How to Decorate with Primary Colors

Visit a paint store and you will be surrounded by colors like ‘cornflower blue’ ‘honeysuckle yellow’ and ‘brick red’. You might be wondering, whatever happened to good old red, blue and yellow? These three primary colors still pack a lot of design impact. In addition, they are original and unexpected because most house paints and decorative accessories tend to use variations on primary colors. Here are some ideas to help you to decorate with primary colors.

Foremost, keep in mind that red, blue and yellow are powerful colors. This might have something to do with the fact that softer, lighter versions of these colors tend to take precedence in decorating. Red, blue and yellow may be too strong when you want to achieve a calm and relaxing look in a room.

While red, blue and yellow may overwhelm in large quantities, a little of these colors has real impact. For instance, consider decorating a mostly white room with a couple of bright blue chairs. The bright splash of color adds excitement to the room.

If you are feeling bolder, consider using primary colors in larger quantities. Blue walls can look electric. A red accent wall packs a real punch. How about stencilling a floor in a yellow and blue checkerboard design? Sanding the floor slightly will soften the color giving it a vintage look.

When using primary colors, it is important not to create too much ‘visual noise’ in the room by using lots of other strong accents. A red wall needs simple accessories to offset it. For instance, consider decorating with a simple white sofa and curtains.

Black can also work well with primary colors, providing a sharp accent. Decorate a red, yellow or blue room with black picture frames, lamp stands and candlesticks for a graphic, bold look.

If you prefer to soften the look of primary colors, fabrics are a great option. Many soft furnishings incorporate primary colors. American quilts in red, yellow and blue are an example of primary colors presented in a soft way. You can also accessorize with red, yellow or blue cushions, curtains and tablecloths.

The final tip for decorating with primary colors involves using pattern. Patterns break up the color. Patterns which use red, yellow are blue make primary colors appear more subtle. Try decorating with red, yellow or blue patterned wallpaper or fabrics.

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