Decorating with Colours like the 4 Seasons

Unlike with clothing fashions, it's like most people these days are scared or confused how to decorate their homes with different colours, and have it not looking like a child care facility. I suppose also looking at a colour wheel and knowing that the opposite colours (e.g. Blue and Brown) work really well together seems rather abstract to imagine the end result and to implement.

Furthermore, we all know that if you get your colours wrong it can be a costly error and even open you up to a fair bit of criticism from others. So most prefer to play it safe and dull. I tend to recommend hiring a colour consultant to pick your wall colours, which is half the job. However it is fun picking the wall colours yourself and more so further decorating your rooms with lots of colour is even more enjoyable. I'm going to help you understand how you can do it in a way that your end result will look homely, timeless and sophisticated. There are two aspects to decorating your home with different colours.

Firstly with pops of colour. Say all your walls and floors are a nice French shade of yellow, your main seating furniture can be neutral or red or you have a blue vase, or a brown buffet table, a traditional rug filled with tiny details of colour or vibrant oil paintings. Then what you're looking for is high quality, well defined pieces that after drawing in the focus, hold it to lift the room. This approach works with all base colour, which you've used for your walls and floors. 

I guess that's how we've been told to do it, and then if you get it right it's because you've spent enough money and have good taste. So this is not how I like to think about it, because it doesn't help you analyse the room and work out what's missing.

So secondly, you want to ultimately create a balance between the colours in your interior, and the way I like to go about it, is by associating them with the four seasons of nature. To be psychologically complete you want to feature all the four seasons, in a pretty much a balanced way.

Start with examining your walls. What colour are they and which season would you associate withthis colour? Let's say...

Yellows, Oranges, Peaches and Reds seems like Summer.

White, Blacks, Greys and Blues seem like Winter.

Greens and Pinks seem like Spring, and

Browns and Beiges seem like Autumn.

Spring leads to Summer leads to Autumn, which leads to Winter - which leads to Spring...

This seasonal cycle of colour tones and feelings will help you create and develop flow, depth, character and interest in your home and its internal colours.

So say green window trims represent spring, which lead to yellow painted walls which represent summer, which leads to dark rich brown furniture representing autumn, where you will find colourful oil paintings and flower decorations signifying spring. The white painted ceiling has that winter Christmas feeling like snow and the brown and beige ground textured tiles give the flooring an Autumn tone, with a little bit of white to balance out the walls and ceiling.

Okay so looking at this room, it's heavy in summer colours, somewhat balanced by winter colours, as the ceiling and cornices are white. It has touches of spring colours, and if anything could use a little more autumn colours. More or less it's pretty much got a complete set of colours.

Another room. Let's say beige widow curtains and brown wooden desk representing autumn, with black traditional rug for winter (with small touches of green and pink for spring), surrounded by white walls and storage cabinets representing winter. On the wall the skirting and window trims are painted gold and there is a gold and red picture bringing in the balancing contrast of summer colours into the otherwise winter and autumn coloured room.

So this room is a little bit light on Spring colours, which could be helped with a nice pot plant by the window to add a little more greenery.

Another room. Let's say you have green walls, focusing on the Spring vibe. White ceilings for winter, wooden flooring for autumn, gold and red tones for summer. As you can see those are missing in this room, leaving it a little bit flat. Once I change over the cornices and paint the new ones with gold highlights, representing Summer, the room will feel more balanced.

So given that the walls are green, the room is pretty much balanced although it could use a little more spring to make it feel more complete. Though looking at the other side of this room.

So yes from this angle there is more winter and a tad more spring to balance out the autumn and summer colours.

Now a few more rooms just so you can really get the hang of it.

Could use a little more winter colours to feel more balanced. Perhaps some crystal decor for the desk.

This following space seems pretty well balanced. However if anything it could use a little more autumn. Perhaps when the cornices get upgraded, it could feature a little bit of brown in the colour scheme.

However, overall the room is pretty balanced and a little hard to find any more space to add more decorations.

The next room is also quite balanced. However it could use a little more autumn touches. However it's a small room that's pretty much filled so this is as good as it gets.

Perhaps when I upgrade the cornices I could integrate an autumn colour into the mix just to make it a little more balanced.

Finally, just to show you that this approach isn't just for rooms but also for individual arrangements.

Again the arrangement is pretty well balanced. If anything it could use more spring colours. Perhaps the crystal bowl on the bottom level could have more green foliage to make the arrangement more balanced and vibrant.

I hope you get the pattern. Part of it is analysing the room and seeing which colour tones you need more of to balance out the current scheme. Finally when you're shopping and you find things you like, you can quickly realise which rooms need its colours, so that it really pops and lifts those rooms it is placed in.


Brett Plagens

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Monday, 03 August 2020

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I’ve been decorating since I was 15 years old. I started because my family home was in an embarrassi ...

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