This episode discusses color coordination how you can make it easier.

The easiest way to coordinate colors is to use a color combination someone else has already worked out.

That typically means finding a fabric that has colors you like in it. We’ll refer to this as your “go-by” fabric. The colors, as well as their shades, in any given fabric were selected by the fabric designer to go together. As long as you like them grouped together, then they should work as a go-by for your room. (Technically, this can be any pattern that you like. Fabrics are often convenient to use.)

The go-by fabric is going to be your color palette for your space. You’re going to use it just like an artist’s palette. Here’s how it works:

Take your go-by fabric with you when you want to change or buy something new for your room. Say I want to paint my walls. I decide want a beige color I see in my go-by fabric. I put the go-by fabric In a shopping bag, take it to the paint store, and pull out the beige paint swatches. When I find a swatch that matches the beige in my fabric, that’s the one I select.

If I want to buy a couch, then I take the throw to the furniture store. The great thing about a go-by fabric is that you don’t have to be looking for one color couch. You can hold up the throw next to any couch and see what it looks like. You may find a couch that you wouldn’t have expected to like at all, but it looks great with your go-by fabric.

The same procedure works for any new purchase of rugs, furniture, or accessories. Take your go-by fabric shopping with you and compare it to the item you want to buy. If they look good next to one another, then you have a match.

When selecting upholstered pieces, I recommend you not buy two different pieces that are the same color, unless the fabric is identical. You run a high risk of clashing fabrics. Those are fabrics whose colors are close enough to each other to look wrong together.

If you don’t feel confident about matching a color, You can cheat. Say to a salesperson, “My [wife/girlfriend/sister/mom] wants me to match the red in this fabric, could you help me?”

Using a go-by fabric is what decorators and designers are doing when they say that they “pulled the color” out of a rug or a throw.

You’ll often see a cool effect in designed spaces when the go-by fabric is prominent in the room, such as on curtains, a tablecloth, or a rug.


Fear of Color

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