Color is a powerful design tool that can make the rooms in your home feel more calm, cheerful, comfortable or dramatic. That power can completely alter your home experience. So you always want to ask yourself how you want to look and feel in your home. Different colors work for different rooms and different home styles, so don’t be afraid to be creative. Here are a few color tips to keep in mind when planning your home’s color scheme.
Color Combinations Groups
- Bright colors—like vibrant shades of green and blue, yellow, and orange—provide an expansive feeling. These are friendly, happy colors that encourage communication and are therefore especially welcome in the dining area and kitchen.
- Dark colors, such as red, purple, blue, and dark shades of green, can have a constricting and gloomy effect. But when applied in the right place or as accent elements, they can help convey comfort and security.
- Warm colors—orange and yellow hues, for exampl—raise the perceived temperature of a room. For that reason, they’re best used in rooms that face north. Because they inspire activity, avoid them in rooms meant for relaxation, like the bedroom.
- Cold colors, such as icy blues and green, have a calming effect. They are especially well-suited for bedrooms; they help you to go to bed relaxed in the evening and wake up refreshed the next morning.
Let’s Break down the psychology of different color groups:
Blue. Blue evokes feelings of calm and freshness, and represents strength and dependability. Think of the sky and ocean. The beauty of blue is the elemental color’s amazing versatility. A high-energy shade of blue, like sapphire, can add a bold punch of energy to a room, while a light sky blue on the walls can make a space feel tranquil. Darker shades like navy can offer drama, while paler shades can make small spaces feel larger. The effect depends on the tone of blue. Since blue is associated with calmness, it works well in a bathroom, bedroom or kitchen, all rooms where one goes to relax.
Pink: When most people think “pink,” images of fluffy cotton candy or a little girl’s room float into their heads. But different shades of pink set different moods. A bright, vivid tone like fuchsia suggests energy and glamour. A soft and restrained pink, like blush, or beige with pink undertones creates a soothing feeling. Many shades of pinks have a freshness designer’s love. You can use a more intense pink (like peony) for a space where you don’t spend too much time, like an entryway. Or try a deep pink with raspberry undertones for a dining room that makes guests feel and look good in its warm, reflected light.
Orange: If your home needs a jolt of energy, orange might be what you need. Orange conjures images of citrus fruit or a summer sunset, and represents happiness and innovation. Orange has a reputation for being overwhelming, but variations like apricot and terra cotta can inspire relaxation. A deep orange can feel bold during the day but cozy and warm at night. In a bedroom, try a soothing, peach-toned orange that casts a rosy glow on the skin. You can use a pale, dusty orange for a welcoming entry that invites guests into your home. Orange stimulates your appetite and adds warmth, so it’s also a good choice for a dining room or kitchen.
Yellow: Yellow adds optimism to your home, prompting feelings of happiness in all who enter. Yellow activates memory, stimulates the nervous system, promotes communication and sparks creativity. Control the hue and you control the mood. Muted yellow works well as a soothing neutral. A sun-kissed yellow brings the warmth of summer inside your home. A pale yellow can make a compact room feel larger. The wide spectrum of yellow shades gives you flexibility in designing rooms with a feel-good ambiance. Hallways and rooms without windows can benefit from strong, saturated shades of yellow. The shade will create the illusion of light. A golden, honey yellow works well for a kitchen with lots of natural wood.
Green: Green represents growth and renewal. You associate the color with grassy fields, luscious leaves and other gifts of nature, so it lends a calming feel to a room. Green comes in many shades, so you can create various moods and use its versatility to pair it with a range of other colors. You can decorate an entire room with greens and have contrast, drama, richness and balance. It’s so versatile. Celery green looks light and airy in a kitchen, crisp and clean in a bathroom, and relaxing and warm in a living room.
Purple: The color of royalty and creativity, is a combination of calm blue and exciting red. The color can add exotic flair to different rooms in your home. Purple can be dramatic or quiet, depending on the tone or shade. The regal color can add richness to a space or drama to an architecturally simple room. Purple colors range from light lavenders to solid plums, and a few strategically placed purple accents may be all you need to create a whole new vibe for your surroundings. Use deep purple to create a stunning front entry. Light lavender-gray walls can add softness to a formal living room, while purple pastels mixed with modern art can make a teen’s bedroom feel hip and young.
Brown: If you want a color that encourages your family and friends to slow down and relax, brown can be the solution to your problem. A weighty and robust color, brown represents nature and natural materials. Use brown to highlight stronger colors like lime green or orange, or to tone down a room. Brown gives you an earthy richness that makes a room feel warm and inviting. Brown is less harsh than black, so use a creamy vanilla white for the walls with a deep-brown bronze color for the crown molding. The look is modern and elegant and the combination shows off artwork and sunny spaces beautifully. Brown is the color of wood, which is a stable color that we inevitability have in our homes. It comes in many different tones and shades, and offers the kind of variety you need for both the interior and exterior of your home.
Grey: If you long for serenity, using the color gray in your home decor is a great place to start. Gray has an inherent calmness and sophistication. You can choose a solid gray that symbolizes strength, or go for a softer gray that offers a more delicate feel. While some find gray murky and depressing, others respond to gray’s ability to make other colors sing. A favorite neutral of designers, many use it as a background color, or mix different tones and shades of gray together to create a feel of simple glamour. Gray can also soften a loud sofa or provide the perfect backdrop that allows wood accents to shine. While some consider gray too serious for a playful space like a child’s bedroom or relaxed family room, many shades and tones of gray are ideal for masculine spaces like a den.
Deciding on colors for your home can feel a bit overwhelming, but many paint companies offer online tools and paint collections that help you create a cohesive color palette. The hues chosen for a room’s walls or ceiling will determine whether your interior design is a hit or miss, so experiment and use color.