People tend to avoid decorating their homes’ interiors with dark or bold colors. Why is that? Dark colors and bold colors are, well, bold. They can be scary, but they also make a statement. The use of bold colors in an interior just shows visitors that the homeowner has a bold and interesting personality. Decorating with bold colors is no exception. In the absence of actual rules, a few tips along with a little self education, can go a long way to achieving the look you want while still incorporating bold colors.
Tip #1: Consider the Size and Layout of the Room
One of the first things to consider is the size and layout of the room. Small rooms generally cannot withstand a high level of bold colors, while larger rooms tolerate bold colors quite well. Additionally, you will need to examine the function of the room. Is it a bedroom, family room, or kitchen? All of these rooms will need unique color treatments to make them feel “livable”. Functionality is critically important in rooms that get a lot of use, for instance, the kitchen and family room. Bedrooms, on the other hand, are typically set away from the main living area and receive less use. The application of color in these different rooms can have a big impact on how useful and functional they actually are.
Tip #2: Using Bold Colors in Kitchen
In a high traffic room such as the kitchen, the use of bold colors can imbue a sense of life and comfort at the same time. Consider using natural tones with rich undercurrents such as a deep eggplant color paired with clear lime green. A good rule of thumb is to use 60% of a neutral tone in a space, then 30% of a complimentary tone, and finally accessorize with 10% of an accent color. For example, you could paint your kitchen walls a neutral color such as khaki, complement it with deep eggplant colored trim, curtains, towels and rugs to equal about 30% and finish up with kitchen accessories in clear lime green. This will have a powerful visual impact without overwhelming the space.
Tip #3: Decorate Bedroom with Bold Colors
Likewise in the bedroom with its limited exposure, you can easily incorporate bold colors in measured doses. Bedrooms are most attractive when painted and decorated with soothing colors. For instance, a soft pink can be applied to the walls, while bold deep chocolate can become the focus of the bedding, pillows and accessories. Again you can incorporate the 60-30-10 suggestion and add an accent color of your choice to space.
Tip #4: Mixing darks with lighter and brighter colors
Don’t use only dark colors in one room. Too much darkness in one room can make it feel like a dungeon, especially if the room is small and there isn’t much natural light coming in. Incorporate some light or bright colors into the space, as well. You want your bold color to make a statement, right? Use your dark colors sparingly, such as on an accent wall or in your accessories.
Tip #5: Using bold colors as accents
You probably don’t want to overwhelm your guests with your favorite color, no matter how much you like it. This is beauty of accent colors; your main color may be a white, light, or neutral tone, but add little splashes of your favorite color as an accent, such as with a throw pillow, vase, or a piece of furniture to keep the room from becoming boring. Accent colors add interest to a space.
Tip #6: Dark colors make a room seem smaller
As a general rule, the darker the color you use on your walls, the smaller the room will feel. Darker colors may help make a large, open room feel cozier, but they may overwhelm smaller rooms and cause them to feel smaller than they actually are. This is why most people shy away from using dark colors in small rooms and turn to whites, instead, to brighten them up. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t ever use dark or bold colors in small rooms – to keep all the white from becoming boring, throw in a couple darker accents with your lighter colors.
Educate yourself by using a color wheel or paint strips. Many manufacturers will allow you to take a small sample of paint home to test on your walls. Home improvement centers such as Home Depot or Lowe’s can custom blend paint colors to match existing accessories or favorite items in your home. Have fun with mixing and matching bold colors, you can always start over if you don’t like the result. Sure, people tend to lean more toward the light and neutral colors in their interior decor, but there is nothing wrong with decorating using a dark or bold color scheme. Darker colors may be bold, and they definitely make a statement, but they aren’t all that frightening, after all. Bold colors add interest to your home and make it “your own”.