While temperatures dip below freezing in the Northeast, writing a post on warm paint color palettes could not have come at a better time! Dreaming of sun, sand and all things warm is a nice respite from this frigid weather. This might be my longest post yet; so, buckle up, Babydolls!
I find that warm colors are more tricky to work with and harder to pair with other warm colors. The undertones of warm colors vary so greatly making it difficult to find other colors that marry well with them. That being said, there are a few tips I like to use when pairing these colors together. But first, let’s start with some color palettes and pictures that illustrate these palettes before I launch into my tips. As a caveat, most computer screens and the screens of hand-held devices are all calibrated very differently. This great effects the way these colors are viewed. Please take paint chips home or buy paint samples to try out in the space you are looking to use them (viewing them during both the day and night) to ensure the color is right for you.
The colors below are colors we all know and love with a few updates. Those who follow fashion know that when trends emerge from past trends, they are always tweaked to make them more current; paint colors are no different.
As I stated in my last post on this topic, try to use a dark, medium and light colors in each room adding a pop of color for interest and depth. The palette I highlighted below features Springfield Tan, Yosemite Sand, Rustic Taupe, Nightfall and Cork. A nice combination to use might be to have Springfield Tan on the walls, Yosemite Sand on the ceiling (this would look amazing), Rustic Taupe and Nightfall as your accent color and Cork as your pop.
The room below features sand colored walls with white trimmed box molding and pops of yellow and black. Unless you have a high threshold for color and contrast, it is a good idea to limit your pop of yellow to accent and accessories that can easily be swapped out. Yellow is one of the hardest colors to work with; therefore, when it comes to yellow, muted is best. In my opinion, pastel yellow only belongs in a nursery.
Here is a palette using a medium tone beige, a deep brown, cream and cherry red as an accent color. I love this bright, almost pink pop of red. This is a beautiful and more current red than was used 10 years ago. It is bright and saturated, yet still refined. In designing a room using these colors, I would use the medium color, Baja Dunes on the walls; the dark and light color, Fallen timber and muslin, as accents and Rose Parade as the pop of color. The dining room below is a very dramatic use of these colors. This designer chose to paint the walls a very deep shade of brown, with white moldings, trim and mirror. The pop of cherry red is used only on the upholstery, area rug and wall decor.
My last palette using warm colors features a color that a lot of people are afraid of: Orange. I can understand one’s hesitation to use this color. When searching through Designer portfolios for images using orange, I found more badly designed rooms using this color, than I did of rooms that used orange successfully. I have a few tips just for this color alone. When using the right shade of orange, in the right places, this color can add a fun pop or add a warm, comforting vibe to your space. The palette below features a crisp white, White Dove; a light beige, Manchester Tan; a rich brown, Brown Horse and a saturated orange, Pumpkin Spice.
Tips for using orange: Use orange in a space that gets a lot of natural light. I would also suggest limiting this color to one wall. Orange is a secondary color, it is a blend of red and yellow. Choose an orange that has more red than yellow in it. Therefore, I would opt for a medium to deep shade of orange over a lighter shade of this color. In addition, when incorporating metals with orange, I would suggest using gold over silver.
The rooms below use this color as an accent color to add depth to the space. They both limit this color to strategically placed pops of orange. The first room uses a deep dramatic brown for the wall color, adding a deep orange throw at the bottom of the bed and orange Hermes boxes on the nightstands. The second room uses a lighter wall color with orange as the accent on the rug and upholstery. Most importantly, the designers of both rooms kept the intensity of the orange (deep and rich for the first, rich and bright for the second), consistent with the other colors in the room.
Image via Houzz-Gary McBournie Inc.
Below are my pairings for those of you who like things a little bolder 🙂 These palettes are deep and dramatic. There is much less variation in the intensity of the colors used in these spaces. This palette features Sherwin Williams paints.
In the image below, I love how this designer created drama using the same color intensity for all colors. Although this room is too dramatic for most people, it is really well done! Green is a versatile color in that it plays well with both silver and gold.
This last room illustrates a classic black, white and red palette. This palette will never go out of style. However, this is a fresh interpretation that I love. Most elements in this room are kept light and bright. The use of black on the window grills adds a dramatic and upscale element. It is as though this designer used kohl eyeliner to line the “eyes” of this room. The designer showed restraint in leaving the window treatments simple to highlight this feature. The red chairs are a perfect use of dramatic symmetry. I am loving this dining room right down to the blown glass orb chandelier!
Ok, here are a few tips on warm paint pairings:
- According to House Beautiful, warm colors are best used in south and east facing rooms. South and east facing light is warm and will enhance warm paint colors. To determine what direction your room faces, you can download a compass app on your phone. Be sure to keep your phone (or compass) flat for most accurate results.
- As a general rule of thumb, gold is the best metals to use when accessorizing rooms using warm colors.
- Be cognizant of the type of light you are using in a room with warm paint. Florescent light bulbs (never recommended) emit a very blue green light and will completely change the way your paint looks at night. Incandescent light (most light bulbs) If you have nothing better to do, you can click here for more info on this topic 🙂
I will wrap this post up by expressing my deep appreciation for all of your kind, enthusiastic and supportive feedback. I appreciate each and every comment and private message I have received. This blog is a labor of love, and it is my hope that I am able to lessen the frustration and challenges that arise in home design. Your feedback is immensely helpful and lets me know what you are interested in reading about. Keep the suggestions coming 🙂