Selecting color for your rooms is not the same as selecting a shirt color…
Wall color is meant to be an integral part of the overall room design.
Therein lies the rub: A color too light looks anemic, or worse, a color too strong or bright will bounce off the walls. This makes it difficult to notice the artwork, the furniture or even the people in a room. Not to be overlooked is the actual effect colors have on us emotionally. The wide range of colors and shades available are both good news and the source of utter confusion for most of us.
When it comes to selecting the perfect wall color, the descent into Overwhelm can be immediate and severe.
Take heart. This effect happens to trained professionals too, unless you do what all professionals do, which is develop a game plan and an overall organizing principal.
To wit, what feeling or mood do you want to have when you walk into the room?
Choose your weapon according. While color preference is personal, there are certain colors that have a universal effect. Warm colors, which are the whole range from yellow through orange to red, can add a feeling of comfort and stimulation but can also incur feelings of anger and hostility. Warm colors make you feel warm by association. On the flip side, cool colors cover the range from green through blue to purple. These colors can describe calmness and serenity, but can also nudge you over the edge into feelings of sadness or indifference. As with warm colors, cool colors also make you feel “cooler” by association.
Clearly, not only the color itself, but the shade you choose, is critical for the effect you want to achieve.
With this in mind, here and in the next several posts, I’ll be giving you generalized known responses to colors based on research, historical significance and word association studies to help you cue up which colors will best serve your purposes and the mood you want to invoke per room.
Blue says trustworthy, protecting, and contemplative. In any given study of color preference, blue is overwhelmingly the front-runner. Though blue is traditionally for “boys”, it’s actually the least gender specific color. Men and women like it equally.
Blue is soothing and can cause the body to produce chemicals that are calming.
Blue is said to prevent nightmares, and stimulate intellectual thought, so it’s an obvious choice for bedrooms and rooms used for study. If it’s true that blue keeps hunger at bay as studies would indicate, then it’s also a candidate for dining rooms and eat-in kitchens for those who watch their weight. That would be most of us.
Not all blues are created equal. Electric and otherwise brilliant blues are exhilarating and dramatic, whereas deep indigo has a more profound effect. Indigo blue is associated with self-mastery, wisdom and spiritual realization.
If you have in mind an “every day” sort of blue, look for a blue that has warm undertones, however faint. Light turquoise or that pale blue/beige color the sky takes on when the cloud cover is wispy are good directions to investigate. Otherwise, if the room in question has little natural light, or if it faces north, the effect could be too cold to be welcoming.
Green says relax, refresh, security, and balance. Second only to blue in terms of popularity green infers stability and solid values, it’s said to help alleviate depression and anxiety. Green stands for nature and ecology. A known to aid concentration, green is great for offices, libraries and other study areas.
Green promotes feelings of well-being and harmony
Not all greens are great. While all the greens associated with the great outdoors such as lime, olive and forest greens are both tranquilizing and refreshing, steer clear of any shade that screams “Institutional”. Hospital green could actually make you feel a little sick, while lurid or slimy greens won’t make your day either.
Green can also make people complacent to the point of being entirely too laid back. The antidote is to mix up various shades of green ranging from deep olive to the light yellowish green of new leaves in the rest of the décor. A shot of orange here and there will perk things up too.
(Wall Color Selection Seven Part Series)
Photo – House of Turquoise – By the way, check this site out. Erin is brilliant and has gorgeous taste.