The Power of Contrast

Contrast In Design: Placing opposites next to each other.

Contrast can be used in several ways. Contrast of texture. Contrast of pattern. Contrast of color. Today, we’re going to take a look at how contrast of color – and more specifically, the value and hue of color – affects interiors. When talking about color, value is a term used to describe the lightness and darkness of color. Hue is a term used to describe the spectrum of the color, and has a direct correlation with how we name colors. The hue may be blue, purple, yellow, etc.

Monochromatic Design

First, let’s take a look at some monochromatic spaces.  Monochromatic spaces use contrast very sparingly. Essentially, using a lack of contrast to create a very soothing feel. One item seems to just melt into the next – creating a soft look, that is comfortable and very easy to look at.


Transitional Bedroom by San Francisco Interior Designers & Decorators Sophie Azouaou

Monochromatic design utilizes contrast in other aspects: texture & pattern – to create interest, and is a great style for someone wanting to achieve a calming and timeless look.


Modern Living Room

Monochromatic design may not be well suited for the elderly. As one ages, it is helpful to have bright light and contrasting colors to help clearly see items, like the edge of the bed, the top of a bedside table, the edge of a rug, etc.


Rustic Kitchen by Montvale Paint & Wall Coverings Benjamin Moore

High Contrast

High contrast spaces create excitement, activity, and interest. You’ll see contrast not only in value (lightness & darkness), but also in hue in these spaces.


Contemporary Dining Room by San Francisco Interior Designers & Decorators Green Couch Interior Design


Contemporary Home Office by San Francisco Interior Designers & Decorators Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

Perhaps the epitome of high contrast design: classic black and white.


Contemporary Living Room by Saskatoon Interior Designers & Decorators Atmosphere Interior Design Inc.


Transitional Home Office by Scarsdale Interior Designers & Decorators Clean Design

Consistent Hue, Contrasting Value

These spaces use a consistent hue, but different values (or shades) of that same color. Because of the consistent hue, these rooms have some of the soothing qualities of monochromatic  rooms – with toned downs pops of interest from using the different values or shades.


Contemporary Family Room by Burlingame Architects & Building Designers Scheinholtz Associates


Contemporary Bedroom by Little Rock Interior Designers & Decorators Tobi Fairley Interior Design

When creating a “Consistent Hue, Contrasting Value” space, be brave when choosing the colors you are layering. The shades don’t have to be on the exact same strip of the color wheel – notice how the 2 base pillows on the bed below have a more blue-based green, and the front pillow is a more yellow-based green. This helps creates interest when layering green on green.


Contemporary Bedroom by Chicago Interior Designers & Decorators Chelle Design Group

Multi-Hue Balanced Contrast

Most of us are probably more comfortable and familiar with decorating our homes in a “Multi-Hue Balanced Contrast” look. Utilizing at least 2 to 3 different hues (or colors), in several different values.


Beach Style Family Room by New York Interior Designers & Decorators MuseInteriors


Traditional Bedroom by Boston Architects & Building Designers Meyer & Meyer, Inc.

Light tones, medium tones, and dark tones; mixed with several different hues.


Transitional Dining Room

There you have it – the low down on contrast, color, hue, and value. Contrast is a powerful thing! I’d love to hear which look you prefer! Or do you use multiple types of contrast throughout your home – differing room by room? Share your thoughts below!

-Rachel

#Kitchen #bedroom #ColorScheme #Value #Monochromatic #DiningRoom #BlackandWhite #Contrast #LivingRoom #Color #Hue

DSC07908-1.jpg

Hi,
I'm Rachel.

I am a small town girl passionate about creativity, color, and most of all: helping people bring their homes to life in ways they never thought possible. On the Rardon Design blog, I enjoy sharing thoughts, inspirations, and our projects. Thanks for reading.

Post Archive