Sharp Black and Pale Green Sharp Black and Pale Green

This month, we'll look not at the magic of just one color, but we'll look at a combination of two interior design colors: sharp black and pale green.

Of course, the first step in considering an interior wall color scheme to consider just one color at a time. Here, we see that the walls of this breakfast nook were painted in pale spring green. Bear in mind that this is a tiny nook in a tiny city apartment; therefore, the room needs all the enlargement it can get, so the right choice was made to go with something light.

The interior designer here has started with the pale green walls. The color is light and bright enough that it serves to make the room appear larger, and it also lightens the room. Because the view from the window isn't attractive, the designer has chosen to cover the window with a clear, corrugated Plexiglas shade that not only lets in the light, but also enhances it, suffusing the room with a clear, white light during the day.

Just as an illustration of an alternative interior design color here, think of how this room would look if it were painted white, which is often a choice for a small room. Here, it would make the room appear too harsh and cold; the pale green adds just enough color to add interest without darkening the small room.

The glass bar and shelves add to the modern look of the room, and reflect back the green of the walls, making the small space feel larger and brighter. Using glass, as this interior designer has, will often emphasize the wall color you've chosen, and will add more light to the room. The modern look is enhanced with the black stool, the window shade, and the clock. The whole look is softened with the white orchid in the upper foreground of the photo.

But this room goes beyond simply being bright and having the light shade of green. The green is neatly offset with the black chair and accessories, so that the pottery and clock really stand out.

This adds to the spare, modern look of this breakfast nook, which is quite helpful given the small space. You can get away with a wealth of patterns and colors in a larger room in a way that just won't work in a more confined space. The few pieces of black pottery call attention to themselves, and their shapes are so delicate that give a more delicate feeling to the room.

The use of black here also means that the pale green doesn't call attention to itself. You don't want a visitor to notice the interior design of the room; you want the design to be so good, and so subtle, that all a visitor notices is that the room looks great. Without the black accents, this room would be in danger of calling too much attention to the pale green; here, the eye is drawn to the black pottery instead.

The addition of the black into this interior design color scheme also brings in a more elegant note to the room; imagine a yellow painting in that corner instead of the shelves, and you can see that might be too much of a pale shade, without enough of a counter-balance.

In this room, we're able to see not only how pale green influences a room, but also how well it goes with a few pieces in basic black.

Reprinted with permission from the Sheffield School of Interior Design.

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