Using Black and White Effectively

Black is actually a non-colour.

Therefore it is interesting that black is both powerful, strong, and an eye catcher.  It can be the perfect accent to control a particularly bright colour scheme.  A kitchen with white cupboards, black and white backsplash and dark charcoal flooring can carry a variety of colour accents.  Red, peacock blue, green, and orange pop allowing a beautiful changeable kitchen.  Dishes, pots and pans, towels, even curtains can be changed whenever you wish and your kitchen will never look dated.

White is also a non-colour.

White is the clean expansive soother.  It makes beiges, tans, and greens interesting.  It is the perfect way to set off a brilliant intense colour such as lime green or shocking pink. You can use white to make other colours pop. Be warned though, white is difficult to match as there are literally upward of 300 different values of white. A brilliant bright white is likely to make other whites look grayish, yellowed, old and dirty.

Neutrals and Dramatic colour schemes

Neutral colour scheme for living room, bedroom or den for example, could include beige walls, accented by white trim, beige carpeting, cafe au lait shutters, with black and yellow accents. Now your beige pops.

Dramatic colour schemes for a living room, dining room or bedroom might include black and white patterned wallpaper, white floor with acid green area rug, white draperies, black leather look upholstery, lucite and stainless steal occasional tables, acid green throw pillows and accessories.

Monochromatic colour scheme for northern exposure could include three pale pink walls with one red and white striped wall, deep rose carpet, white draperies, pink and red upholstery and red and bright pink accessories.  Again, there are a huge variety of “pinks” therefore it would be advisable to take whatever pink you wish to use and match it in “outdoor” lighting to receive the proper colour.  The reason for outdoor lighting is that interior lights vary from location to location.  While one store may have incandecent lighting, another may have florescent lighting which immediately changes the colour your looking at.  It’s also important to remember the kind of lighting used in the room it’s intended for as that also changes colour.  If possible, make sure they will take an item back if it doesn’t work once you get it home.

Analogous colour scheme for northern exposure may include off-white walls, deep gold carpet, pale gold and orange print drapery, orange upholstery, bright gold orange and emerald green accessories.

Any of the above categories can be created using the colours of your choice and season.  Included in all colour schemes of course is personality.  Although I’m a “summer” personality and I love curves and flowing lines, I also really love an elegant look while always more comfortable in a welcoming “come sit relax and enjoy” look.  I can obtain either look by changing out the cushions, flowers, and rugs in the room obtaining a look for winter or summer. The same can be said of every season. There are numerous looks from relaxed and laid back to soft and comforting, to elegant and regal and you can create each look for each colour and seasonal personality.   You’ll know the instant you see it, whether it’s your style or not.

If your significant other is the same seasonal personality, you’ll both enjoy the same colours.  If however, your partner is summer, and you are winter, you can adopt some of the colours from the summer colour pallet which makes them comfortable while offering a good mix of both worlds as they workwell off of each other.  Autumn and spring also work well and you can enhance one with touches from the other.  It gets tricker when one loves winter colours, while the other loves autumn colours.  You can of course add dramatic orange or emerald green with black or white and you have the drama both seasons enjoy.  Winter and spring takes a little more work but if you choose one spring colour and add pieces of it throughout, the spring colour can sparkle and shine as well without becoming jarring to the eye.

Intensity of colour is the key in mixing seasonal colours.  While black or white lend themselves nicely to the addition of most colours, “seasonal” colours require more effort and thought. Winter and autumn are dramatic seasons while spring and summer people are the softer seasons.

Having said that, nature is full of millions of colours and they get along quite nicely together.  In a home, unless you have a balance or lean toward one season and add a touch of another season without trying to match piece for piece, you can create a room that is inviting, lively vibrant warm or relaxed that glows making room for both your tastes.


2 thoughts on “Colour Scheme

    1. That are. In anything, right? Textiles, paint, anything really. Two cars sitting side by side same make and model same year can look altogether different. For me the Bain of my existence was matching wool. I’d double check all the dye lots get half way through my item and even though right dye lot it was the wrong color stood out like a sore thumb.

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