Understanding Color, and Learning New Color Combinations!

Color is a very influential part of our lives because it surrounds us everywhere everyday. It has been broken down to a science in order to understand how it  influences us on a daily basis.  Some of the greatest artists of all time have put great effort into understanding this science and how it will make their compositions stronger.  Henri Matisse and Paul Gauguin are two artists of the twentieth-century who are known for their notorious vibrant color choices.  When they were creating their iconic works of art the color choices that they were using were unlike any others, which gave their images much bolder statements than the other artists of the time.

The Dessert Harmony by Henri Matisse
Oil on Canvas
Part of the Impressionism Movement
Permanent Collection of the Hermitage Museum

Under the Pandanus Tree by Paul Gauguin
Oil on Canvas
Cloisonnism during his 1st Tahiti Period
Dallas Museum of Art

During the time that these two artists were creating their masterpieces, another man by the name of Albert H. Munsell began giving logic to color.  He was known for creating the Munsell Color Tree, which in reality was the first color wheel.  This was a three-dimensional color wheel, which was divided by hue, value (lightness), and chroma (color purity). He would “show gradation in saturation horizontally without changing value, which was represented along the vertical axis.” (Fisher,21)  Although he was not the only one to create a way of making sense to color, he was the first to invent the logic behind color theory.

The Munsell Color Tree

In the 21st Century we now have companies like Pantone which have created a color matching system to ensure that you get the exact color that you want every time.  It allows brands and labels to have consistency in their color choices when it comes to logos.  The way the system works is that each year Pantone will introduce the current colors of the year. Some stay for multiple years and some get discontinued.  As soon as the color is announced fashion and interior design trends emerge continuously creating new color combinations and “Colors of the Year”.

2014 color of the year

2014 color of the year

2014 Colors of the Year

2014 Colors of the Year

Click this to find out more about Home and Fashion Products from Pantone

So why is it important for me to know about color?

Believe it or not, every time you walk into a clothing store you are surrounded by products that merchandisers have picked for that season.  The colors that they choose are based off of the fashion colors of the year which are related to color theory.  In the beginning of the year, I remember entering  the mall and in every window, throughout the stores and  at the front of the check out counter in a retail store you saw ” Radiant Orchid”.  If you thought that this was by coincidence, you were fooled!  This is the color of the year and they were trying to force the consumer into purchasing their products.  There are studies that show while waiting in line to check out , you will pick up at least one extra “unnecessary” item because it’s there.  This is a suggestive selling technique that is used by most merchandisers.  This is why they will put small accessories toward the register because you are more likely to pick up that small item and purchase it just because it is just a couple of dollars extra added to your over all bill.   Just like when you are in a grocery store and the line stops at the candy isle, you want that candy…But will you take it?  That’s the choice that you will have to make! So it is the same  with color. Designers in both fashion and design emphasize the chosen color of the season and retailers display the color throughout their stores to encourage you to buy, buy, buy!

Color is everywhere you turn, influencing our daily lives even when you don’t expect it.  Research has shown that just walking into a room of a certain color can influence your mood. Bright, bold colors like oranges, bright yellows and red can give you energy and make you more excited and invigorated. Softer colors such as soft greens and blues can calm you down, help you relax and make you feel more peaceful.  There are many studies that show there is a relationship to color of your bedroom and sleep. When designing a room it is always good to use colors that will help you express the mood of the room you are trying to create. Some new color combinations to look out for in the interior design world as well as the fashion world are listed below:

Orange and Teal Combination Interior

Orange and Teal Combination Interior

Radiant Orchid Room Color Scheme

Radiant Orchid Room Color Scheme

As designers we see that color palettes tends to emerge in waves of patterns.  Although we are seeing that 2014 color combinations are a blend of muted tones infused with bright punches of colors, 2013 tones will be less saturated.  The predicted color combinations will be very muted in tone and will start to reflect back to earthy colors and joule tone inspired combinations.  To learn more about what is coming up, check out this fantastic analysis of color brought to you by Casasugar.


