Choosing the right colour may
be difficult. The following article from
http://www.marble.com provides excellent
pointers on selecting the right colour stone.
Natural stone comes in
such an endless variety of colours that choosing the right one can be a
daunting task. Homeowners often want to match their new flooring and
countertops to items they already own, or to their existing paint scheme.
While this may sound like a logical approach, it's best to keep in mind that
items can always be moved, and paint is the quickest and least expensive
way to completely change the look of a room.
It's best, when choosing something as significant as flooring or
countertops, to reconsider the entire space. Think of it, not in terms of
what it currently is, and how you can fit the new colours into it, but of
what the space could be. After investing thousands of rands into natural
stone countertops, it is a small thing to repaint the walls, change the
handles on the cabinet doors, or replace a white microwave with a stainless
steel one. Reinventing your space, instead of retrofitting it, may be
intimidating at first, but when you take this approach, you will end up with
a much more cohesive, proffessional look.
Colours play a dramatic role in the mood of a room. As a general rule, cool
colours (blues and greens) tend to make a room feel more spacious and
formal, while warm colours (reds, yellows, and browns) lend a cozy feeling.
Consider not only the colour of the paint and stone, but the light which
enters the room. If it is a north-facing room, it will tend to feel “cooler”
just because of the natural light, as will rooms which face east. South- and
west-facing rooms will feel warmer. This light can be balanced by choosing
colours on the opposite spectrum. If your living area faces west and
receives the yellow and red light of the last half of the day, but you
desire a more sophisticated look, choosing paint and stone with green or
blue tints will help bring it into balance.
For most rooms, though, start by choosing the colour of stone that you
love. Don't worry about how it will fit into the room. You'll worry about
fitting the room to the stone later. Choose a stone that you think is
beautiful, regardless of whether it matches the colour of your cabinets or
walls. You will be far more satisfied, in the end, by choosing a stone that
you simply adore, rather than choosing a colour or style because you think
it will match.
Once you've chosen your stone, imagine what colours will look best on the
walls. Choosing a colour within the same colour family will help the room
blend into itself, and the resulting uniformity will give it a comfortable
feel. This is called monochromatic colour theory, and it tends to create an
atmosphere of coziness and quiet elegance.
Choosing colours adjacent to the stone's colour on the colour wheel is
called analogous colour theory, and this is similar to monochromatic theory.
It produces a subtle feeling, as long as one colour (the walls, for example)
is chosen as the dominant colour, and the rest of the room (stone, floor,
and accent pieces) are allowed to enrich the dominant colour.
Choosing a complimentary colour scheme (colours opposite each other on the
colour wheel) will give the room a sense of motion and contrast. It looks
best when the dominant colour (walls and floor) is cool, and the accents are
warm. Cool accents in a warm room tend to look awkward. Because of the
strong contrast produced by a complimentary colour choice, many designers
choose to use the colours just adjacent to the complimentary colour, rather
than the complimentary itself. This can help soften the effect.
A triadic colour scheme uses three colours spaced evenly apart on the colour
wheel. This scheme tends to make a room look harmonious, logical, and
Because stone is a natural product, it will likely contain many colours in
itself. This is especially true of slates and some granites. In these
instances, it is quite permissible to draw the colours for the room from the
palette of colours represented in the stone. Then, it is the stone that
serves as the harmonizing factor in the room, and thus is becomes the focal
Some general rules of thumb for choosing shades of colour (the lightness or
darkness of a particular colour) is that darker shades make a room feel
smaller, and lighter shades make it feel larger. Dramatic changes in colour
value in different parts of a room can make its shape feel different. A
kitchen with dark marble on the floor, but lighter walls and a white
ceiling, will make the ceiling feel higher than it really is. Conversely,
dark coloured walls with light travertine on the floor will bring the
perceived height of the ceiling down, making the room feel shorter and
Keep in mind that, when trying to choose a colour shade to match your stone,
even the smallest sample of natural stone will contain a wide range of
colours. So don't fret for hours between Harvest Pumpkin and Autumn Umber.
Likewise, taking a sample piece of stone to a paint store isn't always the
best idea. The marble tile you hold may have a much larger concentration of
dark browns, while the tile in the box beneath it is almost entirely light.
Colour theory can be intimidating for many people. Luckily, there are dozens
of books available which can guide you through the process. If in doubt,
consult an interior decorator. But rest easy…the most dramatic thing you can
do to a room is the paint on the walls, and if you hate your first choice,
you can always repaint. It won't cost much beyond your investment of time.
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