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Color Decorating Tips From Celerie Kemble

Celerie Kemble's Brilliant Advice on Choosing Colors

I was so pleased to stumble upon a great interview that Bob Vila conducted with designer Celerie Kemble. The long interview is full of great advice, and topics range from color to showhouses to kids' rooms, as well as Kemble's book Black and White (and a Bit in Between).

Since so many people get stuck on the rules of decorating with color, I thought that this advice from the interview was particularly helpful:

Know Your Base Neutrals

I think that it's important to know your base non-color so that your whites or your creams are pretty consistent throughout the space, and people forget that. They concentrate on a color, and they miss that the most cohesive element might be having all of your whites (for trim and molding) be the same. The next thing is to look at the value of each color. I don’t believe you have to limit the number of colors or that there are bad color combinations, but you do need to consider the hues, tones, and shades of the colors.

There Are No Wrong Color Combinations

I think all colors could be made to work together, but what people need to do is be sure to vary the intensity and value. If you have five strong, bold colors in one room, it's just going to feel blocky, heavy, and dark. You need some colors that have a slight amount of opacity, transparency, a lightness, a feathering.

That's not all Celerie has to say — keep reading the interview with Celerie Kemble.

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