Oh goody, a new color dilemma! Let's roll up our sleeves and get to work. Reader Manisha wants our opinions on how to make her space cohesive and chic through the use of color. Here's the scoop:
I'm a first time home buyer, moved to Orange County, California from New York and am trying my hand at creating a comfortable and stylish space. I'm at work on our family room and wanted your advice on pulling the look together.
She's still not confident about the moss color- what do you think?
Our family room is an open space with our kitchen and I agonized over the paint color. It needs to work with our earthy granite (santa cecilia gold - flecks of beige, brown, maroon and black) and camel colored sofa. My comfort zone is painting in cocoa/caramelly tones. When I test it on a wall in the kitchen it looks great, but goes peachy on the family room wall. It's the most bizarre thing. I finally settled on a pale moss green, which you can see behind the sofa.
View of the kitchen from the family room. She would like to de-emphasize the cabinet color because they came out to be a bit more pink than she expected. I would definitely change out the color against the cabinets to tone down the pink factor. By contrasting green against the cabinets, you actually emphasize the pinkiness because red (pink) and green are complimentary colors, and therefore produce the maximum contrast between two colors. Perhaps try pulling a different color from your granite counter-top.
I asked for some additional info, and learned that the room faces southeast and gets great light during the early part of the day but is shady for the better half. She wants to achieve a balanced mix between warm and cool tones.
I also want to revamp the dingy brick fireplace but not sure if I should paint it or cover with a stone. We're planning on covering it with a honeyish limestone. Should the mantel be shiny, dark coffee color like the mirror that will go above it or should it be an antique white like the shelves?
The rug she loves.
As you can see, she liked neutrals, golds, and greens. To make a cohesive space, my one suggestion would be to look at the value of the object and colors she is bringing in. So, if the palette is pretty well-defined, as it seems it is, choosing colors is not an issue. Value refers to the range of darks to lights, from black to white and all the shades of gray in-between. A well-designed space takes this into consideration before color even enters the picture. Let me show you what I mean:By taking one of the inspiration photos with lovely copper, brown and green, and turning it into a black and white photo, you can clearly see the wide range in values, from darks to lights. This is the framework that makes a beautiful design work effectively.
As far as how she envisions using the space: she'd love for the room to appear bigger because they tend to spend quite a bit more time there (that's where the tv is). They have a beautiful backyard with lots of green trees visible and a rock garden waterfall that the previous owners put in. There's a light stone wall around the perimeter with yellow-green ivy all over it so she's planning to replace the current blinds with some simple silk panels off of dark bronze rods. Hm, I wonder if this is a great opportunity to bring some of the outdoors inside to incorporate those colors from the view. Going with mossy greens will certainly accomplish this.
She's got a lot to work with here, so I'm going to need your help to give her some great suggestions. To me, this is more of a designer question: how to bring everything together. There are some amazing designers (both professional, and design enthusiasts-you know who you are!) who read this blog. What are your thoughts?