How Textile Color Impacts Your Design

You’re standing in the paint aisle of your local hardware store and have no clue where to begin with selecting a paint color for your next design project. We’ve all been there and struggled to choose between two (nearly identical) shades of white. This same feeling translates into almost every area of interior design. When it’s time to select a finish or fabric design, it can be incredibly difficult to choose a material that feels right for you, especially if you’re someone who has trouble making decisions.

Working on interior design projects can cause decision-making fatigue; this is the feeling of exhaustion from making too many choices. Designing a beautiful space for yourself shouldn’t have to feel this way. 

In the world of fabric design, we work to make specifying your next material a streamlined process. We’ve set up our website to make it easy to filter your material type to performance preferences. It is our goal to simplify the material selection process through color. 

Color Meets Emotions

It’s no secret that we each feel certain emotions when we’re around different colors. There’s a lot of psychology around this, and we have to admit, it makes sense! While there are some universal feelings around specific colors, we each have our personal preferences and experiences that inform our decisions around fabric design. 

Emotional connections or affiliations that can impact our feelings around color:

  • Country or state flag
  • High School colors
  • College colors
  • Company colors
  • Sports teams
  • Colors in your childhood home

Our emotions around color are only heightened when it comes to the materials we bring into our home. Imagine having a black sofa if you didn’t like dark colors. The couch wouldn’t work with the rest of your home decor, and you might begin to hate the room it’s in. Why have a sofa if you’re not going to use it? 

Yes, color can have a significant impact on our moods and emotions. We all want to be around colors that make us feel good. But how do we determine which colors are best suited to us and our lifestyle? 

Here are a few universal interpretations of color to consider:

Red – This color is considered lucky in Chinese culture but viewed as aggressive or angry in Western cultures. If you’re American, a bright red might make you think of fire trucks, stop signs, red lights, or even the American flag. 

Yellow – To much of the world, yellow is warmth and sunshine. This doesn’t mean you don’t associate this color with memories of watching Big Bird on Sesame Street or playing with primary color toys as a kid. 

Orange – A color that is also a fruit. This particular color always brings up strong feelings for or against the 70s style. On the other end of the spectrum, we’ve seen a lot of high-end fashion houses tote this color as their brand identity.

Green – If nature were a color, it would be green. Or maybe this color reminds you of the vegetables your mom used to make you eat as a kid? Either way, green is frequently used in marketing and design to symbolize health and the environment. 

Blue – The color blue always evokes feelings of calm or vacation. We get visions of crystal blue waters, marine life, bright skies, and hydration. 

Purple – When we see purple, we’re reminded of royalty, or maybe just Crown Royal’s iconic purple bag. This color takes us back to watching Barney as a child or enjoying wisteria bloom each summer. 

Pink – Was anyone else into the Pink Power Ranger as a child, or was it just us? Or maybe you’re someone who sees this color and is immediately reminded of getting sick as a child and taking Pepto Bismol. Either way, this appears to be one of the most divisive colors. What are your thoughts on pink?

White – We must admit, we’re a bit bored of the white interior. Pre-2020, we would have interpreted an all-white interior as a retreat by the ocean. We love the bright, clean, and uplifting feeling white decor provides. At the same time, we’ve seen so much white home decor in the last few years and prefer some variety going into 2022 design. 

Black – The classic neutral we just can’t quit in our wardrobes, but what about home decor? When black floors meet black walls and cabinetry, we’re given a moody modern aesthetic. If the black is a more subtle and high gloss in finish, it can fall into the more glamorous or traditional design style categories. Black interiors always make a statement and are more difficult to come by, making them more memorable. 

Brown – Any time we think of brown, we imagine a large teddy bear or tree trunk. If you grew up in the 2000s, there’s a good chance the inside of your parent’s home had multiple shades of brown going on at all times. This color has made its way around the sun and returned to homes in 2022. 

Working With Color in Fabric Design

We understand that sometimes you’re forced to have specific colors in your home. For example, family heirlooms or your partner’s favorite decorative items. You have to live with them, so you might as well add in materials that you do love! 

If you’re working with an orange piece of art, but you’re not a fan of the color, consider adding some blue or purple textiles into your home. This way, the items work together instead of creating even more contrast, leaving you more resentful toward the orange piece of art! 

Anyone who finds themselves in this situation can reference colors opposite on the color wheel to assist in blending the item mentioned above into the home. 

This way, it will no longer take the focus away from the items you love and want to be displayed. These are the color combinations we’re talking about:

  • Yellow & Violet
  • Red & Green
  • Blue & Orange

Another option is to utilize colors that are neighbors on the color wheel. Maybe you’re not a fan of orange, but their neighboring friends aren’t so bad:

  • Orange – Yellow & Red
  • Yellow – Orange & Green
  • Green – Yellow & Blue
  • Blue – Green & Violet
  • Violet – Blue & Red
  • Red – Violet & Orange

Utilizing these color combinations can help any distressed designer create harmony within a space. We reference these design tricks, again and again, to make any unwanted decor items fade into the background. We’re confident this will work for you and your next project!

Q & A

Question: How do I decide if I should incorporate a color I like into my home or not?

Answer: If you like a color, we encourage you to find a way to make this a part of your space. With that being said, we understand that you need to work with your existing home decor, and the additional color might not coordinate well. If you’re comfortable bringing in the new color in a few different ways to create some balance, then we highly recommend you give it a shot! Chances are, you’ll be happier to see this color in your home and will be confident you made the right choice. Remember, nothing is permanent, and you can adjust your home decor again next year if you have a new favorite color.  

Question: What colors go together in fabric design?

Answer: In design, we practice the infamous design principles. These are tools that guide you in making design choices for your project. These principles include; hierarchy, emphasis, rhythm, white space, balance, and contrast. Almost any color can pair well together when using these principles to assist you in making your design decisions. For example, it doesn’t matter if you know red and blue go together if the hierarchy or balance of color is off. Abiding by the design principles will help you create a cohesive design throughout your home instead of just one area.  If you’re still feeling stumped, consider using contrasting colors on the color wheel or colors that are neighbors on the color wheel. 

Question: Are there any bad colors to use in interior design? 

Answer: There is no such thing as a bad color, but there may be a bad color for you. If you don’t like a color, avoid using it. If putting green and pink together feels taboo in 2022, but you love the style, embrace it. This is an excellent example of utilizing the design principles mentioned in the question above. If you add color to your home and feel like it’s not working, utilize these tools to create color harmony. The color isn’t wrong sometimes it just needs a little adjustment. 

Question: Which colors should I use to update my home in 2022?

Answer: As always, go with your gut and choose photos you love. If you’re asking us, we’re going all-in on the color! We will make design updates this year that include more green, blue, red, and yellow. The design changes will mainly include an upholstery refresh. We’re not yet confident enough to paint our kitchen cabinets blue but a blue chair? Why not! 

Colorful Fabric Design Choices

There are a number of ways to select the right fabric design for your home but at the end of the day, choose what’s right for you. Color stirs up emotion in each and every one of us, so you might as well have the colors in your home bring you happiness and comfort. Whenever you’re ready to update the upholstery in your home, Kovi will be happy to support you!

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