Choosing Colour in the Home: Carpets, Colour and Texture
Carpets and colours
Whether to nave patterned or plain carpet is often debated. From the standpoint of colour scheming, plain carpets may be easier to furnish around. A costly item that may have to last for years, a carpet is less easily changed than the more versatile curtains and other soft furnishings.
However, plain carpets, especially if pale, do show specks and mark more easily than patterned carpets. The latter may be better in rooms where there are children or pets.
If in doubt when choosing a carpet colour, choose one that will blend well with several décor schemes. Colours such as brown, grey, moss green and beige might be suitable.
The carpet colour should be one shade darker than the walls-if they are the same colour, or used to give stability, a darker shade of the main furnishing colour-this will help to unify the scheme.
A room can appear to be larger than it is by using a fitted, plain carpet in a’ receding colour and texture, or a carpet with a subdued pattern and colour.
Patterned carpets, in strong colours, will make the room look smaller but the danger here is a conflict between the carpet, the rest of the décor scheme, and the furniture, which may produce a cluttered effect. Soft furnishings, particularly, need to be chosen with great care.
Texture can be introduced through carpets and a textured carpet or a shaggy rug may provide a focal point to a room. Again, there is a danger of introducing too many textures in flooring, upholstery and soft furnishings. Nothing is worse than a multitude of textures, fighting it out together.
Well used, texture can add interest to a room. Textured wallpaper, such as hessian or woodchip, may make an attractive background against which to display pictures or ornaments.
Colour and texture
Colour is affected by texture. On a flat surface some colours will seem dull, while the same colours used on a textured surface will seem interesting and alive.
Smooth surfaces reflect light, while a rough surface absorbs light and gives a darker tone. A dark, matt surface absorbs light but a light, matt surface reflects light and is, therefore, suitable for use in rooms that lack a great deal of natural light.
Patterned fabric looks attractive against a white or cool background. Strong pattern tends to dominate and should be used sparingly. Less-definite patterns tend to merge into the back-ground and are easier to live with.
Pattern, too, combined with the choice of colour, can be used to disguise problem features. Intrusive doors can be papered to match the wallpaper, matching wallpaper and fabric can help rectify a badly proportioned or ugly window.
Small, fussy windows can be made to look quite stately by using long patterned floor-length curtains, or hidden behind a wall of curtaining.
Patterned material can also be used to co-ordinate areas of a room-for example, in linking together curtains, bedspread, furniture covers and cushions.
Furniture can be used to help correct the proportions of a room. Try to avoid a cluttered room that is neither comfortable to live in nor pleasing to look at.
A long, low room can be quite depressing. Look at the entire area as one and then subdivide it, using colour, modular storage divider units or tall pieces of furniture. These units should reach the ceiling to give an illusion of height. Long curtains will also help to create a sensation of vertical height.
Tall furniture tends to give a feeling of height, while furniture arranged at a lower level brings focus down in a high-ceilinged room.