How to Use Color in Small Spaces

How to Use Color in Small Spaces

Color WheelColor Basics & Theory

Remember when you got your first box of Crayons? I do. It was a box of 24 and I thought it was the best thing ever!

I created colorful clothes for my paper dolls. I drew pictures and colored them to match whatever my mood was at that particular time. Color was freedom to express myself through my art.

It still is.

The Basics 

We learned these color basics in elementary school and found them in our boxes of crayons.  They’re what we still use to add color in our homes.

  • Primary Colors are yellow, red and blue.
  • Secondary Colors are created by mixing the Primary Colors and they are purple, green, and orange.
  • Tertiary Colors are six colors made by mixing Primary Colors and Secondary Colors to create red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet, and red-violet.

This video from Better Homes and Gardens illustrates how to choose colors from the color wheel. It’s short but sweet.

Color Theory

Color theory is a set of principles used to create harmonious color combinations pleasing to the eye and senses. It provides us with a common ground for understanding how colors can be used, arranged, coordinated, blended, and related to one another.

Color theory is about why some colors work together aesthetically, while others do not. Thus, it’s about color mixing and the visual effects of color. (Source: Study.com)

There are warm colors (reds, oranges, and yellows) and cool colors (blues, greens, and purples).  They set the mood for whatever room or space you’re decorating.

What are the rules for using color in small spaces?

There really are no rules, but there are a few guidelines that will help when deciding what colors to paint the walls or to use in your furniture or accessories.

We’re taught that dark or warm colors will make a space appear smaller and light or cool colors will visually expand the space. But that’s not necessarily so! 

Use Color to Create a Focal Point

Remodeling and Home Design

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The Best Small Space Decorating Books

The Best Small Space Decorating Books

canstockphoto0133890Give me a stack of decorating books or decorating magazines and I’m one happy lady.  (Same with cookbooks…I read cookbooks like novels.)

This isn’t to say that looking for ideas online isn’t a great way to go, of course…it’s fast and easy and there’s a myriad of choices.

It’s simply that when I relax at the end of a busy day with a cup of tea or a glass of wine, I will most often reach for one of my favorite decorating books!

And each time I look through them I almost always see something new or in a different perspective. I might be looking at window treatments or rugs or wall decor…so that’s what my eyes will focus on.

Here are three of the best:
Apartment Therapy Complete and Happy Home

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Open Kitchen and Living Room Design

Open Concept Living RoomIt’s a big deal in new home design, these days, to incorporate a great room into the floorplan.

(Updated 1/9/2019)

With an open kitchen & living room floor plan, especially in a small home, people are able to watch the news or visit with family or friends while cooking.

Here’s a slideshow that will illustrate what I mean – there are 18 examples of great combination living/dining designs:

One of my favorite slides is #11 (I think) with the purple couch and the pumpkin colored chair.  The next slide with the sassy green tiles is a close second.

But I love them all…just depends on the basic layout of your small space.

Once you choose a focal point, you can separate the areas with a rug, wall color, dining tables, peninsulas, etc.

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Decorating Ideas from Pinterest

Pinterest LogoFind Small Space Decorating Ideas on Pinterest

Pinterest is a goldmine for small space decorating ideas. 

If I’m looking for a recipe or beautiful artwork or a clever quotation, I can always find dozens of ideas on Pinterest, one of the fastest growing social networks. It’s kind of the photo equivalent of Twitter!

My Pinterest Boards include Small Space Solutions, Home Style, Kitchens, Inspired Garden Ideas.

Except that instead of short 140 character posts, Pinterest is a collection of small photos representing dozens of interests.

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