10 Common Color Mistakes You Should Stop Making

June 30, 2018

Designing and styling a home is a daunting task. You have to think about a plethora of elements that all need to be balanced with each other. Although design elements usually play supporting roles to the function of the space, it doesn’t mean it is any less important. Rather, the design elements add more to the mental perception of your home. Within all these design elements, color is usually both the easiest and toughest aspect to work with. It’s one of the easiest ways to change up a space if you can’t alter any of the existing design elements. For example, if you are living in house for rent in Subang Jaya and are thinking of spicing up the place without voiding the terms of your lease. However, even with the best intentions, a lot can go wrong when attempting to balance the use of colors in your home, and you can sometimes end up digging yourself into a color coordinating hole.

Read on for a list of the most common color mistakes that you would do well to steer clear of.

1. Not considering light

Lighting can really change the perceived shade of the original color you planned. Although the right lighting can make a color sing, it can also make a grey go lavender or make a white look dingy. For example, you might think a dark shade is a great statement for your room, but if your space does not have adequate light to balance the it out, your space can easily end up looking overly dark and depressing. In order to avoid any potential drama, you should consider your lighting before your colors. Consider putting up a sample color painted or taped up on the walls. Take note to view it throughout the day as the lighting changes, as well as in artificial light. If the color that you thought would work ends up not working, take it back to the store. Identify the type of lighting you have, and voice these concerns to them – you never know, someone with just the right experience may be able to point you in the right direction. 

2. Using too many colors

Although officially, there’s no limit to how many colors you are allowed to put in one room, the saying “the more the merrier” doesn’t always apply well when it comes to color. Sometimes, it can be hard to stop once you get into the groove. The best way to tell if there is too much color mixing in one room is when your space ends up feeling the opposite of peaceful and relaxing – you feel as if it is all overwhelming you and it is all closing in. In these cases, you can start eliminating colors until you start feeling the balance return. You should pay attention to the amount of each color you are using, where the colors are located, and the balance you strike between the different hues and tones.

3. Being too matchy-matchy

While too many colors can be overwhelming, the opposite can be underwhelming. If your room does not have enough of a variety of colors, your room might end up looking one-note and one-toned. The point of having a color palette is to create an interesting visual story. Of course, it’s understandable that you want to play it safe in case you encroach upon the gaudy and you don’t want things to clash but sticking to too few colors in a room (or even in the whole house) can turn your space into a blend of similar colors that feels repetitive, predictable and without any real soul. Instead, spread out the color throughout your space through a handful of elements that have nothing to do with the color palette. This adds a quirky touch that gets rid of the sameness, while still presenting your space and style in an understandable array of hues.

4. Not being cohesive

This is the direct opposite of matchy-matchy the palette spectrum. Although technically you can decorate each room in your house in a different style and color palette, doing it without intent and a sense of purpose can make your space feel too hectic, too messy and too busy. The natural remedy is to create cohesion in your space. This doesn’t mean that you have to use the exact same color palette in every room. You can have colors in adjacent rooms complement each other. Consider adding in some accessories in a primary color from the adjacent room and turn it into the secondary color in the current room. These tie-ins make your home feel like a total package, instead of jarring and disconnected parts.

5. Not giving the eyes a place to rest

Although colorful statement spaces and wall-to-wall boldness are great design ideas, sometimes what your eyes need is a place to rest. Even the most colorful spaces need spots and places where the eye can rest. Consider incorporating an empty space, or even including larger elements in neutral colors to balance out all the bold color you’ve added to your space. This helps create a balance and helps avoid the overwhelming feeling of being ambushed with sensory overload when you step from room to room.

6. Playing it too safe

While you might avoid huge color mistakes if you always play it safe, this is a surefire way to lead to boring interiors. You might be afraid that the color you want on your walls is too wild. You might have always dreamed of an electric blue sofa but went with a neutral one due to practicality. Emerald green bathroom cabinets? You’re dreamed of it, but you’d never dare. Sometimes, not daring to make any mistakes is the biggest mistake of all.

7. Using the wrong finish

The finish can have a surprisingly huge effect on the success of the color palette you choose. This tiny detail can sometimes make even the right color choice in your walls or furniture pieces feel slightly off. Perhaps that wall paint with too much shininess could have been softened if it were a more matte finish. Maybe that bit of sheen in the kitchen cabinets could have looked better if you went full-on glossy. The finish can definitely affect how a color is perceived. The remedy to this is the same with lighting – put up a sample of different finishes when making color choices to really see it in its true form in your space and your lighting.

8. Not applying it properly

While light and neutral colors that are barely-there can hide any mess in the borders and edges without it being too obvious – well, they are nearly invisible – but it’s a whole different story with bold colors. Messing up the edge of where a bold colored wall meets the ceiling or flooring is a sort of thing that can be seen even from space. When applying bolder colors to your walls, make sure you spend ample and extra time on the prep work. Tape off the borders with painter’s tape, or even splurge on tried and true painting tools to make the job a much easier and much more enjoyable process.

9. Going too bright or too harsh

With bold colors, a common phenomenon manifest very often. Imagine choosing the perfect paint color in store and deciding it looked perfect. Then you proceed to put it up all over your walls and then you realize… it’s way too bright and much harsher than you had imagined. The remedy is the same as lighting. Try it on your walls before you decide to commit. If you try it out and the color is still too bright, don’t toss the color idea out the window. Simply get it lightened a few steps to make it a bit more palatable.

10. Not considering how you want your space to feel

The way your room looks influences the way a room feels. Liking a color on its own standalone merits does not mean that you will like the way you feel when you are surrounded by it on all four walls. While bold and electric hues may be an interesting statement, make sure it complements how you want your space to feel. The amazing thing about color is that it can set the mood in our space, either energizing you or relaxing you. So combine colors you love the look of with the way you want your room to feel to give your space both intent and purpose.

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