Use Of Color In A Contemporary Room
By B. Williams
If you're new to contemporary décor, you've probably been drawn to the sophisticated design, the simple furniture, and the calming color palettes. Rather than the overstuffed, over-accessorized décor that has been popular in recent years, contemporary décor provides a fresh and welcome calm that has been missing. Color plays a large part in the feel of a contemporary room.
It's common in contemporary décor to use shades of whites, creams, taupes and browns. This would be considered to be a classic contemporary palette. Remember, however, that shades should be similar in intensity to enhance the contemporary feel of your room. Any shade that would stand out, or pull focus to itself would be considered an accent color. For example, if you choose a white, a cream and a brown for your color palette, the brown should be used sparingly. The difference in intensity between the brown and the other colors is too dramatic to be widely used in the room. In this case, use brown as your accent color.
Alternately, the traditionally light color palette can be reversed to create a richer, more dramatic room. For example, a deep orange couch can be placed in a room using shades of equally intense brown, with cream as an accent color.
Keep an open mind when choosing colors for the room you're decorating. There are modern shades of color that will blend an accent color with a traditional contemporary palette without standing out to become a dramatic statement. Accent colors such as subtle shades of green, blue and purple can create visual interest without pulling focus to that color. Using a subtle accent color, with the same intensity of your primary palette, will create a feeling of understated elegance.
You can also use two intensities of color equally in a room if the use of color is balanced. There should still be one primary accent color in order to maintain a contemporary feel. This can also work to bridge a deep or bright accent color to an otherwise low-intensity room. An example would be to use a cream and a light grey as your low intensity colors, combining it with higher intensity colors of deep grey and burgundy. Used alone, burgundy would be a very dramatic accent color in such a low intensity room. The use of deep grey creates a bridge between the light grey and the burgundy, which makes the room a bit more subtle than it would be with burgundy alone.
When looking at contemporary furniture, make special note of the use of color in the room vignettes. Contemporary designers are masters at color. They have a special eye for how to enhance the shapely angles and contours of contemporary furniture with a few well-placed accent pieces. Every season they find new ways to incorporate color into a room. Once you begin to absorb the essential elements of contemporary design, surprising new color combinations that you may never have considered will inspire you to create a contemporary sanctuary in your own home.
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