Interior design buffs know how important a room’s first impression can be. There are some spaces that, upon first glance, make your breath catch because its elements are so visually striking, yet still fit together. Other rooms seem to fall flat, almost like something is missing.
Contrast is the secret ingredient that gives those memorable spaces their impact. When used correctly, this foundational design principle can add a huge dose of visual interest to your interiors while simultaneously pulling it together. Many consider it an essential component to any successful interior.
However, if you’re new to this idea, don’t worry, this post is for you. Read on to learn more about the importance of contrast, and to learn how to apply it to your next project. This is the back-to-basics primer you need to take your designs to the next level.
Create contrast using color
This is probably the most obvious use of contrast and the easiest! Giving a room a complementary color scheme — or one that utilizes two shades on opposite ends of the color wheel — will create the strongest impact. For this, black and white will never go out of style. However, if your sense of style is a bit more colorful, you could also use color combos like blue and orange or purple and yellow.
As with any design, keep in mind that in these spaces, one color needs to take a dominant role while the other accents it. Consider choosing one shade for the walls while the other is used in textiles, furniture and accessories.
For those who aren’t quite ready for their spaces to be that high contrast, there is a way to tone things down. You just need to add in additional neutrals. Doing so will give eyes a spot to rest while also providing a quiet background for your contrasting colors to pop out against.