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How to Connect Colors Through the House

You don't have to use the exact same color scheme in every room, but you should connect the colors throughout your house – especially if it has an open floor plan. If you don't, your space may look choppy and smaller than it actually is. Color continuity creates a cohesive, harmonious look because the eye flows smoothly from room to room.

Use a Single Color to Connect the Rooms

Using the same color in each room of your house is one way to achieve color continuity. That doesn't mean you have to paint every room with the same wall color, though you can if the color isn't too bold or intense. You just need to use that color somewhere significant in every room. The other colors in each room can vary. Consider red, for example. If you paint your entry hall red, select a red sofa for the living room next to the entry. Then, connect the dining room by laying a predominantly red oriental rug on the floor and by adding red silk shades to your chandelier. In the kitchen, mix a few red tiles into the mostly neutral backsplash and pull painted red chairs up to the breakfast table.

Use Different Values of a Single Color

Many paint chips feature a light-to-dark progression of the same color. The different versions have different values. You can use that same type of progression in your home. Painting the walls of each room with a different value is the most effective way. Though the rooms look quite different from each other, the eye recognizes the common hue and flows smoothly from space to space. You can accent the rooms with other values of that color, with completely different colors or with a mix.

If you opt to paint each room with a different value of the same color, use the light-to-medium versions for bedrooms, living areas and kitchens. Reserve the darker shades for entry halls, dining rooms and other spaces where you don't spend much time. Otherwise, the darker versions may feel too intense.

Use the Same Group of Colors

The least complicated way to connect colors throughout your house is to use the same three to five colors in every room. That doesn't mean your rooms all have to look the same. You can use a different color from the group as the dominant color in each room to make them look distinct.

Imagine a rust, gold and green color scheme, for example. You can paint the living room gold, which makes gold the dominant color. Choose a rust-colored sofa and accent chairs covered with a green and gold stripe. Then, add window treatments and throw pillows made from a patterned fabric containing all three colors. In the nearby dining room, paint the walls rust, cover your chair seats with gold damask and lay a rug with a green background on the floor.

Add Unifying Elements Whichever method you use to connect the colors in your home, use some identical elements throughout to increase continuity and flow. Paint or stain all of the woodwork in the house with the same color, for example. Use the same hardwood stain or carpet color in every room except the kitchen and bathrooms. Hang all of your artwork in frames with the same finish, whether that's gilt, silver or black paint. The carving, widths and designs can vary. Repeat the glaze, stain or paint on your kitchen cabinets on the built-in bookcases in the living room.


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