Improving color flow between rooms

demeronAugust 18, 2012

Do you have a palette for your house? Are you surprised by what works? I painted my LR yellow, wasn't really pleased with the color until I brought in a blue flowering plant.

Do you deliberately choose, say, 3 main colors and 2 accents and use them purposefully? Do you use a lot of one color throughout your house? Rely on serendipity?

My (now) yellow LR opens onto a green dining room which connects with a blue kitchen. I'm thinking of changing the green (no clue what to!) I'd be interested to know how other people make decisions in relating color between rooms.

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Yes, I have a color palette and did deliberately choose those colors. Warm tan for the walls since I wanted a neutral, and black, ivory, and gold accent colors.

The color'story' was started when I bought a small rug for the kitchen, long before the house was even built. Everything I liked seemed to be in those colors, and somehow it just all came together, and use them thruout the house, except for the upstairs family room.

It's important to keep the flow, either thru the same wall color or if you paint the wall a different color, unite the rooms in some way using an accent color thru upholstery, florals, etc.

How about a paler shade of green for the LR? ;o)

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 7:37PM
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Yes! I don't really have an open floor plan, but I do have wide doorways between the rooms on my first floor, so it's especially important to have a cohesive palette. I have variations on a few colors throughout the whole floor -- reds (from terracotta to dark brick red), golds, and greens (mostly gray-green). My house is very autumn-esque! (Fortunately, I have a beach cottage too, and that has a completely different color scheme.) It's not a completely strict color scheme, though. I also have a few bits of blue, and one blue chair.

When we first moved into this house, I think the palette was sort of accidental -- I was just gravitating toward colors I liked -- but it has become more purposeful over the years.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 8:02PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Yes, in fact the fabric for the library drapes was what I first showed our architect, 7yrs before we even started building. I went lighter in the same shades in the dining room. I took the wall color in the DR and put it on the ceiling in the library, and went a shade darker for the walls in the library. Then I took the wall color in the library and put it on the ceiling in the foyer, and the ceiling color on the library for the walls in the foyer and DHs study.

Bedrooms and FR inspired by fabrics, powder room by artwork, master bath by tile....

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 8:03PM
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What you're saying does reinforce my idea that I need to be more purposeful about this! My main areas were a linen-y white, but I wanted to try yellow. Now I think I have Too Many Notes. I'm trying to remember that's JUST PAINT, I don't have to commit seppeku because it doesn't all flow perfectly. Though at the moment I do have white, yellow, green, blue and a touch of red (mudroom) all on one floor. Hmmm... is "colorful" a decorating palette?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 8:30PM
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I love what I can see of your home. Your colors look good together.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 8:50PM
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no palette but I do check that the colors from one room to another are cohesive (at least to my eyes). We have an old house so most rooms have their own door. All the rooms have the same trim color - white dove. On the 1st floor I have 2 oranges in one room, 2 purples in another room plus rooms with one of the following colors - red, navy, yellow, green, dark green/gray, blue/gray, dark purple/blue and a beige that I don't like (I might change to eggplant). The 2nd floor is even more colorful - mostly the kids's bedrooms and their bath! It sounds garish as I type this but I don't think it is. I love deep saturated color! I'm in the middle of painting the billiard room navy with FPE paint and I love it! I'm so happy I went that dark.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 10:46PM
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demeron: Consider changing the green dining to the same new yellow of the living room-- very pretty BTW!

Then find more "connectors" -- like artworks, area rugs etc. that make the colors move around the spaces and rooms ...

Your whole house is very pretty!! Love the cat! :)

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 10:59PM
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"Love the cat! :)"

that must be the cat rushing to be the obligatory pet in the photo. Have you ever noticed how pets just seem to appear in front of the camera whenever you take photos? :)

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 11:29PM
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Think of every doorway as a frame, and think about the view you are creating through them. Keeping all the trim the same color, and carrying the flooring through all the spaces, which you have done, allows you to vary the wall colors to suit the rooms, so long as they make for a coherent view...which you have also done.

You might improve your color story with a blue that is a little warmer and more neutral, but it's still very nice looking. You've also kept all your light sources clear and white, which adds to the coherent quality of the scheme.

Just keep in mind that everything you can see from the room is in the room. That helps in layering the view in an attractive way.

And, yes, the kitties do just show up, don't they...!
(I think she thought there ought to be a fish in there...)

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 11:22AM
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My tastes change often. In my previous house, every room was a different colour. In this one every room was a different shade of blue butI wasn't happy with any of them. I switched out one of the blues (dining room) for a slightly bluish grey and it was so fabulous that I repainted the living room the same colour and will continue it through the main floor.

The grey looks slightly different in each room and I may use different accent colour for each, we'll see.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 11:28AM
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Several of the above descriptions are precisely what I did. I used the art and my Oriental rugs as the starting point. My wood work and trims are the same color in the whole downstairs. I consider the trim and doorways to be picture frames for the rooms. I also have an old home...1890. The doorways are large and you can stand in one area and see into the next rooms. I have 12 ft ceilings which also allows for more vibrant use of color and wide trims. All flows and all contents of the rooms can be moved/swapped into an adjacent room with no break in the color/design concept that I originally initiated 10 yrs ago. I have swapped the DR and morning room and it works very well due to the cohesive color scheme.

My walls were painted 10 yrs ago and 6 yrs ago ( different rooms) I have never tired of the rich, chocolate,thyme green, terra--cotta in multiple tones and a 3 tone yellow for the entry way and music room. Everything is tied together with the art work and rugs and the wood floors.

I will link to my album and you can view the areas if you wish. Great thread. c

Here is a link that might be useful: photobucket album , house pics

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 11:42AM
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See how your eye is led from the blue kitchen wall to the blue in the painting on the stairs in the yellow room? You're already making the links. (For me, a cooler blue on the kitchen walls would connect better, or a warmer blue in the painting; but with all our different cameras and monitors, we're always dealing with uncertain colors...)

I often realize that I've done this without consciously planning it. I sit in my rocking chair and have tea every afternoon. From the warm white and colonial blue dining room, I can see into my kitchen (yellow and natural cherry) and into my living room (pale melon walls, bits of dark greens, dark reds, medium tans). What's on the wall between those openings? Childe Hassam's "Boston Common at Twilight." It's just there because I like it and it fits there, but it works beautifully to link all three rooms.

So, I'd say, go with what you are drawn to, what you love, and notice ways to forge connections.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 12:35PM
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trailrunner - Would love to see your photo album but it says it needs a password.

christine - I've been looking for a nice pale melon for a bedroom. Do you have pics of your rooms? They sound lovely. What color and brand did you choose for the pale melon?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 8:08PM
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Fripper, I'm sorry I can't help with the paint color. The room has been this color for a long time, and the last time it was painted I had it matched to a tiny bit left in an old jar from a paint that's not made anymore. It's a peachy melony color, but it never looks pink. It changes a lot with the light, sometimes almost a neutral, sometimes a very very warm peachy-melon.
It's really hard to capture in photos.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 8:32PM
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