At Fabrics and Frames we have access to fabrics of every color and design that you could possibly want. We can help you create a space that will reflect your own personality and atmosphere that you want for your home by choosing the right colors and patterns in your furniture pieces as well as making suggestions on wall and floor colors if needed. For more information about designing or where to get custom looks like these please visit our website:


We are currently located at 5322 Alpha Rd, Dallas, Texas 75240972-385-4097.  Please contact us if you have any questions about this blog atandy@fabricsandframes.com, and or follow us on Facebook!http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fabrics-and-Frames-Furniture/156825517684205

Written By: Erica Guajardo

Edited By: Linda Decuir

Color Research provided by: Color by Paul J Zelanski and Mary Pat Fisher ( visit http://product.half.ebay.com/_W0QQprZ2327295 to purchase your copy)


Graffiti and Furniture Design…

Current design trends have recently been gravitating towards having the more artsy looks.  Keeping this  trend in mind, we are now seeing the emergence of  graffiti in the home.   In past generations  graffiti was viewed as a form of vandalism, but in current years it has emerged as its own art form.  Many famous contemporary artists such as Banksy, Shepard Fairey, and Sour Grapes 13  started their artistic careers as graffiti artists.  My knowledge about this movement was enhanced after watching the documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop: A Banksy Film.  I have provided a link to the trailer for the film and recommend it if you would like to learn about the dangers and secrets these artists go through all because of their  passion for their art.

Graffiti artists tend to be recognized as contemporary artists when they are sponsored by reputable companies or showcased in museums.  The Dallas Contemporary Museum has featured 2 of the 3 artists mentioned above allowing them to spread the word that graffiti should no longer be viewed as a form of vandalism when  displayed in a tasteful manner and appropriate venue.

Sour Grapes 13 Graffiti featuring director from the Dallas Contemporary Museum.

Shepard Fairey Mural displayed on the side of the Dallas Contemporary Museum.

Shepard Fairey with Mural in Dallas on Singleton.

How is graffiti emerging in interior design?

Art trends tend to reflect life as we know it and graffiti is now starting to be seen on anything and everything  in the home.  Ranging from wall space, wood furniture, and upholstered furniture you can  find graffiti used as a way to make a personal statement in your home.  Check out some interesting new looks that may inspire you to view this form of art differently…

Wall Graffiti Mural displayed in contemporary home. Using a solid “L” shape sectional to emphasize that graffiti and upholstered furniture can still make the home appealing, comfortable, and inviting to guest.

Is eclecticism more your style? Create unique vintage looks with a modern twist by incorporating classic french baroque furniture in modern solid colors for the front, and display cool graffiti prints on the back of the furniture. This look is great for open floor plans which allow you to view the entire furniture piece from all sides.

Graffiti refers commonly to typographic forms of art, but with new graphic images popping up within the graffiti world, creative artsy looks will enhance your interior decor as well.

Graffiti Spray painted Chest and Contemporary Wing Chair featuring Graffiti Queen Anne Legs.

Interior design has emerged as a fusion of new and old ideas.  Incorporating both art and design in rooms will enhance your vision on what a room can become.  If you are someone who likes color in the room, this look may be for you!  Color is a great way to psychologically create a better mood and self-esteem in your everyday life!  Although different colors have various  effects on your emotions and energy,  adding color will generally  lift your mood.

Here at Fabrics and Frames Furniture we are always looking for new and innovative ways to create the perfect piece of furniture for you!  We encourage you to contact us if you have a vintage piece of furniture that you would like to turn into a piece of art or if you would like to start from scratch and create a brand new piece!  With a knowledgeable staff of designers and artists  we are able to create any piece of furniture that you can dream up!

Upholstered Contemporary Tight Back Chair. Similar Furniture Frame as Fabrics and Frames Style #139 Chair.

For more information about designing or where to get custom looks like these please visit our website:


We are currently located at 5322 Alpha Rd, Dallas, Texas 75240972-385-4097.  Please contact us if you have any questions about this blog atandy@fabricsandframes.com, and or follow us on Facebook!http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fabrics-and-Frames-Furniture/156825517684205

Writen By: Erica Guajardo

Edited By: Linda Decuir


When you start with a blank canvas, empty palette, or even an empty room it is sometimes hard to figure out what direction in color you really want to take.  This is true for both the artist and the interior designer. A great place to start is by understanding the basics of color…..

