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Harmonies For The Room
48. The floor should usually enter into the color scheme as the low note in the scale. It is the background for the furniture, and should be deeper than the dado or wainscoting. The wood trims—baseboard, doors, plate-rails, and everything of that character, except the picture molding—should be like the woodwork of the furniture. This brings the woodwork into contrast with the wainscoting (unless the wainscoting be wood) and into harmony with the side-walls, although the degree of harmony is far removed. Thus, if the woodwork of the furniture is mahogany, the wainscoting green, the side-walls pink and gray, we would find the window trims of mahogany, or imitation mahogany, in harmony with the side-walls.
49. I would lay down the rule that the wood trims of a room should harmonize by analogy with the side-walls where such walls are provided with a contrasting wainscoting; but if there is no wainscoting, or the wainscoting be also of wood, then the wood trims and furniture contrast with the side-wall.
Substitute green side-wall for the pink.
White woodwork is always permissible.
50. The picture molding may harmonize with the ceiling. Indeed, a white picture molding frequently is better than one matching the general woodwork; a dark upper molding, moreover, reduces the apparent size of a room.
51. Where black furniture is used, or gold furniture, it will of course be understood that the wood trims shall not be black or gold; but so long as they are in harmony, that will be sufficient. White wood trims are nearly always permissible as a substitute for colored wood.
52. Tones of gray with soft colorings, are always safe.
53. In harmonies of contrast the side-walls, the furniture woodwork, wood trimming, cove, ceiling and the curtains should be related.
54. The rugs, frieze, wainscoting or dado, furniture upholsterings and the curtain borders should be related.
55. If the curtains have no borders, then the curtains contrast with the wood trims.
56. Remember always cove and ceiling should be the palest tint of the side-wall color, and the rug should be of the deepest contrast to the side-wall, in harmony with the wainscoting, if there is a wainscoting. Remember, also, that the colors here prescribed are never to be of the same scale. The rug or carpet is of the deepest, and the ceiling of the palest. While certain colors are to contrast, they are not to contrast in the same scale.
57. If we find that the tone of color of the wainscoting, for instance, is a bluish green, the side-wall should be of a reddish orange; for the reason that if green contrasts with red, and if blue contrasts with orange, a bluish green would contrast with a reddish orange.
58. Only large or well-proportioned rooms can stand the diminishing or reduction effects of contrast. In low ceiling rooms, leave out the contrasting frieze, and let border, cornice and ceiling be in receding colors.
59. We all know that a northern exposure gives a room a deficiency of sunlight, and the wall treatment should supply this. A southern room, on the other hand, gives so much sunlight that counteracting wall treatments in cold color are permissible.
60. In the color treatment of a room one has either to adopt a harmony of analogy or a harmony of contrast, and this is a matter which depends upon so many conditions that it should be carefully considered. Where a plate-rail is used one must remember that a great deal of color may be furnished by the bric-à-brac, and that the wall behind this plate-rail should be of a color in contrast to the contents of the plate-rail.
61. When we follow a scheme of contrast the borders should be usually complements, and if the reader has studied our diagram he will very readily understand how to determine the exact complementary color.
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