If youve decided to use a tropical theme in one or more rooms of your home, your next decision is what color scheme to use. This will depend on the use of the room and the theme youve chosen. For example, will it be a tropical garden paradise, a tropical beach paradise or a safari theme and will the room be one of the high activity areas or a bedroom? The Tropical Bright colors will work well in family rooms, kitchens, playrooms, etc. and the Ocean/Aquatic or Tropical Soft color schemes work well in bedrooms and meditation spaces.
Often a good starting place is by choosing a tropical art print that you just love. It could become the focal point in the room. Another option is to use a printed fabric in a pillow or bedspread to choose the colors. Pick 3 colors ~ a light, medium, and dark color ~ to use as your color scheme. Designate one color as the core or dominant color and use the others as accent colors. Using just 3 main colors will
prevent the room from becoming chaotic with too many colors competing for attention.
Some possibilities for tropical color schemes are:
OCEAN COLORS: soft or dark blues, pastel or vibrant yellows, bright or soft greens, light coral pink (brings Palm Beach and Bermuda to mind), fiery red for energy and drama, turquoise, aqua and all shades of blue, green and blue-green. The darker colors create a more formal look.
AQUATIC COLORS: blues, light aqua, sea green, and other medium greens. These colors are cool and soothing and would be suitable for a bedroom. Use monochromatic colors to create the most peaceful and restful environment.
TROPICAL BRIGHTS: orange, yellow, turquoise, and lavender ~ Or orange, yellow, fuschia, lime and pink. These more vibrant colors create an energetic environment and would not be suitable for a bedroom.
TROPICAL SOFT COLORS: Soften all the Tropical bright colors listed above by using the pastels or tints. Peach, pale yellow, pale lime green, pale pinks, pale lavender, light turquoise. These colors are much quieter than the brights.
SAFARI COLORS: black, brown, tan, gold, rust, cream, green, deep reds and oranges, colors of the earth. These colors are suitable for most any room of the home.
OTHERS: Tangerine orange, lemon, lime and coconut brown; Chocolate brown, tangerine orange, banana yellow
NEUTRAL colors work well with all these color schemes. The neutrals are all shades of white, off-white, beige, tan and cream. Whites will brighten a room and beiges will soften the room. Remember the color of the woodwork also becomes an accent color in the total scheme.
Maybe you are still feeling hesitant about painting the room because youre afraid you will make the wrong choice and wont like it when its done. Well, take heart. Paint is inexpensive and can easily be changed. Plus, there are ways to try out colors before you buy. Here are some ideas for testing colors in the room, which can give you more confidence in your choices:
Purchase small amounts of each color and paint a large square on the wall. Many paint stores now offer sample sizes for this purpose. If yours does not, then purchase the smallest size you can. Once youve painted the patch on the wall, you can live with the color(s) and observe how different light affects them, how they relate to each other and your furniture, and how you feel in the room with these colors.
Another way to do a sample is to paint on poster size pieces of foam core board, lightweight wood or a 24 x 36 pre-stretched artist canvas. These pieces can then be moved around the room, allowing you to try them out in many different combinations and lighting situations.
Some other tips from the color experts:
DARK COLORS make objects or walls seem smaller.
LIGHT COLORS have the opposite affect by making things seem larger.
The WARM COLORS ~ red, red/orange, orange, yellow/orange, yellow and yellow/green ~ make objects appear closer and larger.
The COOL COLORS ~ red/violet, violet, blue, blue/violet, blue, blue/green and green ~ make objects appear farther away and smaller.
Some designers suggest that a general rule to help coordinate a room using the 3 color method ~ a light, medium and dark ~ is to use the light color for the walls, the medium for the heavy furniture and the dark color for the accessories. The darker colors give weight to the room.
Whatever you choose for your color scheme, it should be a reflection of you. All the information given here is only information, not hard fast rules. Give yourself permission to play and explore color. If you like it, thats all that matters.
Larraine is the owner of a tropical home dcor website and writes articles relevant to home decorating, travel and the tropics.