Thursday, January 17, 2008

Choosing colors

When people ask me how to choose a new colour palette I usually advice them to make a mood board. A mood board is an atmosphere collage which gives an impression of the colours and textures you want to use for your interior. You can use samples of paint, carpet and casement cloth. As well as pictures from magazines with scenes that are appealing to you.In the mood board above I also used samples of floor covering tiles and wallpaper. It is important that the board represents the actual amount of colours and patterns. When the wall is the largest element in your interior use a larger sample of that. The casement cloth is normally an eye catcher too just like the carpet. Represent them on the board in proportion.
By adding details like sea stars and shelves to the mood board you instantly create a beach house scene. Collect little items that are appealing to you and add them to the board. Later on when you are choosing your accessories the moodboard will come in handy. But what to do when you don't really know what colour palette really fits you? In that case it is helpful to make a few small inspiration collages like the one above. You can create them from a beautiful garment you saw. Or an intriguing interior picture. Anything that inspires you.Make three or four little collages with colours that are appealing to you. Take your time and look at them again after a few days, some colours will still attract you while others seem less appealing. When you do the same again in the following days and in different moods you will find out what colours and patterns fit you. The picture above shows an inspiration collage build up from pictures of wood, leafs and a vase. The wallpaper and casement cloth have the same colour palette. And this is the final mood board created from the inspiration collage. Give yourself the time to discover what belongs to you. When I first started in my house I painted my bedroom blue. After a few years and some personal changes it became terracotta and I still love that colour. It suits me at this point in my life, but who knows which colours I will end up with when I am old and grey :) This week there was the cutest little moon in a purple sky. It looked almost unreal, more like something out of a fairytale book or a cartoon. Maybe you have looked at that same moon at the same time also wondering how beautiful the sky was that evening :) When I see something so colourful like that sky I want to start painting that colour scene. Unfortunately I don't have the patience and the skills to paint. So I use the inspiration on my own way by creating a new mood board. Next time I will make one step by step for you. It is very easy to do and so much fun. Nature provides us with the most stunning colour combinations. It always moves me to see how nature creates the most beautiful colour scenes for decorating without the intention to do so. It just appears and leaves us humans far behind with our paint samples and wall papers ;) Last summer a sat in my garden and a little beetle landed on my chair. I had never seen one like that before. He had the most beautiful mother of pearl colours on his wings I had ever seen! Pure glory...And then he peaceful flew away, not aware of his beauty and his inspiring colour palette. Inspiration truly can be found anywhere :)
Try to collect many different samples as possible. When you can choose from different samples you will be able to create a mood board that really suits your taste and expectations. For samples you can browse the internet, most stores now a day have sample services. Visiting your local stores with paint and fabrics is inspiring and will also help you to increase your sample collection. So far today's entry on choosing colours. If there is anything not clear just let me know.

Next week we will make a mood board step by step so if you are interested you can start in the meanwhile with collecting samples and making little inspiration collages. Who knows were it leads you...good luck :)


vineeta said...

I think its a really brilliant idea to take us step by step through the mood board making- cause for most of us without an interior designing background- its a new concept. And the 1st mood board I ever made was as an entry for a mood board contest organised by Holly of the decor8 blog. It was SUCH fun! If you havent seen her blog, I will direct you there straight away- Im sure she will inspire you.
And you are right- nothing we do can be quite as magical as nature who is full of beauty and inspiration all the time. we only have to look. Looking forward to your next post!

Vinita said...

Wonderful detailed post sas. As you so rightly said beauty and inspiration can be found everywhere, we just need to look around us with an open mind and open eyes. And as they say when you change the way to look at things, the things you look at change. (eg. the beetle which landed in your lap and inspired you with its colors instead of scaring you away.)

The moodboard is a great idea to put together before starting a big project. Then that way you can either just refer to it from time to time or go back to make sure that what you wanted in the first place is really happening and the project is not going in some other direction.

