How to work with color: 10 expert tips

Color in the interior is the first thing that forms the image of space. The time of pastel sun-bleached tones is replacing today the time of rich palettes and rich colors. Lilac and terracotta are replacing pink. However, not everyone wants to experience fashion trends in their homes. Fans of timeless interiors choose not ultraviolet, but a comfortable natural palette.

How to develop a sense of color in yourself? We can rely on our feelings: coffee in a blue cup will seem cold, green will soothe us, pink will soften … and it will be extremely difficult for us to swim in a scarlet pool, – reflects on the power of color, the Parisian architect, master of style, author of educational programs Pascal Gravo.

Some combinations are present in the memory and have a symbolic meaning: red is associated with strength and courage (wealth is expressed through its strong dark shades – burgundy, for example), red-orange is vitality and enthusiasm, and orange is friendship. Its non-contrasting soft tones create a calm atmosphere. 

Shades of yellow and amber seem welcoming to us, in addition to purple – they become full of life and movement. Blue inspires confidence and authority, blue – calmness, and green – freshness and health. Black asserts luxury and power. These are just the general basics of color in the interior – for an architect they are needed as for a pianist familiar scales. They are played to stretch the hand for the sake of free improvisations.

Jean-Louis Deniot, designer, a favorite hero of glossy magazines and show decorators: “I experiment with monochrome style, that is, one room – one color. For example, in one of my living rooms, you can distinguish 50 shades of green.

Francis Sultana, millionaire decorator, and director of the famous David Gill gallery about color in the interior: “In 2020, we see an increase in palettes – ocher, sunflower yellow, emerald green, aquamarine, and royal blue will come. Textures diversify our sensory experience: first of all, we are in for a velvet fever, the velvet will be everywhere, and I would not be surprised if it appears in the decoration of building facades.

Aimee Lo, New York master of luxury: “I prefer to build interiors based on contiguous colors – that is, those that are next to each other on the color wheel. In this way, I create a calm fluid space, and achieve a peaceful atmosphere.

Daniel Bismut, Bismut & Bismut Architectes: “There is a lot of black in our projects, but this does not mean that black is our favorite color in the interior. For MINIMALISM readers, we advise you to pay attention to blue: it is very warm and easy to handle, and its various shades are easily combined with each other. And, of course, white is the color of all colors. But green, in our opinion, is one of the most difficult colors for the interior.

Lorenzo Castillo, Spanish antiquarian and decorator: “Three whales of decor – light, color, and proportions. And color for me, perhaps, is more important than light. A win-win palette for a residential interior is one that is built on the shades of nature. The colors of stone, clay, sand, and various beige and gray tones are pleasant and unfatiguing. Living in them is comfortable. One of my favorite interior colors is blue. I use it in different gradations, from very light, and whitened, to dark. Since it is cold enough, I add golden yellow to it.”

François Champsaur, French designer, and master of timeless style: “Color is life, exploring its possibilities is an exciting process and a lot of work. A well-chosen palette can bring harmony to the interior, bringing together objects of various styles into an ensemble, an unsuccessful one can create a complete imbalance. My advice to you: do not go the beaten path. Try, fail, enjoy!”

Sarah Lavoine, a Parisian designer with a strong personality. “I love color in the interior, I always have a lot of it. My favorites are blue, yellow, pink and of course, black because black highlights what needs to be revealed and hides what should not. For me it is a pleasure to work on intense notes, to exalt space, and to play with light and brightness of shades.

Sacha Walckhoff, designer Christian Lacroix Maison/ Designers Guild:  “Among the general trends, I will name Bicolor Grafikart. I’ve always believed that instead of neutrals, sometimes it’s better to use black and white stripes or graphic black and white designs that catch the eye. Our Sol y Sombra pattern in wallpaper, fabrics, and even porcelain is a great example.”

Trisha Guild, British decorator, head of Designers Guild, author of 15 decor books: “To those who are working on a color palette, I can give a simple advice: trust your instincts! And if you like this or that shade and pattern – why not include them in your interior! Is it difficult for you to decide? Accessories will be a great way to get acquainted with unusual color and ornament: a couple of pillows, a bedspread, a carpet will transform the room. And if they disappoint you, it will be easy to replace them.”

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