When you are envisioning your ideal bedroom, think first about how the room should feel. Then, look to the colors you've chosen in other areas of your life. What color car did you purchase? What clothes make you feel your best? There will be hints in these hues that can lead you to expressing yourself in your bedroom. A silver car and a favorite dove-gray sweater indicate you like calm shades that emit sparkle and light. A bedroom decorated with silvery damask wallpaper and a headboard upholstered in graphite suede will likely make you feel content.
A room decorated in subtle colors with names such as Smoke, Chamois, and Seashell can be rich and sophisticated, or dull and boring. The trick to achieving the best look is in the layering. Subtle hues have to work harder to make their presence known, so you'll want more of them to make a statement. Choose pillows, carpeting, and window treatments in additional hues that are several shades lighter (ivory) and darker (bronze), to boost the intensity of the narrow palette. Finally, use texture, such as in woven baskets or glassy mirrors, to give the neutrals some tactile dimension.
Look outside your bedroom windows for colors that naturally complement one another. Is the room nestled among trees? You can create the sense of a luxurious tree house with hues borrowed from the springy green buds on tawny brown branches. Can you see a vista of sky or water? Splash watery blues, airy whites, or rain-cloud grays around the room. Perhaps it's what you wish were on the other side of the walls that prompts inspiration for the inside: a sandy beachscape; autumn foliage in russet and gold; or a garden bright with pink peonies.
If you get a real kick out of powerful, saturated colors, such as cherry red, chartreuse green, or cobalt blue, ply them around your bedroom for a cheerful wake-up call each morning. Pick from hues that reside on the tips of paint chips, the ones that are most intense. If your bedroom is large or has a high ceiling, you can be generous with plum- or pumpkin-color paint on the walls. But these colors aren't shy, so consider that in a small space, they'll gain intensity. You might want to limit them to just bedding, artwork, and accessories.
Turn the pages of a decorating magazine or browse any catalog, and you'll be inspired by the current color pairings for bedrooms. Talented people have come up with these choices, and there is a reason they are popular. If you are happy knowing your space is trendy, then keep the bones of the room neutral so you can afford to redo the accessories as color whims come and go. Rather than wait for the colors to arrive at your department store bedding department, catch an au current scheme early by watching the fashion runways and following prognosticators who blog. Study what the best and brightest are conjuring, and have fun.
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