I will definitely take up your offer and send you a picture of my living room. The foyer area has already been painted tuscan beige. After making that huge mistake with the living room I couldn't take any chances and be miserable so I played safe. Even though everyone kept telling me , its just paint you can change it as often as you like.. yet I looked at it as waste of time, physical labor and money.

One more color which I was considering was "elephant grey" from Benajamin Moore. It is more like light brown and I have already seen it painted on a wall in Ikea showroom. But I guess the furniture, the light and all the accessories also make a big difference in the color scheme. SO what might look good in Ikea might not look good in my house.

Also thanks for adding that thomas kinkade slide show to your "light" post. I hadn't seen it before. It just made my day.


MaJoh said...

Hoi Sas,

Sinds de ontdekking van je weblog, ben ik een regelmatige bezoeker. De kleuren staan me aan :-)

Het idee van de kerstlampjes in de keuken, en al die ladekastjes; ben er nog over aan het nadenken hoe ik dat in mijn huis kan toepassen.

Ik hoop dat er nog veel mooie logs volgen.

Groetjes Rietje

Sas said...

Hello Vinita :)

Thank you again for your warm comment, I am glad you like the idea of making a mood board or at least an inspiration collage first. It has often helped me to stick to my original plan and to find out what really suited me.

Like my Mamma always says; "failure is a change". And I agree with her on that one. I have known a lot of failures trying to find my personal style. But now I wouldn't have missed them because they brought me closer to myself :)

I have looked at the site of Benjamin Moore
and there is a sample service so you can check the colour first on a small piece of your wall.

I am looking forward to receive the picture of your home so you can try some colour ideas before taking the big step :) Try to take a picture that shows a lot of wall and a clear shot of the entire living room.

By the way considering you like Zen style in decorating I think Tuscan beige is a beautiful basic colour. You can always add colour through natural accessories.

I will get back on this in my mood board item. In the meantime good luck with your decorating inspiration :)


Sas said...

Hallo Rietje,

Fijn om te horen dat mijn blog jou aanspreekt :)

Die ladekastjes zijn trouwens de 'Moppe'kastjes van de Ikea. Ik heb zo gewoon aan de wand geboord. De laatjes heb ik omgekeerd en er knopjes aan bevestigd. Je kunt zo veel van die kastjes samenvoegen als je wilt, in mijn huisje zijn dat er vier.

Veel succes ermee, ik hoor graag hoe het is afgelopen :)

Groetjes Sas

Sas said...

Hello Vineeta :)
So nice to hear that you liked the post about choosing colours.

I have seen your mood board for Decor 8 and I loved it! Absolutely beautiful colours and textures :)

Thanks also for the tip about the Decor 8 blog, indeed very inspiring.


shuma.rani said...

Reading your posts are very inspiring even for a non-interiors person like me....looking forward to more of colourful photos and inspiring posts :))

Sas said...

Thank you Shuma.Rani :)

I am glad you like my posts. If you have any questions or suggestions for future topics please feel free to let me know!


vk said...

Loved your idea of the mood board...I must create one for the dream home I may have one day :).

Your blog is so informative. I will keep returning for amazing ideas and more inspiration.

Sas said...

Thank you Vani.It makes me happy to hear that you find my blog informative and inspiring.

I have a dream house too; it is a small old cottage in the town centre but the back yard faces the edge of a wood hihi. Where do you find such a place?!

I will just keep on dreaming and who knows one day....:))


vk said...

Hello Sas!

Wow! your dream home seems similar to mine. (except I don't want it in the centre of town (not an Indian town at least) I recently read a book called "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne ...which basically says "live it" and it will happen. So, think you are in your dream home...including the woods at the back....:))...and I will get to see pics of that soon.

Sas said...

Hello Vani :)

You are right about the town centre but.I life in a small town in the east of the Netherlands. I guess I am not someone to life in a very big city. I need space to breathe and I would like to have some animals around the house hihi:))

And yes, who knows maybe our positive thinking will work and we will exchange pics of our dream houses soon :)