s room décor.
But what’s also very likely is that the hotel room’s décor, no matter how inviting it seemed at the time, was just not you. It was beautiful, yes. You loved staying in it for a short time. But in the long run, it was not your color, and not your style.
Finding Your Signature Color
So what’s your color profile? Do you have a go-to color or collection of colors that you use consistently, or are you still searching for that magical mix?
Here are some of the barriers we’ve found that prevent people from using their signature colors to the best effect:
They don’t know their favorite colors. For little kids, “What’s your favorite color?” is a standard question. Adults – not so much. When was the last time you really pondered your “favorite” colors?
If you have any difficulty answering that question, just look around your house. Take note of the colors on your favorite furniture or décor items. Which towels and linens do you most often find yourself reaching for? Which of your Glassybaby candle holders do you always place front and center on your mantel?
Don’t forget to check your closet. If one color dominates your clothes, there’s probably a good reason for that.
They don’t know how to incorporate those colors into their interior design. Maybe you say, “But my wardrobe is all black! I can’t paint my walls black!” Or “My wardrobe is all denim!” Or “My wardrobe is all (insert your color here).”
Whatever the color, there is always a way to incorporate it tastefully into your interior design. Even if you don’t want to paint your walls black (or denim, or whatever), that doesn’t mean you can’t bring in black accents, or black decorative items. Maybe you decide to paint your walls white and contrast them with black trim. Or paint everything a soft gray with darker, blackish contrasts.
Or maybe you’ll come to realize that your love of black is really just a love of things that are a little dark and moody. For some people, a comfortable room is one that’s light and bright and airy, flooded with natural light. For others, it’s a room that’s dark and snug and closed-in, like a cozy little burrow. The colors you’re most attracted to will say volumes about what makes you feel good.
Their partner has an entirely different signature color palette. This can be a problem, but it’s not insurmountable. Sometimes it means carving out separate areas where you can each retreat and recharge. Other times it involves mixing compatible colors so there’s a little bit that works for each of you. Still other times you can find a middle ground or range of colors that’s not precisely your perfect signature color palette but still holds enough appeal for each of you.
When all else fails, call in an expert! We love to help our clients find the perfect blend of design styles and colors to keep their homes up to date and personally appealing – even if it sometimes takes a bit of marriage counseling to get there!