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Interiors design Concepts and Color Schemes

Experimenting with mixing You can mix strongly contrasting colours to create a pleasing effect as long as you folIow a few basic guidelines. Pure primary colours are lively and vibrant, but they can also be overpowering and garish. To avoid problems, use them in unequal proportions and introduce lighter or darker variations of each. For example, rather than introduce equal amounts of red and yellow in the same colour scheme, select varying proportions of paler and darker red-oranges and yellow-oranges. Complementary colours - those on opposite sides of the colour wheel - can be mixed successfully, too.

Although such combinations usually clash, they can work if they are less "pure". For example, just a posing tones of warm reddish green alongside dark, slightly greenish red creates very pleasing harmonies. Another way to mix contrasting colours is to start with just a few closely related Above all a children's play area, the use of bright primary colours creates the right type of atmosphere and can be visually stimulating as well.

Centre left

The starting point for the decorative scheme in this room was the mellow brown of the ceiling and wall beams, the colour of which has been picked lit in the curtaining, cushion covers, and furniture. Bottom left in a large room, You can be bold if your use of colour and pattern. A restrained colour palette usually works best, however. warm or cool colours and then set them against the opposite cool or warm colours from the colour wheel.

Using black and white White mixes well with almost any colour scheme. Interspersed with pale colours, it can create subtle harmonies. White can serve as a backdrop for strong colours or as a way of brightening up dark ones. Black contrasts well with white, yellow and pale tints - ideal for bold and dramatic effects.

Small rooms LIGHTING AND MIRRORS Colour influences mood. Whatever main colour you choose for your decorating scheme, it will have greater dramatic impact on a small space than on a large one. In a small room the focus will be on combining simplicity with rich textures, tones and special features. With this in mind, choosing the decor for a small room can seem slightly daunting.

However, if you abide by a few basic principles, colour can really work to your advantage. Since you can decorate a small room relatively quickly and inexpensively, why not take the chance to experiment? You can try more unusual colour combinations and explore different textures and effects.

o If you use dark colours in a small room, make sure the lighting is adequate so that they don't look dull and gloomy.

o Experiment with indirect lighting. It influences subtle colours and gives an extra dimension to small spaces, particularly in alcoves and corners.

o Since mirrors reflect both light and space, they can dramaricall transform a room. They are particularly effective in small spaces, where they can be angled to catch interesting features.

Illusion of spaciousness

When you are not very experienced, the simplest way to ensure an uncluttered an restful effect in a small room is to limit t~ basic decor to white.

Very pale colours make surfaces recede and seem less noticeable, thus creating the impression spaciousness. Conversely, dark colours emphasize surfaces, making them appea to advance toward you. Incorporating colour Although white is a good choice for smal rooms, if used in its pure form it can be stark and boring. By using just a hint of colour, you can begin to make more of a statement.

For a start, walls can be paint! in one of an enormous range of almost- wh ites - from warm peach to soft, cool blue. Texture, too, can add interest and warmth to a predominantly white scheme If bright-toned colours are important t you, incorporate curtains, cushions, smal prints, or rugs as a way of introducing colours in occasional splashes.