Coloring Your World

When decorating a room, color affords almost limitless possibilities. Color invokes feelings and adds personality to your room. No other single element can alter the appearance of space and objects like color. In home furnishings, it can visually enlarge, reduce and even change the feel of a piece of furniture.

Here are some easy tips to consider:

  • The best color schemes are usually found in a single element: a sofa, rug, painting, virtually anything.
  • Consider the intended use, room's size, desired mood and its lighting and exposure.
  • Lighting and exposure affect the way color behaves. Most homes have incandescent lighting, which makes reds more vibrant and blues more neutral. Examine fabrics and paint chips under incandescent lighting as well as under natural daylight.
  • When planning large purchases such as, carpeting, wallpaper, and large pieces of furniture, choose colors carefully since these items will not be frequently changed.
  • Observe color relationships in photography, public places, private homes, printed fabrics and even clothing. Outdoor, natural settings can be great inspirations as well!
  • If you aren't completely confident about a color scheme, stick to neutral, simple colors when it comes to large, expensive purchases.

Use colors and combinations you like. Nothing goes in and out of fashion more quickly than color. Try not to buy something just because the color is "in."

A ROOM WITH A MOOD: The Broad Palette

  • Blues, greens, purples and grays are cool colors and can range from tranquil to dramatic. They can make rooms feel less confining. In warm climates, cool colors combined with white can make an entire house feel more comfortable.
  • Reds, yellows, browns, oranges and peaches are warm colors that can lighten and subdue or radiate energy and exuberance! If you have a drafty room, reds, yellows and oranges will add a little fire!
  • Bright colors are best in active, informal rooms and those with little natural light. They work well as attention getting accents in rooms with neutral or subdued color schemes.
  • Subdued colors are restful and relaxing and make soft backgrounds. Adding brightly colored accents increases visual interest.
  • Lights and whites create the illusion of space, making rooms look bigger and ceilings higher. In any room, white walls make an excellent neutral background that won't compete with furnishings.
  • Dark colors absorb light and make rooms look smaller and more intimate. Great for home libraries and studies, they also help disguise uneven walls, rough surfaces and ceilings that are too high. Because dark colors dominate, light colored accents add balance to a room.

A ROOM WITH A MOOD: The Focused Palette

  • REDS
    You'll rev up any room by introducing the most colorful of vivid colors! Pure red is charged with excitement and even raises the body's metabolic rate! Burgundy is refined and aristocratic while pink is calm, sweet and romantic.
  • BLUES
    Frazzled nerves recover when exposed to blue, the calmest of all colors. Sky blue is young and sporty but royal and navy convey dignity and wealth.
  • GREENS
    Like blue, green is tranquil, especially sea foam and mint. Brighter greens make us happy with reminders of spring while hunter and pine are eloquent and quiet.
  • YELLOWS
    Relentlessly cheerful! Bright yellow is so happy that it can actually become annoying and make a room feel oppressive. Pale yellow, though, is breezy, spring-like and relaxing.
  • PURPLES
    Regal! Long associated with royalty, this is a color of splendor and sophistication. Because we don't often see it in nature, it's perceived as artificial and many people aren't impressed. Lavender is said to be the most irritating of all colors in room décor.
  • BROWNS
    Rich and natural, brown is likened to wood and leather. Darker shades are opulent while tans and beiges are rustic and earthy. All shades are universally popular and offer great versatility.
  • BLACK & WHITE
    Their qualities are as different as night and day, but both can imply expense and elegance. Combined, they achieve bold contrast for a stunning look!

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