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Your Guide to Creating a Color Story


By Cathy Hobbs
From Tribune News Service

Ideally, your home should reflect your style, taste, and sense of design. The launchpad for such inspiration often begins with color.

Creating a color story can help provide inspiration for a successful design. Often a successful story begins with an inspirational piece, which can be anything from a graphic, colorful area rug to a one-of-a-kind art piece or a side chair that has an interesting pattern.

Color blocking, also often called color mapping, is a popular design technique in which a color is repeated or mapped throughout a space. The technique allows a color scheme to feel cohesive. Add to your story with complementary fabrics, furniture, and even finishes.

Here are more do’s and don’ts to keep in mind as you design your space.

Do’s

Do choose an inspirational piece that helps you make a bold color statement.

Artwork serves as the inspiration for a green color palette.
Artwork serves as the inspiration for a green color palette. (Scott Gabriel Morris/TNS)

Do repeat a color in ways that are both subtle, such as accents and accessories, and bold, such as upholstery or area rugs.

Warm tones are repeated in this family room through the use of artwork, toss pillows and ottoman.
Warm tones are repeated in this family room through the use of artwork, toss pillows and ottoman. (Handout/TNS)

Do build color from a neutral palette. Great foundational colors include white, cream/tan, black, navy blue, and brown.

Muted neutral tones help create a soft, soothing color vibe.
Muted neutral tones help create a soft, soothing color vibe. (Handout/TNS)

Don’ts

Don’t have a color stand alone. If you introduce a color into a space, repeat the color elsewhere at least once in the same room.

A black and white color scheme serves as a bold and powerful color story.
A black and white color scheme serves as a bold and powerful color story. (Handout/TNS)

Don’t overlook interesting ways to incorporate color such as metals and finishes.

Cream, gray, and chartreuse create a modern color story.
Cream, gray, and chartreuse create a modern color story. (Scott Gabriel Morris/TNS)

Don’t use more than three colors in the same space. Typically a mix of a primary, secondary, and pop of color works well.

Shades of pink create a fun and festive color scheme in a children's bedroom.
Shades of pink create a fun and festive color scheme in a children’s bedroom. (Scott Gabriel Morris/TNS)

Don’t choose trendy colors. Choose ones that will stand the test of time and can remain in your color story for years to come.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design home staging expert and short-term rental/vacation home designer with offices in New York City and The Hudson Valley. Contact her at info@cathyhobbs.com or visit her website at cathyhobbs.com. Copyright 2023 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



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