Last week we talked about how color is the great connector, but it isn’t the only element that is important. There are a couple other elements that work together with color and need to be considered when you are creating your whole house color palette.
Besides color, you need to consistently use neutrals, metal finishes, and wood tones. How these three elements play together with color impacts how well your home flows.
Why are these three elements important?
Because they are also colors. Neutrals other than white, black, and pure gray are actually colors. Metal finishes are colors, too, and can be classified like color as warm or cool. Wood tones are colors, too, even though they are generally considered a neutral.
To choose the right colors for your cohesive home, you need to consider the colors that are already present. I call these the fixed finishes. Your cabinetry, hardware, flooring, tile, and trim are all fixed finishes. Unless you are planning to change them, they become part of your whole house color palette.
Neutrals, wood tones, and metal finishes aren’t always fixed elements. They also are common in decor we choose for our homes, like lamps, accent pieces, furniture, and textiles. The ones you choose will fit in better if they go with your whole house color palette.
“Go” doesn’t mean match. “Go” means coordinate. If everything matches, everything blends in. The goal isn’t to match everything. The goal is to coordinate different elements that work well together.
But how do you know what goes with everything else?
In the case of colors, neutrals, wood tones, and metal finishes, what goes together is ruled by color theory.
The secret to creating a cohesive home is understanding what goes together.
The answers are all on the color wheel. Once you can diagnose the underlying hue of any color, neutral, metal, or wood tone, then you can see where it fits on the color wheel and what might go with it.
For example, brass and gold look great with blue. Why?
It’s because the underlying color in brass and gold is somewhere between yellow and orange. Orange is the complement to blue on the color wheel. Complements go well together, creating a balance between the cool and warm color.
Complementary isn’t the only pairing that works. Gold can look equally striking with red. Why?
Again, the underlying color of gold is yellow or orange. Those colors are analogous to red. Analogous colors go well together, because they are related to each other.
In review, the secret to a cohesive home is viewing everything in it as a color and making sure they wall work together.
P.S. Want to create a cohesive home with color? Download the Whole House Color Palette worksheet below to get started.