articles, color, education, hall, inspiration, living room, my projects

Color scheme in interior design / Schematy kolorystyczne a projektowanie wnetrz

Oh my goodness… you cannot imagine how busy I was over the recent weeks – both at work and at home; then I was away; but most importantly, with my new school – the assignments are so extensive, I am basically spending every single free minute on them; at some point a few days ago I just could not look at my inspiration boards anymore, I saw them and edited them and reworked them so many times! I finally have submitted them though…

Anyway, one part of the assignment was to prepare color schemes and find inspirational images that work with the schemes. I was to prepare one board for each of the classic sets: monochromatic, harmonious and complementary, bearing in mind that one of them was to use a historical color palette.

So here are the results, and a bit of color theory you can use with your interiors:

  • Monochromatic color scheme – blues:
Monochromatic color scheme - blues
Monochromatic color scheme - blues

This monochromatic scheme was created using the family of blue tints, tones and shades; my foremost inspiration came from nurseries which I think look lovely in blue (generally bedrooms look pretty in monochromatic schemes too). Contrary to popular belief, monochromatic does not mean black&white, but simply of one (any) colour. In interior decorating and design, this is extended to mean all the tones, not just the pure hue.
Such a scheme is very safe, and can be pretty boring or even overwhelming (e.g. all-red room). To ensure the space is still interesting, one should use contrasting tones – if big surfaces are soft or pastel (even tinted white), it is worthwhile making the accents (cushions, throws, rugs, accessories) darker. Also, remember that color reception varies with texture – therefore use different materials, tactile fluffy or porous fabrics and employ luminosity of paint or objects, by contrasting matte and shine, transparent and opaque, and finally with design…

  • Harmonious color scheme, using a 19th period color palette:
Harmonious color scheme - 19th color palette
Harmonious color scheme - 19th color palette

Harmonious color schemes are probably the most popular. Easy to achieve with fool-proof rules, they provide more interest than the monochromatic scheme. However, because of its popularity, the scheme can now seem bland if applied without thought, and actually some neighboring colors get on better together than others (e.g. reds and violets is a pretty tricky combination…) and if you’re going as far as mixing colours from both sides of one main hue (like red purples and red oranges), you really should include that main hue (red) to make them work together!

This particular scheme was even trickier than the others as it required using a historical color palette. It’s good to know that there are companies which still manufacture paint, fabrics and wallpaper employing authentic historical techniques, materials and designs. It’s important not only to give the room an authentic feel; rather such materials work best when restoring old houses as they blend better and work properly with older surfaces (crucial for paint). They also often have visibly different finishes (you can order free samples to see for yourself) which add to the quality and authenticity of the restoration project. Just remember – such materials are never cheap, nevertheless worth their price.

The scheme on the board concentrates around a beautifully ornamental Lotus BP 2048 wallpaper from Farrow & Ball (a great company for authentic materials), drawn from 19th century French archives and influenced by the Arts & Crafts Movement . I complemented it with muted tones and shades of paint such as Ball green 75, Green smoke 47 and Parma gray 27 in traditional finishes: limewash, dead flat oil, and eggshell (depending on location – interior or exterior, and surface – walls, woodwork, metal).

Put together, this scheme is very sophisticated and elegant, and adaptable to rooms of any function, as you can see on the inspiration photos (halls, living rooms, bathrooms). Interestingly, the scheme not only works well in period interiors, but also in modern ones, especially minimalist (see the bottom-right bathroom).

  • Complementary color scheme using purples and yellows:
Complementary color scheme - yellow and purple
Complementary color scheme - yellow and purple

The most dramatic choice, the complementary scheme marries colours lying opposite each other on the colour wheel. While a risky choice and demanding a lot of careful analysis and design, this scheme can be very rewarding through creation of outstanding statement interiors.

Yellow and purple, as used on this board, have actually made their way into many interiors nowadays (I love this match!), but the general rule is to carefully balance colours and tones, choosing one as a basis and the other solely in accessories. Also, for a more subtle and glamorous version, you could replace yellow with gold and shimmers. The strongest version (i.e. with both colours on big surfaces) will work well in halls, waiting rooms and guest bathrooms – but if you like it, use it anywhere you want – after all, rules are there to be broken :).

I will show you the inspiration boards later on…but in the meantime welcome comments both on these particular schemes, and also on your opinion on schemes and rules in color – do you follow them? How?


