color - the perfect scheme
Creating atmosphere can be as simple as red, yellow, blue: consult your color wheel, know what goes, what stimulates, and ultimately select what turns you on. Because color can have a strong influence on mood (much like a chocolate-truffle wedding cake), take into consideration its ability to inspire and arouse a variety of emotions and desires. Orange, for example, encourages hunger, so food served on orange plates will serve to unleash voracious appetites amongst your guests – perfect if you don’t want to end up with a year’s worth of leftover Chicken Marsala. Pink and green are said to soothe and relax, making them ideal choices for a casual ceremony, while red actually increases the heart rate, making it the perfect backdrop for a passion-fused celebration.
Of course, when you begin to combine colors, they start to influence theme as well. This doesn’t have to be an ordeal – if you’re not confident in your eye’s ability to determine what matches and what clashes, look to a color wheel, a paint swatch or simply look below for a little bit of guidance.
This one’s a freebie. Neutrals are the ultimate complimentary “colors” because they aren’t actually colors. By pairing one or two with the vibrant hue of your choice, you can make a bold statement with your décor while avoiding the possibility of being “loud.” A combination of cream, chocolate brown, and/or pearly white with tiffany blue, china red or hot pink makes for a daring scheme in appearance, with a deceivingly straightforward blueprint.
To really make your lone color pop, use it sparingly: tie royal purple sashes around your crisp-white wedding dress and dinner chairs, walk down the aisle carrying a bouquet of violets with a black ribbon, and decorate your black-and-white wedding cake with purple frosted flowers. Keep in mind that many neutrals do come with undertones of pinks, blues and yellows, so use this to your advantage and pair up off-whites with gold, rose or navy blue depending on its individual hidden layer of oomph!
Opposites are complimentary because they’re complementary – as in, they balance each other out. Consult your color wheel for direct opposites of primary colors (red-green, yellow-purple, blue-orange) and their subdivisions for ideas, and zero in on specific shades to suit your taste and theme. For example, while red and green may initially conjure up visions of dancing sugar-plums and snowfalls, cherry red and lime green will appear spring-like and modern, just as turquoise and bubblegum pink will appear whimsical, and rose and baby-green will feel like summertime in an English tea garden. Truly, the possibilities are endless-ly striking!
Using varying shades of a singular color allows you to go purple-happy (or blue-batty, or magenta-mad...) without your décor rivalling that of your niece’s b-day party. Browsing through paint swatches is a fool-proof method of selection, as they provide you with a number of shades per color, guaranteed to flatter one another. You don’t necessarily have to choose three or four found side by side, as two dark purples will appear less overwhelming when complimented by a an understated off-white with a lilac tint.
To create a very dramatic tone, choose shades which don’t necessarily compliment one theme or one idea – perhaps with completely opposing connotations. For example, bridesmaids in pretty teal dresses beside groomsmen in elegant navy tuxes, both adorning eye-catching electric blue accents (sashes, lapels, flowers, corsages, headpieces etc.) can work together to create a stunning effect, and picture album!
For a color scheme that’s a little less paint-by-numbers and little more footloose, choose a few different colors by flipping through art books, home-decorating or fashion magazines for insight. The light reading will provide you with photos of pieces put together by artists and designers with a natural knack for color theory. Whether you’re moved by a painting, a living room set or a fashion-forward outfit, you can trust that the colors “go.”
Another option is to look to beaches, forests, jungles or your own backyard for inspiration, as the idea of color harmony originally derives from the natural world. In the end, it’s the colors that never fail to brighten your day that will guarantee to brighten your big day, so feel free to choose the color scheme of your beloved sport team, the layout found on a much-loved piece of jewellery or the palette from your favourite Matisse!