We all want a beautiful home that really reflects who we are and what we love. Most often we fall short and end up with a mishmash of things that we liked well enough at the time we bought them and brought them home. Rooms end up looking a little disjointed and often a lot cluttered. It doesn’t need to be this way.
You can have a home that looks professionally decorated – without having to hire a decorator
How to make your house look professionally decorated is by simply planning your design. Then stick with the plan as you work through the process. Today we’re going to get started with the foundation of your decorating plan – color proportion.
Color proportion refers to the “amount” of each color you have within a space and it is key to getting the professional look you crave. Too much color and odd combinations of color are what give a space a disjointed and chaotic feel. In order for your space to feel professionally decorated you need to avoid this chaos and work towards a more cohesive look and feel. This is the basic color proportion formula that will provide what you are looking for:
Main or dominant colors need to be neutral so you don’t tire of them quickly and so that you can change your space up from time to time without having to start from scratch. Using neutrals as your main dominant colors will save you a lot of money and effort over time. These colors usually belong on your walls and can be used in larger furnishings.
Secondary colors need to go well with your primary color. You want (and need) a bit of contrast so that your secondary color does not get “lost” in your primary color. For instance, you don’t want your primary color to be beige and your secondary color to be tan because they are too closely related. You also don’t want your secondary color to be loud. It should have contrast but in a subdued tone. This color can be on an accent wall, in smaller furnishings, or in base accessories.
Accent color is where you get your pop. This is the color that gives your space personality. It is often a variation of your favorite color so that a space feels like you. This color should be found in accessories and artwork.
Now that you understand the concept, print this worksheet to help you develop you perfect color palette. A more in depth description of the process can be found here.
My colors throughout my current house are:
Light tan on walls and sofa (60%) * navy blue on chairs and in rug (30%) * teal accent pieces (10%)
My main (dominant) color – 60%
I currently am living in a rental because we just moved to the Midwest from Texas. The house has light tan walls and lighter hard wood floors that I can’t change – so light tan is my main color. I already had a lighter tan sofa so I’m using it. This is the one I have. However, if I were shopping for sofa specifically for this house I would have chosen something with a little more contrast to the walls. It’s completely fine to use more than one color as your main color – so long as they are very closely related to one another. They will “feel” like one color in the room.
My secondary color – 30%
I did purchase the accent chairs for this house and chose slightly greyed navy blue chairs. These chairs were chosen because I like the shape and the flexibility the size offers. I can arrange them in a couple different ways to suit my needs at any given time. I did not spend much on them at all because they only need to last a year or two. They look great for the price. The rug was also purchased for this house in a greyish blue slightly lighter than the chairs. the rug and chairs look great together. Again, I used two colors (a darker greyish navy in the chairs and a lighter greyish navy in the rug) as my 30% secondary color. I did this to repeat the lighter and darker combination found in my main tan color.
My accent color – 10%
I chose the teal accent color just because I like it. Teal looks good with the tan and navy colors already in the room. The teal is not a high contrast color to the navy and tan. It is more pleasing to my eye. I just like it like that. However, just about any color would work as an accent in this color scheme. So, any color that really appeals to you should be used as your accent color. Again, I used a darker and a lighter variation in the teal to repeat the variation in my main color and my secondary colors. Notice a pattern here? I like things balanced. It just makes me feel more at ease. These are the lighter teal ottomans and the darker teal throw blanket I used in my living room.
It’s starting to look a little more complete. I’ll post photos of the whole room when I get it all done.
60% Main color(s) * 30% Secondary color(s) * 10% Accent color(s)
This 60/30/10 formula should be used, with some variation, in each room of your house to give it that professionally decorated feel you’re looking for. It will flow well and feel cohesive – not like a bunch of rooms stacked together all willy-nilly.
Because this is simply the first step in getting the professionally decorated look you crave the next several posts will be focused on the next steps you should follow to make your house look professionally “done”. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss anything.
Are you having trouble choosing a color scheme in your house? If not – what worked for you? If you are – I want to hear all about that too! Tell me….
Get the Pro Decor Plan
Get the step by step plan professional decorators use to give every room in the house the professionally designed look you want + free printables to keep you on track!