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Choose a Color Scheme

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Follow this simple how-to to help you choose a color scheme for your home. Learn to mix colors and fabrics and how to repeat color throughout the room. Read some of the principles of decorating and learn how to use coordinating fabrics and dressmaker details.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Varies

Here's How:

  1. First, choose a style (formal or casual) and a theme for your room (such as American country, English garden, techno modern).
  2. With the style and theme in mind, decide on an 'anchor' fabric that has 3 or more colors.
  3. Use the background color from the fabric as a wall color.
  4. Pick a mid-toned color from the fabric for flooring and large furniture pieces, which could be a solid or patterned design. Upholstery can also be done in your anchor fabric or coordinating fabric.
  5. Use the brightest colors from the fabric for accessories and accents like welting, picture mats, and decorative pillows.
  6. Place your anchor fabric in at least three places in the room (upholstery, pillows, curtains, etc).
  7. Use coordinating fabrics in other scales (larger or smaller) as accent fabrics on chairs, pillows, cording, and tablecloths.
  8. For example, to use an 'anchor' fabric with an American flag design: use white (the background color) for walls, navy (a mid-toned color) on floor, blue and white ticking on the sofa, and red (the brightest color) for accessories and accents.
  9. To continue this example, the coordinated prints could be the blue and white ticking stripe, a navy star print fabric, and a red and white mini-check used on chairs, curtains, and pillows.

Tips:

  1. Repeat colors evenly throughout the room, and in at least 3 places.
  2. Adding dressmaker details in cording and trims is one way to disperse color and add interest.
  3. Divide color use to approximately 60% of the room in the background (lightest) color, 30% in the mid-tone color, and 10% in the brightest, accent colors.
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