Learn To Combine Colors Like A Pro

Most people seem to think that the ability to successfully combine colors and to create harmonious designs is either something you’re born in or not. But even though natural talent is important, it’s not everything you need in order to become a great designer, even if it’s just your home you’re decorating. Combining colors is something that you can learn and we have prepared some tips for you to try.

Determining the color scheme.

First of all, you need to know how colors work and what they represent. Then you also have to take into consideration the personal preferences of the person that’s going to use the space you’re designing. If you plan on redecorating your own house, think of which colors you like best. This will help you determine a color scheme that you should focus on.

Think of the style and atmosphere.

As you’ve probably noticed, some colors work better with certain styles than others. For example, a cozy country-style interior asks for colors such as beige, rich red, maybe some yellow or some neutrals. The décor in this case will be simple and monochromatic, with few contrasts. In a modern or contemporary space, bold and vibrant colors complement this style perfectly.

You also need to think of the atmosphere you are trying to create. You can’t create a relaxing and soothing décor if you’re using neon colors or lots of bold shades. You have to consider using something neutral, something pleasant to the eye such as the pastels, the beige or even something as simple as white. For a more dynamic décor you can use strong contrasts and unexpected combinations of color. You can also work with patterns.

Active vs. passive spaces.

The type of space you’re planning on decorating is also important. Some rooms can be considered active and they include areas such as the living room, the kitchen, the dining room, areas where there’s usually a lot of energy. Some rooms are passive and they include the bedrooms and bathrooms. These are rooms where the atmosphere needs to be calming and soothing so make sure you use the right colors. Some people also consider the kitchen to be a fire room and the bathroom to be a water room so they recommend painting the kitchen red and the bathroom blue. However, this all depends on your personal preferences.


You need to make sure that your décor and all the colors are nicely-balanced. For that, you can use a principle commonly referred to as the “60-30-10 rule. Basically you have to match these numbers with colors and percentages. For example, 60 percent of a room should feature one color or color scheme. This usually includes the walls. Then, the percent area is usually the furniture and it should feature a different color. The remaining 10 percent are represented by the accessories and accent details, such as the artwork, the plants, the lighting fixtures, etc.

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

Published by in How To, Tips, and Advice, on February 1st, 2013


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