Why a tonal palette broadens your interior decor horizons.

Use tonal palettes and natural light to dramatically transform a room.

So you’ve landed on the color inspiration behind your space – maybe it’s a vibrant turquoise, bold cherry or lively mint. A color, you believe, will welcome you into the space and make you feel at home. But now what? How do you begin building a room based upon one singular color? What’s too much and what’s too little? Seems like you may have developed a case of color tunnel vision. Not to fear! We’ve all been there. Employing tonal palettes will have you buzzing with color inspiration, while your initial color selection takes the lead.

Tone on tone layering is a decorative technique that takes a single color and uses various saturation of that color throughout the space. The simple practice can dramatically transform a room by giving it more definition, dimension and style.

Layering color

The best way to show off a tonal palette and give depth to any room is to focus on layering textures and patterns. Start at floor level and think about area rugs that add spark to your design – consider a deep pile shag rug to add sass and depth. When you pair that with a sleek sofa upholstered in the same color, the contrast in textures will be striking. Layer pillows that explore a variety of shades in your chosen color, and don’t be afraid to draw on different patterns – stripes, geometrics and florals – to give life to your design. If you have a flea market find lying around – perhaps an end or coffee table – try your hand at painting it a shade of your chosen color.

Using natural light to enhance color

Use natural light to showcase the infinite variations of your tonal palette. Consider skylights, which bring light in from above and help colors appear true and open up a space like no other design feature.

Displaying color via accessories

A great way to complete your color story is through art, vases, books, flowers and other accessories. Small pieces like these are a great way to add small pops of a contrasting color that will make your tonal palette sing. For example, a blue-green palette feels complete with a small amount of orange or taupe, whether in the form of a vase, throw pillow or wall art. Additionally, consider incorporating a mirror into the space whether it is above a hutch or mantle, propped against a wall or built into a table. A mirror will give the space dimension, and will tastefully bounce natural light and pops of color around the room.

Next time you begin brainstorming or designing a room, consider using the tonal palette technique. Employing this useful tool will leave your space feeling personal and cheery.

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