In our ever changing world, ideas on what should and should not be flux. When once background colour was meh, now it can be everything!
For instance, through time, importance was about furnishings, placement, size. Today we know much of this is interchangeable and depends on what you wish to focus on. It is now more about feeling comfortable and or making a statement about who you are what you wish to convey to the world.
Whether you prefer the stark drama of modern, the mellow warmth of traditional, the formality of English Regency, the elegance of Louis the XV, the informal ease of contemporary or the pizzazz of eclectic, it’s possible to make any design idea flow and work. Surprisingly without spending a great deal of money.
Your background or “backdrop” includes walls, ceilings and floors and should be chosen with care as it sets the stage for whatever decorating schemes you have chosen. Subtle background allows highlighting furniture or can be used as a mood setter for your entire decorating plan. A background colour can unify a mismatched collection of furniture and accessories, or become a dramatic statement.
Paint is the quicker easier and less expensive way to achieve a change whether it’s one feature wall or painting the entire room and or ceiling.
One of my most favourite attempts was choosing a colour from my (elegant floral) chesterfield which was exceedingly long, and using that colour on the entire length of wall it would rest against. When all was said and done, the chesterfield sparkled yet receded into the wall and didn’t appear to take up nearly as much room. Because I loved the colours in the chesterfield and found them comforting relaxing and welcoming, and because the colour was so subtle, it was not noticeable at first glance. Often people would remark on how delicious they felt and I smiled quietly. I’d managed to capture what I intended and felt very pleased.
I also played with a variance of that colour and instead of creating a stark division between the living and dining room which flowed into each other, I created an “S” if you will, a very long elongated “S” more of a curve from the ceiling to the floor. It definitely took planning, but in the end totally worth the effort. The dining room, I painted in a more delicate shade of the same colour in order to unite the two while creating what appeared as more space.
So go crazy, enjoy colour, just keep in mind, do I want the furniture to stand out or recede? Which direction is the light coming from? North, South, East, West? Do I want to cool the room down because it received hot sun all day, or warm it up because the northern light makes it feel cool. Surprisingly, it’s easy to find a colour that transforms a room winter and summer. In one instance I used a very subtle shade of “sage” for lack of better word which during the winter warmed the room while in summer, cooled it down since we are surrounded by green. Now green never was or will be a favourite colour for me, outside of nature and the great love of trees I have, but it worked, and worked well. When I wanted a change, I added wide mouldings around the ceiling and painted them stark white. Bang! in an instant the room popped! It had elegance yet comfort, warmth and cooled the room during the summer when the morning light was high in the sky and brilliantly bright.
Hopefully some of these ideas will assist if your thinking of painting or rearranging furniture and want to make a statement. One word of caution, if your furniture is well used (perhaps a little worn or faded) it’s best not to use a vibrant colour as this will highlight it’s flaws shall we say, and will be what you notice. In that case, it’s best to use a more subtle colour, or even softer colour scheme and your furniture will look far more fresh as a result.