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Color and Scale Create a Livable Space

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Q. When is the best time to choose your paint color?

A. You should always choose the paint color last in the design process. If you pick the paint color first, you can really pin yourself in a corner with finding the right items to match. If you’re unsure about the color, try this helpful tip. Paint a big piece of poster board in several coats of your selected color. Hang it on the wall, bring your chosen items and accessories into the space and evaluate the color with your design components at different times of the day, because all light sources will affect paint color. Transferring from one room to another can be tricky; a seasoned interior designer will make sure your color values are similar and the chosen color is suitable for the use of the room.

Q. When hanging mirrors, artwork or photos, what’s the most important factor in placement?

A. Scale is vital when you’re hanging anything on the wall. If you’re unsure, always shoot for over-scaled versus under-scaled. In interior design, scale refers to how furnishings look next to each other and how they fit in a room. Every space needs items of different sizes, and varying scale within a room creates interest and drama. A good rule of thumb is to use the “golden ratio,” sometimes referred to as the “divine proportion;” for example, when selecting a piece of art for a specific area, try to fill two-thirds of the empty space. Placement should relate to human scale, not structural scale. Most artwork should be at eye level, which is about 57” from the floor. The exceptions are low ceilings and tall residents. In this case, divide the wall horizontally in four equal sections and hang the art in the third quadrant up from the floor. If you’re unsure of scale or placement, snap a photo; this allows you to see the space from a different perspective. ■

Written by: Kim Rice

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Kim Rice is an award-winning luxury interior design specialist known for the extraordinary customer service and unique interiors she provides to prominent clients throughout Johnson County. R. Designs, launched in 2005, provides services ranging from project management and space planning to color consultations and furniture selection. The company is backed by an elite team of contractors, wallpaper experts, tile specialists, painters, drapery fabricators and other trade professionals. A graduate of the University of South Dakota, Kim is the winner of Houzz service awards and an allied member of the American Society of Interior Designers.