When planning a color palette, there are some existing elements in a space that may not be changing, such as a floor or the wood trim. Usually these are pre-existing and unless the floor is being replaced, it isn’t part of the decision making process, however, it is part of the limitations set forth by the project.
It is extremely important to integrate these ‘static’ features into the new palette. By ignoring them, while you might get lucky, most of the time, it is a disaster. If there is something in the room that is not going to change, it must be the basis for the new color palette or it will become an oddity, the “which of these things is not like the other” star.
Tile, brick or some other natural stone is also one of those things that unless it is damaged, tend to stay in a home. It is part of the integrity of the original design. It speaks to the period of when the home originated. My personal and professional opinions are that they should not be altered. Professionally cleaned maybe, but NEVER painted.
It is with a heavy heart that I oblige a client wanting to alter the original state of something that has natural beauty. Fortunately, I have been able to state my case in support of the ‘thing’ that it usually becomes a feature that adds timeless character to a design.
A brick or a stone, natural or stained wood, have undertones that will lead the palette to the proper color frequency of a healthy, comfortable home environment.
Often times these elements that are fixed have much more depth when observed and appreciated for their purpose and their history.
It is the hues that are present in these natural finishes that give us color cues. There may be pinks, oranges, blues, greens, black brown, golden brown, green brown, blue green, the list goes on and on of the possible colors present in a finish. Audition different values and saturations of your favorite hue with them, observe the results.
And… don’t forget the ceiling! Ceiling white, reads as gray… here is where an understanding of nuetral and saturation is essential. This small detail, will have million dollar results in the success of a beautifully designed room.
The selection of the palette and how it relates to these natural surfaces, is a turning point from predictable to personality.