The Wheaton Blog

5 Ideal Color Palettes for City Apartments

February 9, 2016 | Household Moves

When you move to a city, you encounter a myriad of new opportunities, from the people you meet to the locales you frequent.

Your new housing also represents an opportunity. When you move to a new city apartment, whether it’s a SoHo studio or a Georgetown townhouse, you use design to define the space and even redefine yourself.

In the city, design often comes down to optimizing space in an impactful way. The color palette you choose determines the entire atmosphere of your apartment, whether you want simple and chic or bold and vibrant.

Learn how a specific color palette can help you achieve specific atmospheres below.

1. Artsy Adventure

Rich or warm colors stimulate the mind and imagination. If you want to create an air of artistry and adventure, choose one of these palettes.

•    Dark: Choose a deep foundation color, like blood red, and elevate it using earth tone or urban complementary colors.
•    Light: Keep the walls a subtle, warm pastel and use a more saturated color version in your decor. For example, use pale pink paint with daring fuchsia or maroon accents.
•    Cool: Rely on deep eggplant or navy, accented with a bright teal or Kelly green.
•    Warm: Pair bold reds or oranges with stark whites or eggshell tones.

2. Casual Bohemian

Light, natural hues give the illusion of wide open spaces and outdoor oases. Whether your inner bohemian longs for the forested mountains or sweeping beaches, showcase your connection in one of the following palettes.

•    Dark: Surround yourself with chocolate browns and emerald greens. If you opt for a dark palette, use colors that appear in nature or ones that exaggerate natural hues. Choose a single light accent color to open up your space.
•    Light: Hint at ocean waves or seasonal breezes with sea foam greens, stormy grays, or stimulating yellows.
•    Cool: Create a beach paradise using varying blues, beiges and tans, and hints of distant purples.
•    Warm: Fill your apartment with light using a spectrum of warm colors and earth tones.

3. Delicate Sophistication

Intricacy and subtlety create understated class. Create an air of sophistication in these color schemes.

•    Dark: Pair royal purples, crimsons, or blues with complementary metallic accents for Old World elegance.
•    Light: Choose an unobtrusive alabaster or mother of pearl. Highlight your main color’s subtleties with a single dark accent, such as smoky gray.
•    Cool: Blend lavenders, grays or silvers, or white for simple grace.
•    Warm: Rely on bronze or gold to craft an inviting air of sophistication.

4. Modern Minimalist

To find beauty in simplicity, create a distinct, stark palette like those below.

•    Dark: Find your inner minimalist using black, white, and a dark accent color like Tyrian purple.
•    Light: Use a steel gray rather than black to create bold, geometric designs. Pair your chosen gray with white and a light accent, like powder blue.
•    Cool: Don’t hesitate to call on bold, cool colors when you aim for minimalism. Use color blocking to let a range of blues, greens, or purples play off each other.
•    Warm: To create warm minimalism without overpowering a space, pair a shade of white with punchy red or orange accents.

5. Vintage Couture

The distinct vintage look relies on muted colors and whimsical charm. Find both in the following palettes.

•    Dark: If you like deep colors but want a vintage look, consider distressing. With a little sanding or extra layer of sponged paint, you can age dark teal, brown-black, or ruby reds.
•    Light: Vintage palettes rely on tiny variations to create depth. Choose a range of pinks, beiges, or whites to get the look.
•    Cool: For a timeless cool palette, pair distressed white furniture with a range of matte blues or pastel greens.
•    Warm: Evoke antique warmth using brown and gold with warm pumpkin or mustard colors.

As you settle in and work to pair decor with your new paint, consider the purpose of each room. For a more intimate setting, opt for a darker overall palette. To expand a small space, choose the lightest and brightest colors in your scheme.

Use one of these timeless color palettes to make your new apartment the ideal space for entertaining, creating, or relaxing.

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