Often when starting a new design or project, one of the biggest challenges is coming up with a color scheme. Sometimes it’s not that big of a deal to go through a hundred different colors, if you’re working on the computer for example. But if you’re painting a wall, or planning a wedding, you want it to be a color you will love day after day and for years to come!
One of my favorite places to turn when I need a fresh dose of color stimulation is Instagram. Scrolling through my personal feed, I’m reminded why I snapped these pictures to begin with. Something about the moment caught my eye, and captivated me enough to forever immortalize it in social media history.
Take time to look back at your photos and discover which colors you’re naturally attracted to. You already have a strange attachment to those little filtered pics, they might as well help get your creative juices flowing.
Below are a few more accounts I follow, all bursting with fresh color inspiration:
- Emma Chapman
- Caitlin McGauley
- I Have This Thing With Floors
- A Beautiful Mess (also #ABMlifeiscolorful and #ABMpatternlove are full of beautiful images that will be sure to make you hue happy)
Of course when discussing where to find ideas on the world wide web, we can’t leave out the mothership of them all: Pinterest. Just search the word “color” and you’ll find so much image overload, you won’t leave your computer for a week. I find it best to organize my pins by category or idea. For example, one of the projects I’m working on in my home is the guest bedroom. I found this image a while back, and instantly fell in love with the deep navy. Now whenever I see a picture fitting that theme, I pin it to a specific board, so everything stays together.
Here are a few boards and pinners who are especially good at picking great color:
- Apartment Therapy
- Paper & Peony
- Design Seeds
- Vintage Revivals
- Mr. Kate
- East Coast Creative
- Sherwin Williams
So you’ve searched high and low, and have curated the perfect color combo to make all your dreams come true.
Executing a color scheme can sometimes be a tricky task. It involves a bit of balance, and some definite hierarchy. What do I mean by hierarchy? Well, each color in your theme needs to have a certain level of importance. This will help keep colors from competing with each other, and create a sense of equilibrium. When decorating a room, your wall color is dominant, and everything you use to accent (bead spread, decor, curtains) is secondary.
Another real life example where a color scheme is important is planning a wedding!
For my own wedding (like most little girls) I had an idea what I wanted my colors to be for A LONG time. Purple has always been my favorite color, so that was a must. Our wedding was in September, so I used burnt orange to tie in the Fall season. And lastly my husband and I are HUGE Beatles fans, so to pay tribute we decorated with Granny Smith apples, and used bright green as our final color.
So in my case, the color hierarchy was; purple, orange, and then green.
This helped me make decisions such as what the bridesmaids would be wearing, what color flowers to focus on, what the jewelry would look like, and so on.
(Images credited to Lindsey Kay)
Our world is completely saturated in color. When deciding on a scheme focus on how certain colors make you feel, and latch on to those that fill you with JOY. Everytime I see that perfect shade of purple or a green apple, I instantly remember the happiest day of my life.
That is the kind of reaction color should bring you.
For as many rules there are about coordinating color, there are just as many reasons to break them. As long as they make YOU happy, that’s all that really matters.
Bethany is a graphic designer by day, self proclaimed decorator/maker of things by night! Though originally from a small farming town, she found herself in the big city of Cincinnati, OH after graduating from Ball State University with a BFA in Visual Communications. When she’s not working on design, you can find her dance-cooking in the kitchen, singing at the top of her lungs, exploring the closest thrift store, getting her fitness on, or fixing up her house alongside her hubby. Be sure to check out her little corner of the interweb, A Soliloquy by Bethany. Got a question for Bethany? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.