thumbWhether it be the flavors of cheese and wine, the aroma of apples with cinnamon, or Christmas with Santa Claus, some things just mesh well. The same goes for the colors you choose for your home’s most popular hangout spot: the living room. Read on for some tips to make the most of your color choices.

Set the mood

Since the largest surface areas of the room set the tone, they may also be the toughest to settle on a color for. The walls, flooring, and ceiling are all blank canvases to make your mark on. Are you going for relaxing? Energized? Natural? Color carries a weight of mood manipulation, so be sure about the color you choose. Too many bright colors or busy patterns can feel stressful or exhausting, while a scheme of soft hues and analogous colors may lend itself to a more relaxing atmosphere.  

The 60-30-10 Rule

shutterstock_413684329Here’s a handy tip to keep in your design skills repertoire: the 60-30-10 Rule. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a math whiz to master this design secret! Pick a color for 60 percent of your living space, such as the floors and walls. The furniture, rugs, and cabinetry will make up the next 30 percent. The last 10 percent consists of your accents, artworks, and smaller furniture pieces. 

Quick Tip 

When planning out your color scheme, staying within the confines of this rule will give you a stable foundation from which to work from. 

Define the room’s purpose

shutterstock_530417038We all love to add our own stamp of personality to the living spaces of our home. Consider your personality, your life stage or lifestyle, and the room’s purpose before delving into buying mode for paint and décor. What is your living space most used for? Do you often welcome guests over for lively soirées, or more muted conversational studies? Do you have small children, pets, or teens? Never say no to the trendiest of neutrals: gray. It’s the perfect backdrop for your favorite color, goes well in any room no matter the purpose, and can easily be found for your design accents.

You have your rules, your lifestyle defined, and the purpose of your room, so now what? If you are working off one piece of furniture or a favorite rug with bold colors, then try pulling the neutrals from the accent to put on the walls. One tip from author and designer Mark McCauley is this: “The exterior environment is generally darker below our feet (the earth itself), medium-valued as you look straight ahead (buildings/trees) and lighter skyward.” Using this, be bold in your rug choices, moderate with your furniture and walls colors, and conservative with your ceiling’s color.

You are now ready to take on your living room’s design scheme. Happy coloring!




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