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)


Using The Basic Elements of Design To Create A Visually Appealing Room

When designing a room, you must keep in mind many different things so that you can create a visually appealing interior space.  One of the first things that you learn  in design school is that there are seven elements of design.  Whether you are creating a single piece of art work or an entire room, a good designer will keep these seven elements of design in mind.

The 7 Elements of Design:

1. Line

When creating a room the word Line refers to the lines in the room, meaning the lines in your sofa, tables, structure of the room, etc.  Depending on the particular style that you prefer, the lines in your room will differ.  For a contemporary styled room, you will find that most the lines are linear, while a traditional room will tend to have more curved lines associated with the design.

One of the reasons that many traditional rooms have more curves than contemporary rooms is because the design concepts pull from the old Greek thought process of design.  When the Greeks first started to design interiors and architecture, they developed three different types of columns to embellish their interiors and exteriors: Doric Columns, Ionic Columns, and Corinthian Columns.  Doric is the straighter of the three. Ionic consists of a curved scroll look and Corinthian bases its structure from the organic structure of leaves.  The lines used in these columns were used to create and define the styles in interiors.


Shape is a word that is used in design to train the eye to concentrate on negative and positive space.  For those that don’t know what negative space and positive space is, let me explain… Positive Space refers to the object taking up the space, an example of this would be a chair or a sofa and the floor space it encompasses.  The Negative Space would refer to the floor space that is left over in the room.  This should not be a great concern to the average person unless you are creating a furniture plan for your interior space.  When space planning, you must think about the flow of traffic and the shapes that are created by the different combinations of furniture.

 3. Direction

Direction refers to the lines that are used in a room.  Sometimes this will be as simple as picking the direction of fabric when it is a stripe.  Some helpful tips about choosing the direction of something that has a stripe in it is that horizontal [stripes] suggest calmness, stability and tranquility. Vertical [stripes] gives a feeling of balance, formality, and alertness.  If you are looking to create a “pow” statement in the room, mix things up with a piece that is constructed with an oblique angle. The piece will create movement and action because of its unique lines.

Suggest calmness, stability, and tranquility.

Gives a feeling of Balance, Formality, and Alertness.

Suggest movement and action

4. Size

 The term Size refers to the scale of the room.  When choosing the objects that you are going to place in the room, you need to consider the scale of the objects.  Scale and porportion are very important because you can easily draw attention to something that was not meant to be enhanced by not paying attention to scale.  Many people don’t consider the size of their sofa compared to the chair that they put next to it.  Sometimes if you put too large of a sofa next to a small chair, it will make the sofa look much bigger than it is and the chair much smaller.

Two chairs are too large for the bed.

5. Texture

In design the term Texture can refer to many different things in the room.  Depending on the particular style that you are going for…Minimalistic style vs. Old World Style, you may notice that texture will be represented in many different areas.  In a room that is going for the minimalistic style, you may notice that it will have very little pattern, but uses texture on the walls, in pillows, woods, etc.  This will give an overall calm, tranquil look…but still contempoary! In an Old World Room, you will notice the complete opposite.  These rooms usually consist of multiple patterns, and using textures in the fabrics instead of materials around the room.  An example of a texture that would be commonly used is a tweed fabric.

Textured Walls and Surfaces; Small amount of Pattern Incorporated

Old World Look; Many Patterns Together

6. Colour

Colour is another word for hue when talking about design.  Even if the design in your room is all monochromatic, you still have some form of shade or tone in the colour itself that must be matched.  Whites and Beiges are one of the most difficult colors to match in design because there are many different hues of beiges and white.  To further explain myself, Beige tones tend to go in the direction of having a hue of green, red, or yellow incorporated with it.  When working with these tones, you must stay consistent with similar hues because if you don’t you run the risk of making one beige look “dirtier” than another.  Most people don’t understand why one beige tone looks cleaner than the other, but this is the reason.  This will happen with almost any color, but with other colors it may not be perceived so much as “dirty” but as just plain “wrong”.

Chair in lighter Beige; Mantle to Fireplace Yellow Beige


Value in reference to interior design can talk about lightness and darkness of tone with in multiple areas of a room.  Value can be spoken about in regards to fabrics or in regards to the amount of light in the room.    When speaking of value as it pertains to the light quality in the room, you have to consider “What type of lighting am I getting in this particular room?” There is yellow lighting, natural lighting, flourescent lighting…each of these lightings will affect the nature of the fabrics and materials used in the room differently.  You must select a lighting choice that will best compliment your style.  I have provided some examples to better explain.

Yellow Lighting

Natural Lighting

Flourescent Lighting

By using these basic Elements of Design as a guide you will be able to create a very well-designed room on your own without the help of a designer! 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

 Writen By: Erica Guajardo
Edited By: Linda Decuir

Blog at WordPress.com.

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