Decorating With Jewel Tones
Saturated and intense, colors based on gems (think rubies, emeralds, sapphires, topaz) are unquestionably daring and dramatic. In decorating, their richness can make milder colors in a room seem dull and drab, so they work best matched with equally vibrant tones or set against neutrals, such as gray and black (consider keeping them away from pastels). Jewel tones can help play up a room’s best qualities and minimize its flaws. For instance, a large, bright room that seems grand and imposing can become intimate with luscious emerald green on the walls. Jewel tones also help emphasize the coziness of a small space. “Concentrated shades, like teal and ruby red, with reflective accents—mercury glass, gilded frames—make you feel enveloped by the color rather than imprisoned by a tiny room,” says Jessica Becker, an interior designer in Providence. To keep a room feeling unified rather than hectic, choose pieces with similar color values (or intensities).
Expert Color Pairings
Exotic. “I love shades of deep blue with a touch of green—like a Crayola teal color—beside chartreuse, gold, and amethyst,” says Jessica Becker. “It makes me think of peacocks.”
Regal. Amethyst and amber are stately together, especially when they’re paired with gold accessories and dark wood furnishings, floors, and moldings.
Warm with a twist. “My favorite combination is bright emerald, chocolate brown, and off-white,” says New York City designer Timothy Whealon. “ Also great is a shocking peacock blue with white painted furniture.”