When you effectively use colors in your home, you can completely transform the appearance of the room. A small room can look spacious, a cold room warm, and a dull room, lively. Color is one of the greatest decorating tools that a homeowner has, and learning to use color properly means the difference of a house or a home.
Following are five tips that, when used properly can eliminate any inhabitations you may have in using color in your home. Color is a powerful tool and a way for homeowners to put a personal touch, or statement into a room. Color is an expression, and when used wrong will leave a negative impression, so it is important that you understand how to use color.
How to Use Color in Your Home
Create Color Flow
When you use color, you want to achieve a good color flow throughout the home. The easiest way to achieve this is to choose one color that you are working with and carry it through the entire home. The color of choice here is a neutral color.
The color flow throughout the home does not need to be extreme. For instance, if you have earth tones in the living room then choose one of the tones and add it to the other rooms, such as including the color in the upholstery of the dining room chairs, and so on. In the kitchen, you might use the color in a floor mat, and in the bedroom, in the bedspread, and so on.
Effectively Using Contrast
Contrast is another element to consider. You’ll notice many homes that want a more formal feel to the room a combination of contrasting colors throughout the room is best. The intensity of the colors is extreme. For instance, a deep burgundy with a light gold. For rooms where you want a more relaxed and soothing atmosphere it is better to choose low contrasting colors. Here, a good example is a soft green with a soft yellow or a white on off white, or variations of greens and soft blues.
When you use black and white together in a room it gives a formal feel to the room. To tone the feel down, gray can be combined to the combination.
Looking For Emotional Responses
Colors offer us a sense of emotions. For example, blue may remind us of the sky or water or the air. Red may make us think of fire. Green and browns make us think of nature and yellow tends to make many people think of the sun. Each offers a strong emotion when we associate the elements of color with nature as opposed to just having an intellectual feel towards them.
Homeowners can benefit by capitalizing on the emotional association of color and nature and use them to make a statement in your home. What is the emotional impact or feel you’d like from your home? If you want a lively home then yellows and reds are ideal. If you’ll notice, these are the most commonly used colors in fast food restaurants. The idea is to get patrons in and out quickly to make room for more patrons. Lively colors, while they may look great in some rooms are not intended for the bedroom! Bedrooms should always consist of restful colors.
Using Local and Seasonal Colors
When you use local and seasonal colors you are bringing the atmosphere of the area into your home. Do you live in an area that has strong seasonal changes? If so, these can be great colors for your home’s interior. Outdoor colors are mixed brilliantly and can enhance a home like no other. For instance, if you live in New Mexico, or Texas, you’ll find wonderful color combinations right outside your door.
There are a number of colors from mustard yellows, russets, browns, off whites, yellows and shades of green. Fall colors are a wonderful choice to create a calm, subdued living space that is filled with relaxation.
Spring colors include whites, lilacs, pinks, and yellows and creat an invigorating and uplifting atmosphere, providing a clean and fresh feel to the room.
Testing Your Choices First
Before you do the entire home, test your color palette out in one room first and live with it for a few months. This can easily done with paint. You might find that after a few months you are ready for a change and you will be thankful the you don’t have to redo the entire home.
Also, when you shop, ask for samples that you can take home and test in the room. Leave them on display in the room for a number of days. View the colors different times during the day to see how the colors change in the natural light of the room. Make a mental note of how the colors look, or jot it down, so that you are aware of the differences through different times of the day and night.
Colors in the evening and late afternoon look quite different than in the early morning and noon. You want to ensure that the colors are what you want throughout the day and night. Consider the time of day that the room is most used and pay particular attention to how the colors look at this time. Consider where the colors will be most likely to go. If your room has southern exposure, light colors will appear lighter and you may want to darken them up a bit. On the other hand, If your room has northern exposure, than dark colors will appear darker, and you might want to lighten the tones a bit.
With the above guide, there is absolutely no reason for homeowners to fear the use of color. Color is something that is expressive and emotional, and provides the sense and feel of a home. Occupants can be helped tremendously by colors in a home, just as visitors can get a sense of the personality of the individuals that occupy the home. Be creative and imaginative.