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How Color Affects Your Space

Posted by Elizabeth Toy on

Photo Source: Pinterest

When I was a kid, I remember there were eight colors in the standard box of Crayola crayons: Red, orange yellow, green, blue, purple, black, and brown.

It was simple enough and if you wanted pink, you would very lightly color in using red.  

However, we all know now there are many more colors than the eight in the box. Peach, magenta, electric blue, neon green, beige, sepia, burnt sienna, brick red, and even “macaroni and cheese,” the list goes on and on.

After taking art classes and learning about hues, tints, tones and shades, I learned that there are infinite colors… well, if not infinite (that is, if you want to get into physics and wavelength, which I don’t), then there are certainly a lot of different colors.

Have you ever gone to the Home Depot and looked at paint swatches? There is a whole wall and many catalogs solely dedicated to paint swatches.  Likewise, ladies who have shopped for wedding dresses know very well there is more than just one shade of white.

That said, just as color largely affects our mood and energy, it’s no surprise that it likewise affects our space and the ambiance we can create, especially because colors can bring energy or calm to a room.

When thinking about home decor, wall color is a very important element that can change your space. To create the energy you want, be mindful of the other home decorations you plan to use.

If you like to hang bright and colorful art, you may not want to paint your walls a very bright color which may overwhelm the eyes or even wash out the focal artwork.

Each color brings a particular mood to your space. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most popular colors selected for painting and the effects they have:

Red evokes the feelings of passion and energy and while you may not want to choose a fire engine red for your space, there are many softer shades of red that can still be very inviting. Red is often a popular choice for the kitchen and dining room, because it’s energizing. Painting a large room red can make it feel smaller, more intimate and even romantic.

On the other hand, it’s difficult to pair red with other colors, meaning that if you hang white artworks, they may absorb the red color and turn out looking pink instead. If you’re thinking about painting in red, be sure to hang swatches on different walls to observe how it reacts with different light throughout the day. Another alternative is to paint just one wall, also known as an accent wall.

is a warm and cheerful color and draws the eye, bringing energy to rooms. Bright yellows may be overbearing but if you choose to paint in a sunny yellow, it may be best in a room that gets less light. Otherwise, it’s best to choose a muted tone. To neutralize and balance, pair yellow with a warm white.

Green is a peaceful color and makes us feel connected to nature. If you’re thinking about painting a room or a wall green, it’s recommended that you do so in a room with natural light. Green is well-accented with houseplants and gives an overall refreshing feeling.

Blue is a cool standby and can be tranquil and soothing in lighter tints or rich, dramatic, and royal in deeper shades. Studies have shown that those who sleep in rooms painted blue sleep longer than those who sleep in rooms painted other colors. Blue has a soothing effect and has even been shown to slow the heart rate and even blood pressure. On the other hand, blue can also make a room feel cold so it may be best to paint when it’s a warmer season.

Purple is often associated with creatives because it stimulates the unconscious mind. Purple can be very soft, light and beautiful, or lush and dramatic, depending on the shade you choose. Because purple has a regal quality, it pairs well with rich textured fabrics like velvet and chenille. Purples with more red in them will look warmer, whereas those with more blue will look cool and crisp.

Neutrals: Black, Grays, Browns and Whites are classic and flexible with many different types and colors of decorations.  Depending on the tints and shade, browns and grays can either create a cozy and intimate environment, or an open, natural ambiance.

The versatility of neutrals is endless and is a standard go-to for many because you can always turn up the energy with bright pops of colors in decor or increase the tranquility by choosing a consistently neutral decorating plan. Black is not for the faint of heart - if you choose to decorate in black, keep in mind that your space will look smaller than it is because black is an absorbent color and feel engulfing. Meanwhile, white will make spaces feel airy and light. Because white reflects light well, rooms that get less natural light can still feel large and spacious.

To pick to right shade for your room, keep in mind the room’s purpose, different light sources throughout the day, decor, and you can create the perfect haven in any space. 

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