Have you ever wanted a change to your home’s color palette, but feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choices? What if you decide you want the bedroom a blue color, only to find out there are 150 blues? Following are some tips the pros use for choosing and placing colors in your home.
Color is an incredibly important choice for any space. It can affect mood, lighting, and even have psychological affects. People tend to associate color with things they love or consider to be good things- red can be a sweet color, like a strawberry or watermelon. Green is earthy and calm, like a field of grass or forest of trees. Blue is the most universally liked color, bringing relaxation and refreshing thoughts, possibly because of crisp lake water, or the summer sky?
One of the most important aspects of your home is the “flow” of your color palette. Choose the main house color first. This is usually the open or common areas such as Entry, Living Room, or Hallways. These should flow naturally to the individual rooms such as bathrooms, bedrooms, office, or laundry rooms. Most paint stores can help you find color “families” or colors that work well with other colors. This doesn’t mean all rooms have to be a similar shade, there are many colors from the spectrum that flow well together. Look for color palettes like this. All colors work well with each other. This particular card is in “cool” colors, meaning they are slightly muted and less vibrant. This would provide a relaxed, thinking environment, perfect for an office or business.
Color has weight! Darker colors feel heavier, lighter colors are airy and light. If doing a two-toned wall separated by a chair rail, use the darker color on bottom and the lighter color above. This is also important when choosing to add an accent wall. If you accent a wall on the left or right side of a room, you may upset the balance of the room, making one side feel heavier than the other. Humans are hard-wired to love symmetry, try to make it even as much as possible, or center the accent wall color. You can use this trick to your advantage though! In a long, narrow hallway, add a splash of heavier color at the end wall to draw the eye there instead of the narrow space. You can make a small room feel bigger by using light and airy colors.
Many homes these days have an open concept, meaning several rooms flow into each other with no doorways separating them. You can use color to distinguish unique spaces. A dining room off the kitchen could be it’s own unique color (within the family), stopping at the corners like this one. Though the space is open, our brains distinguish it as it’s own space simply because the color is different. It also adds dimension and interest in a large space versus everything being the same color.
If you are not even sure where to begin, a helpful question can be “what do I NOT want?” It’s as helpful to know what you can not live with as it is to know the final answer. Eliminate color families, (i.e. no blues, no yellows, no greens.) Once you decide the general family, you need to determine if you want cool or warm tones. Duller, grayish tones, or lighter colors feel cool to our minds, while vibrant, brighter, or earthy tones feel warmer. If you decided to go grey with your color family, there are still warm grays and cool grays. Your existing flooring and furniture may help you decide this answer. Remember that flow is all-important in choosing your color, and this includes your artwork, flooring, furniture, etc.
Don’t get caught up in the HGTV hype that your walls need to make a statement. Sometimes this can be true, but when painting your whole home the more important decision is choosing and placing colors in your home should make you comfortable and happy. Science shows that this is usually achieved by picking colors that bring you memories of happy things while also being balanced and flowing well throughout the whole home.
Your artwork, decorations, and furniture also add to the color palette, the walls are not the only thing making a statement!
A good professional painter should be able to help guide you through these decisions and give you the feeling you were looking for.