Primary Colors, Secondary Colors, Tertiary Colors, Complimentary Colors,  Analogous Colors, are all basic color schemes in design.  Depending on the tone or shade of each color that you desire, you can achieve different overall looks in your room by combining these color schemes with basic interior design principles.

Primary Colors

The type of design work that you do will often determine what you consider as primary colors.  As an artist, you are taught that RED, YELLOW, and BLUE are Primary Colors.  These are sets of colors that can be combined to make a useful range of many colors.   Primary Colors have always been the most basic and common color combination in design.

Primary Colors have been influencing the Art, Architecture, and Interior Design Worlds for over a century.  Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg were artists that influenced the early 20th century.  Their attention to color and design created a movement known as the “De Stijl” Movement, which focused on the primary colors, black and white, and gray tones.  This Movement would change the way we look at modern architecture and would give us a new insight on interior design by using simple colors.

Piet Mondrian

Theo van Doesburg

A reconstruction of the dance hall/cinema designed by Theo van Doesburg. Created with the influence of the De Stijl Movement

Other Architecture and Designs Influenced by the Primary Color Scheme

Designed By: Gerrit Rietveld

The “De Stijl”, meaning “the style” in Dutch, was created in the 1920’s and promoted the artistic philosophy that formed a basis for the group’s work known as neoplasticism — the new plastic art .  The use of primary color made this movement timeless.  Currently, the market for this look is still highly in demand.  This movement has created an unlimited amount of accessories and unique objects that are used to portray a distinct statement toward art, architecture, and interior design.

Secondary Colors:

Secondary colors are created when you mix two primary colors together.  For example, when you mix red and blue together you get purple.  During my first year of working in interior design, I learned that these three colors are known as “Earth Tones”.  By adding the right “muddy” pigment to each of these colors, you can create a calm, traditional look.  I personally have used these tones mostly when designing for clients who desire the “Old World” Style in Interior Design.  This is not to say that these colors can not be used for a more modern look.

Old World Look using Secondary Colors:

When using these colors, you don’t have to use them in their most saturated form. By toning each color to the shade that you choose can give you a more subtle, elegant look.  Regardless, if you are modern or traditional, using these three colors can create a very soothing, esthetic room.  When using these three colors remember that you can use different textiles and finishes to create your desired, finished look.  Hint: Use an orange stained wood with purple or green textiles to create a more modern look. See example below:

Tertiary Colors:

Tertiary Colors are made when you mix one primary color with one secondary color.  These colors are not used much in design as key elements to distinguishing certain genre’s of style.  People usually use these colors to emphasize their favorite color in the room, or to follow certain fashion trends in the design world.  Some examples of these colors are: Red-Purple(fuchsia), Blue- Purple (indigo), Blue- Green (teal), Yellow- Green (lime green),Yellow- Orange(peach), Orange -Red (rust).

Complementary Colors:

Complementary Colors are used in reference to the color wheel. The term actually means “the opposite” side of the color wheel.  Some examples of Complementary Colors are: Purple and Yellow; Red and Green; Blue and Orange.  Hues may very depending on the design.  These colors have been used in many popular logos, labels, and holidays! A great example of what I mean is the Lakers logo – purple and gold!  These colors are usually used when you want a color to pop out.  Because they are a combination of one warm color with one cool color, this creates high contast in the design and will help your eyes focus on the detail.  Some examples are below.

Analogous Colors:

Analogous Colors are colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel.  This form of design, will have an overall look of a monochromatic color scheme.  Usually used in more modern, eclectic, or transitional designs.  Some examples of this type of style is shown below:

Color should be used with theory behind it.  Starting with the basic principles and elements of design is the key to creating a great room.  Design is a process that needs to be fully thought out before executing.  Remember the most important logic behind design is “Form follows Function”, meaning that it must meet all criteria of design, looks and function.  Here at Fabrics and Frames we are concerned with ergonomics as well as aesthetics. Understanding good design comes from understanding the logic behind color.

For more information about designing or where to get custom looks like these please visit our website:


We are currently located at 5322 Alpha Rd, Dallas, Texas 75240. 972-385-4097.  Please contact us if you have any questions about this blog at andy@fabricsandframes.com, and or follow us on Facebook!http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fabrics-and-Frames-Furniture/156825517684205

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