Blue and White Living Room Blue and White Living Room

Q: We need to brighten our home,
so I had my living room painted antique white with Churchill Hotel Vanilla trim (the whole main floor of my house is this color.) My floors are hardwood. My living room suite is denim blue with intertwined stripes of mauve, purple, and blue, and has wood grain trim. The curtains are blue, also. The what-nots are blue, there is a wood grain clock, a gold frame mirror over the mantle, and the flower arrangements are various shades of blue and mauve. How do I make a color theme for this room? Any suggestions would be welcomed.

A: I'd say, first of all, that you're not within your rights to really be anxious about this. The "Anxious Decorator" can tell if a reader has good grounds for anxiety, and I'd say that with all that blue, you have no right to be casting about for a color theme.

That is to say, it sounds as if you've found your color theme already, and there's no need to go hunting one down. Not that I don't have more opinions to offer on this.

First of all, I do think that blue by itself is a color theme, and it sounds as if you have enough of a variety in the different shades of the color. The living room suite is denim blue, but look at the shades in the design on the fabric: mauve, purple, blue. Assuming the curtains are another shade of blue, and that there's some variety in the blues of the "what-nots," you've got a theme going right here.

What you may be looking for are more ways to tie the colors in together. And certainly one color alone may create a more monochromatic look than what you're after, and you may want to bring in another color. This will liven up the whole room.

I think the secondary color for you to now emphasize is the mauve. You don't mention any floor covering in this room; this is a place where you can really work with the colors of the room. The flooring is critical in terms of the whole look of the room, and here it sounds as if you've got a lot to work with.

First, you may want to start by bringing out more of that mauve that's in the upholstered furniture. What about a throw rug with mauve and blue, more heavily on the blue than on the mauve?

Another idea would be to paint some of the trim in the room mauve, or to use artwork that has mauve as the dominant color.

We often start a room off with one color, and only as we go along do we realize that there's a secondary color theme emerging. And it can be this secondary theme which really makes a room sing. There are many ways to bring out this secondary color: with lampshades, curtains, throw pillows, painted trim, and artwork.

By bringing out the secondary color more, by looking for such accessories that have it predominant, and then using it along with your dominant color, will make the room appear even more pulled together.

Reprinted with permission from the Sheffield School of Interior Design

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