Choosing a mood for your room: an interior design dilemma

Sometimes, figuring out how you want a room to “feel” when you spend time in it can be one of the biggest factors in deciding on a color scheme. Is this space used primarily for relaxation? Entertaining? Is it a public space in your home, like the dining room; or a private, personal space, like a master bath?

We hope that this will give you some insight into a variety of color schemes to set a mood, and how to use angles, patterns, and accessories to your advantage.

(And because we’re Cliffside, I’ll just drop a link in each section to a recommended hardware match, if you like this type of palette.)

Calming colors: soft and neutral

Calm color choices for your room: soft neutral paints, subtly curved furniture, flowers, and neutral prints.

“Calm” doesn’t have to mean boring. There are plenty of options out there if you like softer colors but still want patterns or textures in your space. For example, take a look at the furniture above: mostly solid in color, but still textured in pattern, which adds visual and kinesthetic depth. You don’t have to go with all “earthy” colors either—there are plenty of ways to add an accent but still keep the overarching theme of your space neutral and relaxing.

  • Our hardware recommendation: our own Campana or Classic Suites in satin nickel.

Lively colors: strong and bold

Lively color schemes: strong and bold hues, broad, wide patterns, contrasting artwork or furniture, and straight lines.

Of course, if you’re inclined to go outside of the calm box, you can bounce out to some of these lively colors and patterns. You’ll see that a lot of the prints and motifs are similar to the neutrals, but they make use of high contrast to really pop. For example: the pillow with the ivory and brown quatrefoil pattern would change dramatically if the colors were red and white. Straight lines match really well with some of the angular patterns like Greek keys, chevrons, or stripes, so seek out “modern” fixtures, or something older that can be upcycled with a new look.

  • Our hardware recommendation: the Northport or Menlo Park collections from Schaub in brushed bronze.

Warm colors: vibrant and earthy

Warm color scheme: striped or ornate patterns, curved furniture lines, accent items like gourds or pillows. Strong earth-tones.

Cozy and natural, a warm palette instantly makes any space feel like home. This combination of russets, golds, and ambers would be especially appropriate, I believe, in the mountains (look at those fireplaces!) or in any part of the country that celebrates a vibrant autumn. I really think that the warm palette is a standout when it comes to flexibility in mixing patterns and colors: if you like “traditional eclectic” style, as I do, then this would be a good choice for you.

Creative colors: bright and eye-catching

Then again, if you like modern eclectic… go bold and creative. Highly saturated hues are obviously the focus here (I like to call this the CMYK palette!). You can mix and match patterns to your liking, but I wouldn’t go too heavy: you’ll need to be careful that the room isn’t so busy that it makes your head spin! That said, a small piece of an extra pattern (like the hanging lamp) is great for accenting something individually. In the mood for some accessories? Check out flea markets or second-hand stores; they might have just that “little something” you’re looking for to complete your space.

  • Our hardware recommendation: absolutely anything! But if you like colorful knobs too, check out the colored crystals and Athens collection from Cal Crystal, or glass from Grace White and Sietto.

Classy colors: cool and elegant

By far, this is my favorite palette of the bunch (save the best for last, you know). When applied judiciously and in the proper spaces, you can really make a statement with this sort of scheme by choosing a bold, dark wall—whether that means paint on the wall itself (don’t you love that blue!) or cabinets painted with a heavy contrast color, like the black shown above. Classic patterns work really well here: heavy stripe (those pillows!); heavy check or gingham, if you like that look; or even a more Mediterranean-styled ogee.