Colour choice in the home can be very stressful for many people. Interior design, in general, is just not everyone’s forte. Colour does have a strong effect on our mood and the overall ambiance of a room and the entire home. Your comfort level in a room’s interior design can be the result of the effect of, in general, the use of lighter, paler, or less intense colors which will enlarge the apparent space or the use of darker or more intense colors will sometimes give the appearance of shrinking it. Often, richer colours can make a room cozy as well as dramatic. The impact of color on space in interior design is also a question of mood. Colour affects your mood, which in turn affects your perception of a space and your comfort level in it. Often, a paint colour consultation is a good idea and excellent value in the interior design of a home. The advice that usually follows this statement is to paint the walls a cool colour if you want a room to seem larger; if you want it to feel smaller or cozier, bathe the walls with a warm hue. Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple.
Improving the feel of your home through optimal colour choices can be very complicated indeed. There are many subtle factors to consider, not least of which is that there are generally several people in a home, all with different outlooks on life. The use of strong hues in certain rooms can backfire and make some occupants irritable, raise blood pressure and heart rate. Other members of the household may thrive of exuberant colour. Red can stimulate appetite in a dining room, as can orange, but in the form of crimson or pure orange, these colours in the wrong intensity can be hard to live with. Yellow is uplifting for some and oppressive for others. Used in a pleasing shade, these colours can provide the homeowner with a very pleasing and dramatic room which can be enjoyed for several years. People with stressful jobs sometimes prefer restful colours in the home. Overall, it sometimes comes down to the amount of the happy colour that is used, where it is applied, as well as past associations with that colour and the memories that it invokes. Happy colours can be balanced with more somber colours to provide balance and interest.
Choosing paint colours can be very stressful for the harried home owner, especially if the wrong hue is chosen and the painter has been paid. The home owner is forced to live for several years with an unhappy hue and as a result, does not feel comfortable in their own home. they may even be embarrassed by the look of the home due to the colour (photos courtesy of Better Homes). The assistance of an interior designer to do a paint colour consulation can be indispensable and result in a much happier outcome. It is essential that colour consultant and client communicate well. This can actually be part of the fun, with many interesting conversations becoming part of the process. Clients love to be involved in the improvement of their home. The correct choice of shade can make the room appear rich, muted, and elegant. These hot colours used instead as accents can be very pleasing.
Orange can be very useful in its more muted forms of terra-cotta, salmon, coral, and shrimp. These shades in a bedroom or bathroom flatter light skin tones. A pleasing shade of orange used in a living room or family room can imbue the room with warmth and energy. Orange tones may feel unpleasantly hot in a room which has inadequate window coverings. Curtains and blinds go a long way to making a room design look complete, as well. Curtains can blend into the background or be a vibrant part of the room design. Artwork can also make a room design look more complete. Upbeat abstract artworks with optimistic combinations of colour add a real punch to the décor, especially if they are large. Even in bedrooms, orange can be very pleasing. It adds a fresh look, combined with cream and yellow. As an with darker shades, it adds punch and drama. It can even be used on the ceiling with great effect.
Yellow is a happy colour but used in the wrong intensity can be inelegant and harsh. It’s perfect for kitchens, dining rooms, and bathrooms, where happy color is energizing and uplifting. In halls, entries, and small spaces, yellow can feel expansive and welcoming. These hot colours can be tricky to get just right. A colour consultation with an interior decorator or interior designer can keep you from resorting to timid beige or white.
Green is known to be the most restful colour. With the refreshing nature of blue and the cheerfulness of yellow, green is suited to almost any room in the house. In a kitchen, a sage or medium green cools things down; in a family room or living room, it encourages unwinding but has enough warmth to promote comfort and togetherness. In a bedroom, it’s relaxing and pleasant.
Even lime green can be elegant when used correctly. It is a very upbeat colour and lends energy and funkiness to a room design. The wrong shade of any of these will produce an effect which may be dreary or even tacky.
Blue is considered relaxing, calm and serene because it brings down blood pressure, and heart rate, and slows breathing. Too pale a tone can appear juvenile rather than elegant. In poor light many shades of blue, especially light ones, can appear chilly. Often, the effect of colour in a room design is quite subjective and depends very much on the individual taste of the client. Some clients are simply more conservative about colour than others. The main aim is to achieve a cohesive colour flow through the home that is pleasing to the client. This leads us to the use of black in room designs. It can lend wonderful drama to interior design, and we are finding that many clients have at least a little interest in considering this as a design choice. Some clients cannot live with black and others thrive on it. This is where communication between interior designer and client become fun. It is very rewarding and exciting for an interior designer to use dramatic colour choices and have a client that loves the finished room.
Purple can be surprisingly sophisticated, especially in its darker hues (eggplant, for example). It can impart a feeling of luxury as well as creativity. Lilac and lavender have a similar effect to blue, restful and serene, but without the feeling of chilliness.
Neutrals can be beautiful, as well, and all neutral colour schemes are popular from time to time. Well-chosen neutrals can be very elegant and even dramatic, rather than merely safe. Adding colour to neutral colour schemes livens a room up and makes the room a joy to come home to.
Black adds elegance and grounds a colour scheme and gives it depth. Bold use of any colour can give the appearance of pulling the walls in. The richness, depth and even cosiness this achieves is often well worth the apparent loss of room size. The room hasn’t actually shrunk, after all. Using dramatic colours on ceilings can have a very positive effect also. Try it. It’s only colour, after all.
Paint colour consultations, fine furnishings, area rugs, and custom window treatments are a few of our specialties. Since 1993 Mulberry Interiors, headed by colour specialist, Marguerite Roberts has been assisting clients in Oakville, Mississauga, Burlington, Etobicoke, Brampton, Milton, Georgetown, western Toronto, and Vaughn. 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 products and services procurement of fine furniture, custom draperies, shutters, and window blinds, soft furnishings, area carpets and artwork 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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