Color

Colors can speak loudly or offer up a whisper of accent. Learn to master the color design process and watch your rooms come alive.

Any designer who does not appreciate or know about good food is not a very good designer. The planning of a meal and it presentation - the texture, the color, the tastes, the hot and cold temperatures - are the same concerns that affect an environment.
Robert Kime, Architectural Digest

Color is a major element in scale. A small room can have a larger look by the use of closely related values, hues, and intensity. A large room can be made to look smaller by marked contrasts of color and value, hue, and intensity. Value is one of the most important elements. Whether light or dark, little value contrast makes for unity, and sharper contrast makes for stronger punctuation.
Van Day Truex, Interiors, Character, and Color

Contemporary paintings and sculpture are happy with furniture of the past. Fabrics of contemporary colors and textures and suitable and appealing on old chairs. Old patterns seem excitingly fresh when rejuvenated by a contemporary palette. Modern lighting and ventilation enhance otherwise traditional rooms.
Eleanor McMillen Brown, Sixty Years of Interior Design

Expand your vision. Often we have blinders on. We're concerned with just getting uptown or downtown. If I expand my vision by even 10 degrees, I notice new details, new color harmonies.
Cindy Coleman, Interior Design

How obvious it is that color has its various connotations-hue, value, and intensity - and without the basic understanding of these three determining factors, we are somewhat limited in the proper use of color in rooms.
Van Day Truex

I owe my color sense to crayons.
Angelo Rafael Donghia, New York Times

I suppose the most marked example of color as structure is in the Byzantine use of mosaic decoration that becomes architecture. The decoration of the interiors so related to the form that they fuse. In less elaborate interior design this is always the ideal approach to color - used not only as just color alone.
Van Day Truex, Interiors, Character, and Color

I wonder if any element of interior design is more personal than color? Nothing can more quicly reveal aspect of personality and character than the choice - or absence - of color.
Van Day Truex, Interiors, Character, and Color

If you spend most of your decorating money on a Chippendale table or a Chinese lacquer screen, don't fill in the gaps with mediocrity. Forget the gaps for a while; just have simple slipcover in one pretty color. Then, as you can, acquire other good pieces that are compatible in one pretty color. Let the room grow slowly to maturity.
Billy Baldwin

In choosing colors...follow nature's lead.
John Saladino

It is general knowledge for anyone interested in color that subdued value, intensity and hue make for quieter, less adventuresome interiors. Stronger approaches need stronger knowledge, more experience and flair.
Van Day Truex, Interiors, Character, and Color

It is obvious that any rather non-color, monochromatic design is safe, easier, more generally restful and with life being the hurdy-gurdy that it is, more and more of us prefer and interior giving the maximum response.
Van Day Truex, Interiors, Character, and Color

It is to the client's advantage and also the architect's, to have a trained and experienced decorator with both technical knowledge and an understanding of interior architectural detail so as to be able to assemble intelligently the proper textures, colors, furniture and objects to make a consistent room. If all these things are taken into consideration in the original planning...a great many difficulties can be anticipated.
Eleanor McMillen Brown, Interior Architecture and Decoration

People have often said to me, "But you don't use much color." This is not so at all. I build a simple background - usually of white or of a very light shade - for the use of color.
Michael Taylor, The Finest Rooms

Remember, color is not just color, but mood, temperature and structure.
Van Day Truex, Interiors, Character, and Color

Rich colors are typical of a rich nature.
Van Day Truex, Interiors, Character, and Color

The basic rules of proportion and scale are unchanging. They are reinterpreted according to the needs of the time. I like simplicity and I believe in restraint. Above all, there should be harmony-of proportion, line, color, and feeling. The most important element in decorating is the relationship between objects- in size, form, texture, color, and meaning. None of these is in good taste in itself but only in relationship to where it has been placed and what purpose it is to serve.
Eleanor McMillen Brown

The easiest approach to any strong color is to use a lot of it, thus unifying a room. However, beware of too many strong colors unless you happen to like living on a battlefield.
Van Day Truex, Interiors, Character, and Color

The most important thing about color is that it cannot be isolated...Every color is only ever seen in juxtaposition with other ones.
John Saladino

The overscaled compositions being produced by so many abstract painters, which are full of movement and use of color, are ideal example, ideal transformations of an entire wall and entire room.... There is no denying that one of the major attractions of these successful large compositions is their structural decorative use in the contemporary scene... That these large canvases can be superbly decorative may not be considered complimentary by some of the artists involved...
Van Day Truex, Interiors, Character, and Color

The selective eye must be an experienced eye, an eye that knows the genuine pleasures of harmonious colors and textures, of sensitive line and proportion, of the play in contrasts of light and shade. The selective eye must see beyond immediate limitations, recognize possibilities that a fertile imagination suggests, and translate the difference between the genuine and the false.
Michael Taylor, The Finest Rooms

There is magic...in the deep-jewel-colored room, warm and mysterious, where you discover its many beauties as you sit, seduced slowly.
Billy Baldwin

To be successful, a room must contain the element of contrast - in forms as well as in colors and textures.
Michael Taylor, The Finest Rooms

Too many bright colors make for congestion. Too many bright colors need, above all, contrast in value, to eliminate vibration.
Van Day Truex, Interiors, Character, and Color

When you want to transform a room into a entirely different animal, change the color.
Billy Baldwin

You can never judge a paint hue by the liquid color in the paint pot. You must apply it to a wall, wait for the paint to dry, then decide.
Dorothy Draper

[on early days of 20th century interior design] We were the upstarts and between our younger ideas and the fabulous and growing array of fabrics, papers and colors everywhere, decorating in America was just about as emotional an art as it had ever been.
Billy Baldwin, House & Garden

[on first impression of a hotel] This can be one of cheerfulness or gloom because color which is so inexpensive, is what does the trick. Not color alone but color plus imaginative lighting and cleverly[sic] grouping of the furniture. You say you have an old lobby that nothing much can be done with? Oh yes it can!
Dorothy Draper, Hotel Bulletin

[on the importance of color] The Drab Age is over. Color is coming into its own again. Until very recently people were literally scared out of their wits by color. Perhaps this was a hangover from our Puritan ancestors. But whatever the reason, brown, grays and neutrals were the only shades considered 'safe.' Now we know that lovely, clear colors have a vital effect on our mental happiness. Modern doctors and psychiatrists are convinced of this!
Dorothy Draper

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