Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Choosing A Color For Your Home

While most of us may not spend a lot of time thinking about colors we use in our homes, it affects every day of our lives by influencing our mood and thoughts. Colors affect us in many ways so it is important to choose your colors wisely in decorating your home.

To have a beautiful home, don't let current trends influence you. Color trends come and go. You may ask what makes a color a trendy color. A trendy color is a primary color (red, yellow, and blue) or a secondary color (orange, purple, or green) with brown or black added to the color.

Red + Brown = Rust

Red + Black = Maroon

Yellow + Brown = Gold

Yellow + Black = Mustard

Blue + Brown = Teal

Blue + Black = Navy

Orange + Brown = Burnt Orange

Orange + Black = Sienna

Purple + Brown = Plum Purple + Black = Midnight

Green + Brown = Olive Green + Black = Emerald

The mix of these colors create a trendy color. It is best to not use these in abundance in our homes. Your home will date very quickly and you will soon tire of these colors. If you love a trendy color, try to use it in some element that is disposable like pillows, candles, etc.

A color that will stand the test of time are any of the primary or secondary colors in their true form or with white or cream added to them. These would be pink, light lemon yellow, sherbert, lavender, periwinkle, mint, sea foam, celery, etc. Think back on decorating trends in your own lifetime. I remember orange shag carpet, olive appliances in the 70's, teal and peach in the 80's, navy and maroon in the 90's, mustard in the 2000, and now we are seeing teal making a strong comeback in 2010. Trendy colors go in cycles, there are only so many colors out there, so they must come back around again. Try to use these sparingly, please don't chose these for counter tops, toilets, tile, etc. that cannot be changed easily. This can definitely hurt the resale of your home in years to come.

Now that we have cleared up what is a trendy color, lets talk about how color affects your mood. Every color has a psychological value. Think about how a color makes you feel. Where do you see this color being used? Colors can take you from tranquil to rage. Try to create peace and harmony when you make your choices. What colors will help you achieve this mood?

Understand that colors behave in three basic ways: active, passive and neutral, and you can easily match colors to your personal desires and taste and to the room's purpose. Light colors are expansive and airy and make a space seem larger and brighter. Dark colors are sophisticated and warm: they give a large room a more intimate feel.

More about colors:

Red: It raises a rooms energy level. It's a good choice when you want to stir up conversation, particularly at night. It is best kept in a living room or a dining room. It draws people together in conversation. Red is a color that has been studied and can raise blood pressure, speed respiration and heart rate. It will pump adrenaline like no other color can. It can make you hungry, this is why most restaurants have red as a color. Keep red out of a restful area like a bedroom, use only muted shades of this color and only in accents in this room. You will never have sweet dreams in a bedroom painted red!

Blue: It brings down blood pressure and slows respiration and heart rate. It's calming, relaxing and serene. A pastel blue can sometimes look chilly on the walls, so choose the blue that has warm undertones, especially in a room that has a lot of natural light. Dark blue shades give the opposite affect so stay away from these.

Green: Is considered the most restful color for the eye. It is as cheerful as yellow, it cools things down but is warm enough to promote comfort. It is relaxing and pleasant. Green is also very calming and is believed to relieve stress.

Purple: Can be rich and dramatic, sophisticated with luxury as well as creativity. It works best as a secondary color or used with other shades of itself. Purple is as calming as blue, without the feeling of being chilly.

Yellow: Captures the joy of sunshine and communicates happiness. It's perfect for halls, it makes them feel expansive and welcoming. Yellow is a great color to be a main color of a room. Although yellow is a cheery color, babies do seem to cry more in a yellow room, making it a poor choice for a nursery. Yellow is the most fatiguing on the eyes, so choose a softer than a stronger shade.

Orange: Evokes excitement, enthusiasm and is an energetic color. Not good in a bedroom, but a great choice for an exercise room.

Neutrals: Are basics to a decorator. Never out of fashion and always flexible. Neutral calm things down, especially a brighter color. Black is best used as an accent – but a must for every room, it grounds the color scheme and gives it depth.

These general guidelines are a good starting point to your search for the perfect color for your home. Remember color is a very personal matter. You are the one who has to live with the color, so choose a hue that suits your lifestyle. And always remember that a paint swatch is only the size of a postage stamp, so try to imagine floor to ceiling when choosing! If you need help with color, be sure to come by and see me, I'd be happy to help you! Happy Decorating.

Lisa Hood

Interior Designer - Owner


Paula said...

The happy shade of green I see inside First Fruit always makes me smile! My favorite shades of green are either pear or celery - I favor the muted tones.

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