Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Upping the contrast for dramatic impact

In neutral color schemes, the law of opposites is indeed true. Increasing the contrast between light and dark allows each side of the tonal scale to really stand out. The old notion that without the darkness there wouldn't be light holds true in design as well as in real life.

Come with me to take a peek at some fine examples of ways to add a little drama to your life.

source: Better Homes and Gardens

This dining room illustrates ways to use both scale and color to heighten the dramatic tension in a space. The subtle backdrop of light-colored walls, trim, flooring, and decorative accents plays gracious host to the rich tones of the stained wood furniture. The oversized lantern brings in a touch of the outdoors to lend some informality to the scene. There is a clever mix of chairs around the table, with traditional wooden dining chairs and high-backed parson's chairs.

source: Elle Decor
This grand bathroom has very little added ornamentation, but is a play on contrasting themes. Notice the wood on stone, the black on white, the porcelain on stone. Dark accents keep the eye engaged. I love the large-scale secretary in a bathroom and the carved stone medallions. Unexpected surprises such as this add whimsy and delight.
source: Better Homes and Gardens
This room is all about white and wood. Even though the wood tones are more caramel than dark chocolate, they serve the same function, adding visual and textural contrast. Notice all the curvy lines found in the armoire, the column, chair backs, and table legs.

source: Elle Decor
This dining area uses the light-on-dark theme to add sophisitication. Dark colors help keep the whites from looking to sweet. The glass panes of the armoire keep the hulking piece from dominating the room. A farm table adds a homey rusticity, as do the stacks of reading material on the floor. A simple centerpiece keeps the outdoor connection intact.
source: Better Homes and Gardens
This kitchen pairs more natural wood tones with cream. The whites add freshness. The wood keeps the scene from floating away. Curtains make the kitchen feel more like a living space than just a work zone. The detail in the table apron is reminiscent of beaded board.
I hope this gives you a few ideas to add some drama to your interior spaces. We all crave a little excitement to keep us entertained, and this is a good way to satisfy that need.
Until next time...

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