Achieving a Desired Effect with Colour

Colour in interior design has a strong link to our emotions. In our interior design projects, we can convey a variety of moods with colour because we react to colour emotionally, not always analytically. Channelling this strong effect can often be best achieved by calling on your interior designer or interior decorator for a colour consultation.

upscale small living room with classic fireplace and adjacent dining room

Colour and its effects are not to be taken lightly. A great deal of money and effort is spent in large corporations each year working on predicting consumer markets and choosing the most effective colour for large volumes of products. it is serious business when too bland or conservative a colour shade is chosen for retail products and the public is not inspired to buy as a result. By the same token, too strident a colour choice will also have the effect of the customer not wanting the product. The product may be a very good one, but the colour strongly influences whether or not the customer will buy it and bring it into their home. How the corporate world decides to use colour is not our concern here, even though we are subtly affected by their choices in many ways every day. We do need to buy their products to use in our homes.

pixers graphicly textured huge painterly wall mural in contemporary living room

The home is the haven and resting place that we all return to after working all day or night. as the case may be, depending on our occupation. Work can be tiring and stressful. After all, that is why we call it “work”. We want our homes to reflect our personality and taste, and we want to enjoy the time that we spend there and we also want to be comfortable there. That being said, we likely don’t want to sacrifice drama, elegance, charm and interest just to create a calm or serene room design. Artwork, area carpets, striking accessories as opposed to chachkas, paint colour, lighting and window coverings chosen in a creative way can result in an inspiring yet restful room design.

upscale home with contemporary console table and framed sections of mural wallcovering with soft, neutral loose plaid area carpet

An ideal gathering place for some people would be a room with a fireplace or a book-filled room furnished in cosy warm hues. These hues can be neutral shades. Neutrals have warm or cool undertones and the overall effect of a carefully chosen neutral is elegance, rather than boredom. A bit of sparkle doesn’t hurt either. Often, people choose beige thinking that it is a safe choice. This can backfire if the end result has no interest to the observer. There is technically nothing wrong with the room. It is merely uninteresting and even bland (some photos courtesy of Better Homes). Generally that is not the effect that we intend in interior design projects. The neutrally decorated room above is anything but bland and boring. We don’t need to be overly dramatic either in interior design . Balance and grace are the key aims. Black is a powerful choice in interiors. When discussing the use of black with clients, often they are apprehensive, thinking that the result will be gloomy. On the contrary, black adds drama and elegance. As with all aspects of interior design, we need to know when to stop.

funky and dramatic wallpaper mural with weathered growth rings of a tree and trendy bar chair

An extroverted personality may enjoy the punch of raspberry, ruby or brick red. This may be too energetic for a living room but may feel just right in a foyer or hallway. Others wouldprefer a less intense rosy blush in order to get the same emotional effect for their room design.

striking masculine style transitional living room library with rust red grass cloth and dark wood book cases

Conversation sparkles in a dining room bathed in coral or amber, appetites are enhanced in a red room, and creativity flows in home offices and studios washed in golden yellow, lemon or jasmine. Lively greens such as lime and parrot green awaken and activate us. Greyed lime is upbeat as well as classy looking.

upscale living room with Kravet lime green sofa, navy and green chevron armchair, and neutral geometric area carpet

Orange in a mellow shade can spark optimism and good cheer. This is actually a good colour for offices because it keeps energy elevated and a feeling of fun and creativity abounds. Excellent in workplaces where creativity is required. Also excellent in home offices, which can sometimes be lonely spaces. Colour in home decor is indeed a very powerful tool, simply because it makes up such a large percentage of the surface area of the room plan.

soft grey and pale orange colour palette in a small dining room

De-stressing, refuelling, cooling, calming of the weary spirit may occur in rooms furnished in pacifying colours such as blue, green, and purple. Quiet time activities take place in libraries, bedrooms and living rooms. Many bathrooms have a spa feel these days, also. This may take the form of a vibrant sea water blue, or it may be a more toned down shade, depending on the desired effect. The ideal shade of serene green may well have the desired soothing effect after a hard working day. The shade that we settle on will have a powerful effect on the room. Both rooms will be beautiful, but each one is for a different person.

wide view of cream and green living room sofa and toss cushions

Glacier blue and pale azure may work meditative miracles of coolness and unstructured serenity. When discussing the possible use of purple, many clients at first think that purple is a tacky choice for interior design. Not so at all if the correct shade is used in the right application. Purple can be soothing or dramatic, depending how we use it.

clean lined contemporary kitchen in white with slate blue glass backsplash   serene and elegant living room sitting area reading nook in deep blue with grey velvet sofa

We may feel more connected to nature and become more grounded and refreshed with a family room, office, spa or kitchen bathed in a medium green. You may find that you are more reflective and dreamy in a room washed in pale purple/blue. Strong blues often produce a feeling of contentment. Rich purple lends a sense of drama with a touch of fun. The choices are endless. Interior design should be fun and inspiring, and the finished rooms a joy to live in.

dramatic dining room with large abstract artwork and deep purple nail studded dining chairs

How can we have all these results in a single dwelling, you may ask? Your interior designer or interior decorator has the expertise to guide you through the myriad of colour choices, bridging them from room to room with subtle neutrals, varying intensities of colour and using whites of various shades to balance colour and maintain an expansive feel. Add a touch of black, and you raise the energy level.

relaxed and dramatic white and black living room with shag area rug

Since 1993 Mulberry Interiors, headed by colour specialist and designer, Marguerite Roberts, has been assisting clients in Oakville, Mississauga, Burlington, Brampton, Milton, Georgetown, Etobicoke, western Toronto, and Vaughn. Photos are representative of the quality and creativity of work that we can do, not necessarily of our direct work.  We specialize in residential interior design and decorating and are at our most creative when we use colour as our theme. We offer a full range of interior design services such as choosing paint colours, space planning, furniture sourcing, custom draperies and soft furnishings, flooring selection and accessories. Call Mulberry Interiors now at (905) 849-6423 to book a consultation. We look forward to working with you to increase your enjoyment of your home.

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  • Space Planning
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