Wall Color Selection #2: Special Effects of Red & Purple & the Shades Between

White ceilings are for sissies
White ceilings are for sissies

What feeling or mood do you want to have when you walk into the room?

Shade and intensity are important factors in color selection. Red, a primary color, is stimulating and energizing.  Adding White to Red yields shades of Pink, but entirely different associations will emerge. Purple plus White, leads one to Lilac…and another personality dimension.

Red spells danger, passion, energy, warmth, adventure and optimism. Red has a strong effect on people. It revs up confidence and enthusiasm while encouraging action. It tends to ward off fears and anxieties by promoting a sense of protection. Red stimulates appetite, making it an obvious choice for dining rooms, but since it’s stimulating across the board, it’s a questionable choice for a baby’s room.  Though it will perk up any environment, it can also be overpowering and can actually lead to headaches. Handle with care. It’s a particularly good accent color because it focusing attention anywhere it is found.

Pink is a breath of fresh air, love and flirtation. It’s distinctly feminine. Pink is very good for bedrooms because it can be calming and restful. If mixed with fuchsia it will introduce passion.  Who knew?

Bonus: everyone looks good and healthy in a pink room.

Though real men can wear pink shirts, a pink room can come across as childish and/or girlie. You’ll have to “butch up” the décor with bits of dark charcoal, brown or black.  Other neutrals such as navy and grey will work too.

Call it what you will: Purple/Eggplant/Aubergine still equals magic, creativity, joy, luxury and sex. Studies show that if you are very creative, eccentric and/or a teenage girl, this might be your favorite color.

Go figure.

The effect of purple can be uplifting and calming simultaneously.  It even offers a sense of spirituality and mysticism. Once upon a time, only nobility was allowed to use and live with purple. Live it up.  Don’t limit this lush color to bedrooms, but like red, you want to handle purple with care. In large doses, it can be overpowering. Use on an accent wall or as a main accessory color. You don’t have to shy away from such strong color for the whole room necessarily, but you do need the right circumstances, such as room with a lot of windows for example. Also, if your walls are in fairly decent shape, consider using a paint finish with some sheen. It will keep the color lively.

Lighten up: Lilac says femininity and spirituality. There is an implicit dreamy quality about lilac and it’s sometimes associated with a mythical, mystical twilight zone between heaven and sky. If you’re looking to invoke a calm sanctuary for your bedroom/bath area, lilac is a good bet.

By itself, “calming” can run to “limp”, so lend structure to the décor with bits of dark color like navy, eggplant or black.  Use silver too.

Next Time: Wall Color Selection #3: Special Effects of Orange & Yellow

Related Posts

Wall Color Selection #1:  Special Effects of Blue & Green

Wall Color Selection #4: Special Effects of Classic Neutrals

Wall Color Selection #5: Special Effects of White

Wall Color Selection #6: Ten Thousand Whites

Wall Color Selection #7: White Room Service

Photo – Red Room – Anonymous

Questions?  Cindy@DecodingDecor.com

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