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I looked up at my newly painted wall and frowned in frustration.
“Go with a bold color ” they said. “You’ll love it” they said.
Guess what- I did not love it. My bedroom wall looked like a backdrop from Hellboy and I was not pleased. I dropped the roller back into the pan, sighed in annoyance, took a sip of wine and walked away.
Choosing a Color Scheme
Since then I have learned from my mistakes.
When you walk into a room, the initial sense you get from the atmosphere- cozy and warm, vibrant and energetic, etc- often comes from the colors of a room and especially the paint.
So, when you decide to repaint a room, the first thing to decide is how you want a room to feel. This will often determine the shade of the colors you end up choosing. Softer, soothing colors are often more pastel or neutral. Energetic colors are vibrant. Darker colors can feel more cozy.
Next you need to decide what colors are more “you”. If you find yourself running short on ideas, browse Pinterest by searching ‘color palettes’ or ‘color schemes’ and plenty will pop up.
You can also go to PPG The Voice of Color for color inspiration. Each of their collections offer five-color combinations to help coordinate wall color with furniture and general decor.
PPG even allows you to enter in your own picture and pull colors from it. Just put the picture into their room painter and it will pull the colors out and give you the color codes. Canva also does the same thing and is what I use for my ‘Funny Pictures, Great Colors’ collection I started on Pinterest.
Once you choose a color palette, you can test it out by virtually painting home interiors and exteriors on their site.
This process for picking a color is very simple but effective.
How Color Can Affect a Room
- Bedrooms should be relaxing so neutral colors, pastels, and soft shades tend to be best.
- Entryways, living rooms, home gyms should be energetic so you can go with bright, contrasting colors.
- Warm colors are cozy and have warm undertones such as red-orange, reds, yellows and yellow-greens. They can make rooms “shrink” and feel more intimate.
- Cool colors have cool undertones like purples, blues, and blue-greens which have a calming effect. They can make a room feel larger and colder and aren’t as comforting in a room lacking natural light (think sterile and modern feel).
- When decorating, neutral colors encompass a large range of colors not just black, white, and gray. They can have cool or warm undertones.
- Avoid going overboard with primary colors (Red, Blue, Yellow). Together they can start to look like a preschool classroom, so don’t go overboard. Try and mix in warm tones by using natural fibers and textures.
- Relaxing, Soothing, Calm
Improves focus and productivity
- “Clean” color which can appear cold
- Dark blues can invoke feelings of sadness
- In rooms with minimal natural light, choose blues with warm or muted tones
- Associated with passion and energy, a bit racy
- Raises energy levels, blood pressure, and heart rate
- Stimulates appetites and conversation
- Rich reds which have a softer, elegant look
- Cheerful, energetic, and happy
- Use brighter shades minimally- overuse can cause fatigue and anxiety
- Reflects light
- Good for poorly lit rooms
- Great ceiling color
- Soft, buttery yellows are more calming
7. My final tip is don’t be afraid to break the “rules”. If you want a vibrant room then you do you.
Hopefully this you got a few good ideas on how to choose color to best fit you and your home.
What are your favorite colors to use when decorating? Drop a comment below and give others a bit of inspiration.