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Matching Existing Colors in Home Decor

There are often items that will have to remain in a space even after redecorating. It may be a countertop or a sofa, however, in order to find colors that compliment the color to remain, you need a good representation of the color to take to the store with you. Sometimes you're lucky enough to have a small sample of a fabric, carpet, paint, countertop or wallcovering that you can take shopping with you. This is by far the most reliable way to have an accurate color and finish reference to work with when pulling other colors and finishes for your home decor. The following are some items that you may wish to remain in a room and solutions on how to match and work with the finish while away from your home.

color in home decor
You may have a rug or sofa upholstery that is going to remain after a remodel.
In order to match these colors (since you can't carry them to the store
with you) follow some of the following tips.

  • Area Rug or Wallpaper - It would be impossible to document all the colors in an intricately patterned area rug or wallpaper pattern and you really don't need to. However, the colors that you do want to bring out and use in the rest of the room should be matched to a paint chip. In this method, you compare a sample paint chip to the rug or wallpaper, until you find the closest color match. When you go shopping for home decor, you can take the paint chip with you.
  • Bathroom Fixtures - Unless the toilet, sink, shower and tub are white or black, you should try to have an exact replica of the color of the fixture when purchasing towels, shower curtains, etc. The paint chip method (described above) is usually very successful in matching bathroom fixture colors to bathroom decor items.
  • China - If you would like the color scheme in the kitchen and dining room to compliment and match your china, take one of the small tea plates and use it to pull the color scheme together. The colors in the china can also be matched to paint chips if you are concerned about breaking or damaging the chine while shopping.
  • Marble or Granite - Natural stone finishes will change from sample to sample and it may not help to order a matching sample of the granite or marble. If the sample is from another quarry, even though it is the same type, it probably will not match exactly. To have a record of the overall colors, it is a good idea to color match the main tones in the marble or granite with paint chip samples. You may end up with several different paint chip colors, each representing a color in the stone.
  • Fabric - If the item is an upholstered chair, check to see if there are arm covers tucked underneath the seat, which is where they are often stored when not used. Often, there will be a small cushion or accent pillow that can be taken to a store as a reference. If the fabric is in a window treatment, there may be a tieback in the same fabric that can be used to match the colors. Having an actual sample of the fabric is helpful because even interior designers cannot remember a color or pattern once they have left their clients home or office. You can also use paint chips to color-match the crucial colors in a fabric.
  • Furniture Stain or Paint - You can always remove and take a drawer from the piece of furniture to a store. This will allow an exact match to the paint or stain on the piece of furniture. If the piece is relatively new, you may be able to find the name of the manufacturer and the finish stain color by looking underneath the piece of furniture. With this information, the manufacture can be contacted and asked to send a sample of that particular finish. Another solution would be to have miscellaneous samples of stains on hand from a paint store and match the furniture stain to the closest one. In the case of painted furniture, match the paint to a paint chip as the fabric in the previous photograph has been matched.

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