Color is back in interior design in a big way.  Color undertones are everything when pulling off a color combination that is fun and polished.  As a True Color Expert I am certified to see the difference in  color undertones. It’s important when choosing paint colors, upholstery, cabinets or any element in your home.  An undertone is the color underlying a color.  What does that mean? Keep in mind that all colors start from the three primary colors of red, blue and yellow. The rainbow of colors are from combining different colors in different proportions. And that’s why there is always a color hiding beneath. The knockout living room in the home of Ali Wentworth and George Stephanopoulis (shown above), the walls have undertones of green-gray.  In the beautiful bathroom pictured below, the cabinetry and wall color have a violet-gray undertone.

Color and Undertones Mary Etta Designs Orange County Interior Designer Mary Etta Designs Orange County Interior Designer

And contrary to the way that most people want to approach painting the inside of their home, paint is the last color you should pick.  Start with your hard surfaces like counters, cabinets, flooring. Next, choose your upholstery, rugs, drape, and the like.  And finally, you get to decide what colors go on the wall. Your paint color will cue off of the color and undertones of all these choices.  Otherwise, you will be basing all of the other large purchasing decisions on the color and undertones of a paint color.  That makes shopping for the bigger investment pieces a lot trickier.

 

light or dark color

When comparing colors to see if they work together, decide which color is in charge. The one that is darker will stand out more and usually rule the design.  And darker does not mean a dark color, it just means that the darker of the two or three colors used in the room.  The one with the most “mass” will draw the eye to it and make us pay attention. If the color undertone is a darker value of green for example, even if the two colors being compared are considered light green to the eye, one of them will appear darker.

cool or warm

If You have a Tuscan themed kitchen, you have warm color undertones in your cabinetry, flooring and counters.  So, today is not the day to introduce a blue gray paint color to the mix.  Are you changing out the warm woods of the cabinets or warm and muted tones of your floors and countertop to brighter colors?  Great. Then grays and true whites will work well in your room.  But if that is not the case, stick with warm color undertones. Your whites should be in the warmer cream colors and off whites.

clean or dirty

The current of trend using bright and fresh colors is a nod to the fresh and clean Parisian look.  Knowing how to make this work is a matter of not mixing clean and dirty colors.  Take a look at the picture labeled “clean” above.   Those colors are bright, clean and not considered dirty, or muted.

The bright white backdrop of the walls and table make an excellent canvas for the clean, bright jewel colors in this room designed by southern California’s Jessica McClendon.  The current gray trend makes an excellent backdrop to clean fresh colors.

help when you need it most

Do you need help getting started? Then our Design Consultations will get you going in the right direction.  As a certified trained Marie Killiam True Color Expert, Mary Etta Designs uses larger paint samples to specifiy paint colors for the interior or exterior of you homes.  This gives a truer read of what your colors will look like.  And, we are there when you need help selecting furniture, fabrics, draperies, or finishes for any room.

Save Money: Hire An Interior Designer – Mary Etta Designs.  Contact us at info@maryettadesigns.com.

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