Powyzej prezentuje jedno z zadan ktore w koncu ukonczylam i dostarczylam w piatek… zajmowaly mi doslownie kazda wolna minute w ciagu ostatnich paru tygodni! Celem zadania bylo stworzenie trzech tablic przedstawiajacych podstawowe schematy kolorystyczne – monochromatyczny (oparty na jednej rodzinie odcieni, np. fiolety), harmonizujacy (laczacy kolory lezace obok siebie na kole barw, np. zolcie, pomarancze i czerwienie) i dopelniajacy / kontrastujacy (wykorzystujacy kolory przeciwlegle, np. zielony i czerwony), a do jednego z nich miala zostac uzyta historyczna paleta kolorystyczna z wybranej epoki. Wyniki zobaczyc mozna zobaczyc powyzej, a paleta historyczna ktora ‘wystapila’ na tablicy to XIX-wieczna Francja z wplywami Arts & Crafts movement (ruch ktory glosil sztuke uzytkowa bedaca jednak absolutnie piekna, czescia tego ruchu byli prerafaelici).

Pierwsza tablica pokazuje niebieskosci ktore tak bardzo pasuja do sypialni dzieci, ale takze doroslych – takie schematy sa delikatne, ale pojawia sie ryzyko nudy ktoremu nalezy przeciwdzialac poprzec uzycie roznorakich odcieni, materialow, powierzchni, wzorow oraz matu i polysku. Kolory harmonizujace przestawione sa jako matowe zielenie i zolcie, mocno przytlumione dodatkiem szarego (podstawa do tego schematu byla przepiekna tapeta Farrow & Ball ) – te historyczne kolory dodadza kazdemu pomieszczeniu ponadczasowej elegancji, a pasuja nawet do nowoczesniejszych, zwlaszcza minimalistycznych wnetrz (patrz lazienka w prawym dolnym rogu). Ostatnia tablica pokazuje najbardziej dramatyczne i ryzykowne, ale jak wspaniale kontrastowe polaczenie zolci z fioletami, ktore polecam zwlaszcza do mniej uczeszczanych pomieszczen typu hol, poczekalnia, moze goscinna lazienka (acz to oczywiscie zalezne od preferencji).

Niedlugo pokaze rowniez tablice inspiracyjne ktore stworzylam do innego zadania, a w miedzyczasie zapraszam do komentowania moich schematow, ale tez schematow ogolnie – czy dalej je stosujecie? Ktore lubicie? Jak wykorzystujecie tradycyjna teorie koloru?

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bedroom, color, inspiration, my projects

Pink bedroom – part 3 / Rozowa sypialnia – czesc 3

I have read the comments to the first draft of the room – thanks a lot! Before I move on to implementing the comments, let me share with you a few other visualizations which due to some glitch were rendered only today. This means they were still created before feedback so bear with that.

  • This version – with light grey glamour wallpaper – is even more muted than the previous one. Alex suggested she really wants to avoid a dark room, so this one is probably even lighter.
Light grey pink bedroom 1
Light grey pink bedroom 1
  • This is how the other side of the room could look:
Light grey purple bedroom 2
Light grey purple bedroom 2
  • Finally, this is a more chic version – tribute to Audrey Hepburn whom Alex loves and already has some accessories with her image! This time I am not shying away from pink or violet – on the contrary, they are enhanced by bold wallpaper and striking Audrey rug – but because of various textures, they still work well together and say – I know what I’m doing  – I wanted it so pink!
Audrey Hepburn glamour bedroom
Audrey Hepburn glamour bedroom

The next version will:

  • have darker floor (as I was just advised)
  • possibly have different color accents
  • have an armchair as Alex is pretty convinced this is what she wants.


Dziekuje za komentarze na temat pierwszej wersji sypialni Oli. Zanim jednak zajme sie nowymi wersjami, podziele sie z Wami jeszcze dwoma propozycjami ktore powstaly w tym samym momencie co ta pierwsza jednak z powodu jakiegos bledu technicznego zostaly zrenderowane dopiero teraz.

Poniewaz sa to wersje z ‘wtedy’, nie odpowiadaja jeszcze na komentarze. Jedna z nich jest jeszcze jasniejsza niz ta pierwsza (Ola bardzo nie chce ciemnej sypialni wiec byc moze ten jasny szary bedzie lepszy niz wersja z Fornasettim), gdzie wzor tapety i dywan nawiazuja do siebie w stylu glamour.

Druga wersja jest intensywniejsza kolorystycznie niz kazda z poprzednich i nie ucieka od rozu i fioletu – wrecz przeciwnie, powtarza je, ale dzieki zastosowaniu roznych faktur wszystko sie ze soba zgrywa. Ta sypialnia to trybut dla Audrey Hepburn ktora Ola uwielbia i ma juz z jej podobizna kilka dodatkow!

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