You've signed a lease for a wonderful spacious apartment in just the right location and suddenly realize it forbids painting the walls anything but white. Well, it's a challenge. Let's make it work. First, if you don't already have a floor plan with measurements, start by measuring the walls in every room, including halls and bathrooms. You are going to create major drama and major color in the form of artistically arranged wall decorations. paintings. posters. photographs. banners. tapestries. quilts. Tapestries, banners, and quilts have their own built in colors. If they cover most of a 12 - 16 foot wall they will demolish "antiseptic". Paintings, posters, banners, photographs, curtains, swags, curtain poles, all present additional opportunities for doing the same thing. Paintings, posters and photographs can have painted frames, aluminum or brass frames, or natural wood frames. First, you must choose the living room "anchor" color and theme, either traditional or contemporary. Measure the largest wall opposite the entry and buy a tapestry or a quilt to cover most of it. Make sure you select colors you can live with. If you like a traditional feel with muted colors, choose a tapestry.
These customarily use deep muted blues, dark gold, sand or straw shades and brown with accents of pastels. Themes can be anything from garden scenes, biblical themes, historical events, nautical and jungle scenes. For a contemporary feel, choose a quilt in primary colors, in a geometric pattern or freeform. We'll work with both traditional and contemporary, one at a time. With either a tapestry or a quilt, decide after you have looked at them, which color is dominant, your anchor color. Now you can choose your upholstered furniture . Let's say the anchor color in the tapestry is muted blue. Clearly, you choose a muted deep blue sofa. Two side chairs would be in a similar shade of muted solid blue or choose a pattern, a stripe or a diamond using anchor color blue and a second color from the tapestry such as straw or gold. For the curtains, pick a lighter shade of either straw or gold. For toss pillows for the sofa, you can use lighter shades of blue or the gold or straw or a combination. Repeat the same colors in your artwork including the frames. If it is the geometric quilt with anchor color of green, plus yellow and white, you can do the sofa and chairs in shades of green. Use toss pillows in yellow shades. If has orange shades, with blues, and ivory, choose a muted copper for the sofa and matching chairs. Toss pillows can be dark blue and ivory. With either the tapestry or the quilt you can used wood furniture in mahogany or cherry or oak.
Frames can always be wood tones or painted. With the green/yellow/white quilt, if you are buying inexpensive end tables, a book case, a coffee table, paint them all a medium shade of green. If it is the orange/blue/ivory quilt, paint the furniture ivory. With either tapestry or quilt, put a bunch of silk flowers and a vase the same color as the painted tables. Flowers should be in a second color picked out of the quilt or tapestry. Use brass curtain rods or if you prefer wood, paint them to match the curtains, or swags in the same color as the paint you chose for the tables, but a different shade, preferably lighter. Repeat this same shade as much as you can in wall decorations such as artwork and posters. With the tapestry, picture frames should be oak, mahogany, or gold. Remember you will take the tapestry with you, so make sure you like the colors. As for the quilt, you can find them in all price ranges. After you move, if they are no longer needed for decoration, you can use them on beds. Now consider the floor color. If it's stained wood, you might be buying rugs. For the "tapestry theme" choose an oriental design using small motifs, rather than big bold patterns. Make sure it has blue predominating. If it's to be carpeted, use the anchor color of muted blue. It it's the quilt, the carpet should be a shade of the anchor color, muted green or muted copper. Now we are ready to go to the entrance hall. Buy three pieces of wall decoration. Let's say they are posters, photographs, or paintings. Frame them in the same color as the frames in the living room. If there's space for a small table and a lamp, do the table exactly as in the living room. Choose brass or silver color for the lamp base and an off white lamp shade. Don't be tempted to introduce other colors.