I am often asked about the necessity of making colors flow from room to room in a home and if it is necessary. Sometimes the need to coordinate or blend with a neighboring room is an absolute, for example if the rooms do not have doors between them or no existing wall to separate them. If this is the case then the use of a color that makes it flow should be considered. But what is “flow”? A color that makes an easy transition would be one that is a hue in the same color family as the original room. For example, if a room has deep orange on its walls then the adjoining room could have a lighter orange or peach in it, or a muted version of the original orange would also work.
When adjoining rooms have a door to separate them, it is not necessary for a color that flow. Some people carry a theme throughout their homes and in this case perhaps all the rooms should flow, but most common today is a variety of themes, if any, and different styles in different rooms, therefore different colors.
With the popularity of great rooms in today’s homes the use of color flow is common. You will see kitchens and adjoining family rooms in colors that work together because essentially they are the same room. If there is a textile pattern in a room like this then they can use one color from the pattern in the kitchen and another color in the pattern for the family room, making this textile the accent and the “glue” that holds this color scheme together.
Here is an example of using a textile (the pillows) as the basis for the color in both rooms; they all have gray, yellow, black and white in the scheme. Note the yellow backsplash in the kitchen.
In this room red is the unifying color, it appears on the pillows and in the rug color in the living space and on the walls in the kitchen. Yellow is a second unifying color, it appears on the stools in the kitchen on the walls in the hallway to the right. A third color used is green, seen in the rug, on the kitchen stools and on the upper wall next to the refrigerator.