Finding the Right Wall Color

Color selection is a thoughtful and sometimes time-consuming process.  As a designer, I cannot just pick any color!  In fact, some colors have so many nuances and undertones, that it can be challenging to select the right ones.  Some factors influencing wall color selection include:

  • window direction and natural light
  • artificial light
  • wall color in adjacent rooms
  • existing furniture and  fabrics
  • rug colors and patterns
  • artwork

Sometimes the key is to find and use the unusual color.  I don’t mean a color that no one else has used.  Or, a color that will make people raise their eyebrows.  I mean the color that may not be immediately obvious.

10_003_0031 I’ve recently completed a revamp in a Carnegie Hill Classic.  The dining room has an open entryway to the living room, therefore the living room colors influence those in the dining room. The dining room only received natural light from a north facing window.   The client elected to keep the existing oriental rug in the living room and the existing furniture in both rooms..

On the surface, the oriental rug had a pattern of blues and little coral on an ivory background.  To get a better understanding of the colors, I turned the rug over.  This is one of my design tricks for understanding color and it works on both rugs and fabric. Look at the back of your rug or fabric.  You will have a different perspective of the colors used.  You will see ALL the colors used in the design.  Then consider using the least prominent color for your wall color.

Using the least prominent color, in a rug or other fabric, will pull everything together.  Why?  Because this color is an undertone in the room.

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