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Creating Color Schemes

I've mentioned before that one of the best ways to narrow down a selection for the perfect color scheme for your taste is to use one of your favourite accessories. It could be a pillow, a vase, a rug or a beautiful work of art. Here are a couple of examples where the color scheme was chosen because of the art hanging in the room.

Notice the John Singer Sargent paint to the right. The lanterns in the picture seem to glow. By using darker colors for some of the main sections in the room, do you think you could accent the room with actual lanterns and light, glowing, warm yellow tones like you see in the picture? You bet you can.

Well, how about the artwork below right. This is a Mary Cassatt painting called The Swim. A favourite of people because you see the mothers and children, you could use this to choose your color palette and win every time. The actual colors you choose should be tints or shades of the basic color to give your room that designer look. Don't make every color selection the same level of saturation. Spread the light colors and the dark colors around the room for balance just as you see the lights and darks have been spread throughout both of these paintings for balance and visual appeal.

Another good place to look for developing your color palette is in nature. Look at the exterior colors of your home, your neighborhood, a bouquet of flowers at a flower shop. These are all excellent places to use to inspire you. But make sure you test the color scheme out before you commit to buying anything and get your family's agreement, if possible. It's best to try to keep everyone happy.

Quick Links for This Newsletter

Finding Your Colors I
Finding Your Colors II
Rules for Garden Tools
Creating a Home Inventory
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Barbara Jennings is author of 10 decorating books: Decor Secrets Revealed, Rearrange It, Home Staging for Profit, Home Staging for Yourself, Arrange Your Stuff, Advanced Redesign, Pro Art Consulting, Wall Groupings: The Art of Arranging Art and Photos, The Art of Hanging Art, Great Parties! Great Homes!

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