The essence of design and color continuity is, many separate elements fitting seamlessly together. Subtle tones in rugs might be reflected more boldly in throw pillows. Wall or ceiling colors might be reflective of the mid-tones found in seating, fabrics or granite countertops.
Our first example is what happens when someone inherits 20 bolts of the same fabric from their great aunt Tessie. This is not design continuity, but could rather be described as painful monotony.
When considering where to start the color selection process, identify the anchors in your space, such as large rugs, furniture or items of necessity. The anchors are the non-negotiable items, such as countertops, the living room sofa, dad's recliner, etc... By identifying our hard surfaces and fabrics first, we will increase our chances for a successful design by leaving the more flexible selections, such as paint colors and accent pieces to tie it all together.
Paint colors, wall and ceiling finishes are most often the glue that holds the completed palette together. The essence of good design is balance and continuity. Consider the subtleties in this next image that work together to form an engaging mix of color and texture.
Decorative wall and ceiling applications often work as a binding agent, holding multiple design elements together. Custom color development affords a high yield of design success, by pulling nuances from many separate elements and marrying them together for a seamless balance of color and texture. Below are a few examples of custom finishes that were designed around fabrics, patterns and/or anchor pieces.
I hope these examples will serve as inspiration for you on your next home decorating project. As a final piece of advice, I would suggest that you avoid forcing it. Choose mid-tones in your anchor pieces for wall colors or decorative finishes. Perhaps the most beautiful example and teacher of color continuity is nature. Take a walk with your camera phone through the woods or community gardens for inspiration. The image below was taken with my iphone a few days before the sample above was created. Not only did I have a palette to work with, but I had nature as a guide on how to incorporate the colors.
As an additional resource, consider downloading the ColorSnap App from Sherwin Williams. It has the ability to match color elements in your photos to paint selections. Below is an example of selections the ColorSnap App gave me for the above image.
Cheers and Happy Decorating!!