How Can I Get a Handle on Color Schemes?
Most homeowners - and more than a few interior designers - are a bit baffled about the "color thing." Walk into any paint store and you're overwhelmed with the different degrees of hues. We invited R. Jabbour & Sons to write this guest column for us. They first opened their doors in New York City over 80 years ago. Passed through four generations of family, R. Jabbour & Sons continues to be a trusted and highly knowledgeable resource for the finest bed, bath, and table linens. Their loyal following of customers rely on the utmost attention to detail and service - and their impeccable sense of color.
When decorating a home or a room, one should always remember that color has a psychological effect on mood and emotion. All colors work together to create a specific mood from the color of paint on the walls, to the color of your carpet, to the color of your couch. For this reason, when decorating a room, you should keep in mind what kind of tone you would like to set. Do you want to create a relaxing atmosphere or perhaps a more energetic one? Then think about how certain colors affect your mood and if they work harmoniously into your décor theme.
Once you decide what kind of feeling you want to portray, it’s time to pick a color scheme.
- Light colors give the feeling of openness and make the room appear larger and brighter. Dark colors are warmer, more refined, and make the room seem smaller. Warm colors create an energized mood.
- Warm colors include red, orange, yellow, and yellow-green. These colors should be placed in areas where you want to stimulate conversation.
- Cool colors create a tranquil mood. Cool colors include green-blue, blue, blue-violet, and purple. These colors should be placed in areas where you want to set a relaxing tone.
- Neutral colors include black, grey, brown and white colors. These serve mostly as accent colors.
There are three groups of colors: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Primary colors are pure and are created without the need to mix other colors. The primary colors are red, blue and yellow. Secondary colors are created by mixing colors. Secondary colors include green, orange and purple. Tertiary colors are created by mixing primary and secondary colors. The tertiary colors (intermediate colors) are red-violet, blue-violet, blue-green, yellow-green, yellow-orange, and red-orange. Although these groups of color have the ability to work together, they all give off a different emotion and energy.
Blue represents tranquility, reliability, and harmony. Blue also has the tendency to slow blood pressure, lower body temperature, and reduce appetite. Softer shades of blue are mostly recommended to give your home a soothing feel.
Red is the most energizing of all colors. It boosts stimulation, arousal, and raises awareness. Red has the ability to raise blood pressure and make people react faster. Use red in the living and dining room to stimulate conversation. However, be careful in using darker red coloring in rooms where people will spend a long period of time in, as it may increase irritability.
Yellow represents happiness, energy, and joy. It works well in dining areas like kitchens and dining rooms as well as your bathroom. Yellow makes a space look larger than it is, but should be used in small doses considering that excessive amounts can instill a feeling of anger or frustration.
Green represents nature, newness, and refreshment. Green is a very soothing color and has calming effects that may reduce stress and anxiety. Green can be used to decorate any room in the house and provides the perfect color for decorating a kitchen or bath.
Orange is a warm, glowing, cheerful, and energetic color that triggers excitement. It’s a good idea to use splashes of orange in your décor.
Purple represents spirituality, luxury, mystery, and royalty. Use lighter hues of purple to set a relaxed feeling.
White represents purity, cleanliness, and innocence. White is a safe color for any room of in the house, whether to decorate the entire room or just parts of it. White creates the illusion that the room is bigger than it is.
Black represents sophistication, mystery, elegance, power, and sexuality. Black should be used as an accent color in the house.
After you have decided on your color scheme, you can start decorating in a manner that will deliver the end results that you desire. You can create an atmosphere perfect for entertaining guests or one that is more suited for personal relaxation. Most importantly, you will sculpt the room décor that you envisioned and will feel a sense of accomplishment in your work.