Raleigh Interior Designers Share The Finer Details Of Designing With Color – Adding Life, Dimension & Warmth To A Space

Posted on | March 26, 2015 | No Comments

Color brings so much to a space. It delights the eye, adds life and dimension, and sets a perfect mood. Brittany Ruch and Lauren McKay of Design Lines, Ltd. are experts in color, deftly using it to create an aesthetic that tells their clients’ stories and makes their homes personal, warm and beautiful. As one of Raleigh’s most prestigious interior design firms, Design Lines has been serving clients and winning awards for over 35 years, and Brittany and Lauren are now an integral part of the design team. North Carolina Design chatted with them to get their take on the fascinating and complex art of using color as a principle of design.

Images Courtesy of Design Lines, Ltd. ©

“We begin a design project with color in mind, whether it’s a color palette inspired by a piece of artwork, or the homeowner’s favorite colors,” notes Brittany. “The way we use color depends on the overall space and the feel we’re going for. Color can impact a space differently depending on how and where it’s used.”

“Color looks very different in accessories than on walls, for example,” Lauren offers. “You can use black and white in a kitchen in a historic home and have it look really classic and timeless. Then you can use it in a bedroom in a different way, and create a much more modern feel.”

Different colors can also dramatically alter the mood and feel of a space. “Red and yellow are more energetic, while blue is more mellow,” notes Lauren. “If you are looking to create a calming space, you want to go with low-contrast colors. If you are looking to liven things up, you want to be bold and add contrast.” Brittany adds, “If a homeowner wants to add pops of color, we suggest that they choose a more neutral wall color that’s going to be a great backdrop for something bolder.”

Brittany and Lauren will happily work with any colors their clients desire, but they do have their own personal favorites. “I love green,” says Lauren. “It’s such a fresh natural color, and it can be used in a bold way.” For her part, Brittany is a huge fan of coral. “It’s such a fun, lively color,” she explains. “I have a coral pocketbook, and a coral velvet sofa, believe it or not.”

While Lauren and Brittany have their minds made up about color, not everyone is so certain. “Homeowners don’t always know what colors they love,” Lauren notes. “If they’re unsure, we suggest that they take a look in their closet. People tend to buy clothes in colors they like without really thinking about it, so their wardrobe can be a real source of inspiration.”

When it comes to choosing colors, Lauren and Brittany have certainly encountered their share of hesitant homeowners. “People often like color, but are afraid to commit,” Lauren reflects. “They are worried they’ll have to live with a bad decision for a long time.” Brittany concurs, adding “We don’t like to push them out of their comfort zone, but we do try and bring color in through things that feel non-committal — maybe a lamp, a pillow, or a table tray.”

Then there are those homeowners who embrace color’s power to change their home’s aesthetic. “One of our clients was going through cancer treatment,” Lauren recounts. “Her home was very neutral, with lots of earth tones. She wanted something uplifting to come home to each day, so we gave her a purple sofa and accented the space with lime greens, and aqua blues.”

In the end, color is a deeply personal choice. “People associate different colors with different feelings and experiences,” Brittany reflects. “It’s about surrounding yourself with the colors that make you happy, and make home a wonderful place to be.”

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