Top Designers' Tips on Creating the Perfect Color Scheme

green room by timothy corrigan
Roger Davies/Architectural DigestDesigner Timothy Corrigan says that he frequently uses green in his color schemes.
Color has the ability to instantly transform the entire personality of a room. It's the reason designers spend so much time flipping through paint wheels and swatch books. Pinpointing the perfect hue and finding the right combination can be tricky, but when you nail the ideal palette, the results are guaranteed to be dazzling. AD asked some of the top talents in design to share their personal tips for mastering the art of color-from deploying punchy brights to creating golden glows.

Click to read what designers such as Bunny Williams and Miles Redd had to say.

Top Designers' Advice on Color Schemes
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Top Designers' Tips on Creating the Perfect Color Scheme
Color is the spice of life. It’s a mood-changer. You change the color from room to room to create a new mood. Yellow makes you happy. Pink is pretty if done right. Brown is nice, but not a picker-upper. When I introduce clients to color it transforms their lives." (This room first appeared in AD's July 2013 issue.)

Photo: Eric Piasecki

"It’s important to choose colors that are easy to live with, which means ignoring trends. What’s timeless is to invent your own color schemes. But I confess that I frequently get the best ideas from looking at antique rugs, which incorporate colors in such unique ways." (This room first appeared in AD's January 2012 issue.)

Photo: Pieter Estersohn
"Blue and yellow is a common color combination, but it’s generally pale blue and butter-yellow. I love disparate rich colors paired next to each other—like taxicab and indigo. The tension that they make on the color wheel is dazzling. Each color makes the other more vibrant than when they stand alone." (This room first appeared in AD's July 2012 issue.)

Photo: Miguel Flores-Vianna

"Pink-and-black is confident and chic. I always love to play up the sexy tension between masculine and feminine elements in design. This combination has an edgy sophistication that is classic yet distinctive." (This room first appeared in AD's January 2013 issue.)

Photo: Roger Davies

"Kitchens now act as a part of a house’s public space, so color is an ideal way to meld the room with the more decorated parts of the house. It’s important that the kitchen feel as warm and friendly as a sitting room. I like using colored tiles with glazed finishes, and a Lacanche range in red adds a hit of visual interest."

Photo: Pieter Estersohn

"I find it important to create homes that serve as our places of sanctuary from the outside world, so I often use green in a prominent role. It’s a color that represents harmony and balance, and you can't help but feel a little bit calmer after spending time in a room surrounded by green." (This room first appeared in AD's April 2012 issue.)

Photo: Roger Davies

"Ebony lacquer is a universal foundation. It will be as successful in Marrakesh as Minneapolis. At first glance it almost reads as beige. The black ebonized walls recede and you notice the other colors that comes forward. You’re establishing a saturated, neutral background." (This room was first published in AD's February 2012 issue)

Photo: William Waldron


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