Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ask Cristina: How Do I Accent a Monochromatic Color Scheme?

Dear Cristina, (via my website I just painted an accent wall in my home. I painted one wall in my LR Sweet Georgia Brown by Behr with a Satin Sheen. This wall is the first wall you see when you walk in the door. On this wall I am mounting a 42 inch flat screen TV. On both sides on the TV I want to mount wrought iron candle sconces, just below a sofa table that will hold receiver and DVD player. My home is in all browns -- light and dark. All wood is in cherry tones. Big beige tile throughout, light and brown tone granite kitchen counter tops. I didn’'t use hardly any of the paint, so I still have over half a gal. I was considering accenting a wall in a different part of the house in the same color. The house is an open floor plan the LR, Kitchen, DR all blends together. The rooms are divided by arches, so you can see that there is a 3 room thing going on but you can see all rooms from all rooms if that makes sense. The kitchen is in the middle, I want to do that in a different color a shade of amber. I do have red accent color throughout Pillows, Pictures, bed spread. And also different shades of beige, Tan, cream, white, and yellow (amber gold). My sofa is dark chocolate brown; coffee tables are dark cherry wood. I have hand carved Buddha masks and a small Buddha panel in cherry wood stain. Decorative Mirrors in bronze wrought iron. Just an idea of what I have going on. What do you think? Any ideas? I and working with 1200 sqft total livable space and 9ft ceiling. Thanks for any help you provide! Christina

Dear Christina,

Sounds like you have an exciting interior design project that is mostly done and now you are in the fine-tuning stages. What you are describing is mostly a monochromatic color scheme (one color). Primarily your color is brown with brown variations in tan, cream, chocolate and beige.

So -- without seeing a thing, I can't get too specific, but I can give you additional suggestions based on the concepts you are working with. These concepts are:
  • Brown monochromatic color scheme (formed with parents of red and green) accented in analogous colors.
  • Monochromatic color scheme made interesting with variations in:
    • 1. texture 2. color temperature 3. value.
  • Great Room concept (blended living areas) where different living areas are grouped together and visible to each other.
For a monochromatic color scheme to be interesting it's important to vary aspects of your palette, something you've described doing, such as variations of the same color (or nearly the same) with variations in both value (the lightness and darkness of the colors), texture (smooth wood, granite, tile, textiles, metal), and color temperature (warm cherry wood brown colors contrasted with relatively cool browns like dark chocolate and bronze).

I especially like that you've added a few accents in red and amber. Red and amber are what are called analogous colors. That means that red and yellow (the dominant parent color of amber) are next to each other on the color wheel. Because brown can be mixed with a combination of red with green, by choosing red and amber accents you've done a great job of intuitively choosing accent colors that directly relate to one of the parent colors in the brown blend.

Putting an accent wall in the dark chocolate tones of your monochromatic palette was a good choice as it's a color value variation that creates interest without breaking up your color palette.

I'm giving you a bit of a technical explanation to explain your choices, so you'll know why your intuitive decisions have worked so far.

The amber color in the kitchen is a good choice because the amber color is related to the brown (yellow being an analogous color to red, one of the parent colors of brown). Experiment with at least 3 shades of amber. Choose one that leans towards Green, one that leans towards Red and one that is very Yellow/Brown. Test them to see which looks best with your existing choices.

Send me a picture when you're done. A before and after would be great.

Best Wishes,

Note: Click here to read my article about using color, monochromatic color, and accent walls

All writing and images on this blog are copyright protected by Cristina Acosta

No comments:

Post a Comment