Color is the most powerful design element for any space. Color can set a mood, evoke personality, energize, alleviate stress and even imbibe culture.
Hospitals, prisons and educational institutions frequently turn to color to achieve things other facets of interior decoration cannot. Some colors calm, soothe and relax. Others encourage mental sharpness and extended attention span.
Regardless of what you want your environment’s colors to help you achieve, finding the right one among so many swatches on a hardware store wall can be entirely intimidating. Indecision and commitment phobia can reign when it comes to simply picking a color for a bedroom, living space or kitchen.
Narrowing the Color Field
To help you select your wall colors, start with a simple approach. If you already have furnishings and other decor for the space you are painting, select the primary object of focus for the room to help narrow your direction.
For example, if you have an incredible area rug you want people to notice, pull one of the colors from its pattern as your foundational shade. Use variations of that foundational color or other muted tones from the focal object to color walls, furnishings and other objects in the space.
It is often best to go with a soft or neutral shade for objects around your favored item in order to let the focal object pair well yet remain a point of focus. Using alarming or strong colors on walls or other objects around the focal rug will just distract and lead the eyes away from it, up to the more enticingly colored items.
Neutral Colors and Designs for Permanence
When adding color to permanent fixtures or expensive items, it is best to remain within neutral palettes. Cabinetry, flooring, counter surfaces and other permanent elements are best suited for subdued and classic coloration. Save the on-trend or eye-popping colors for pillows, dishes, linens, wall colors, artwork and accessories.
Trends Come and Go
Be mindful when gravitating toward trendy colors. What is on trend today will be entirely off trend and dated within months. In interior design, as in life and fashion, what is here today will be gone tomorrow. That is, unless you stick with classic choices proven to endure throughout time. Save dramatic use of color for accent pieces.
Balance Dark With Light
If selecting stark color choices for your decor like black, chocolate, navy or burgundy, offset the darkness with sharp white. Doing so provides modernity to timelessness. Dramatic foundational colors can feel gloomy and suffocating, if there is not a balance with light. The same is true for a very bright space, which can feel overpowering without darker accents.
Pops of Color
Take a lesson from the Swedish and use timeless neutral tones throughout your space. To provide energy, pepper in bold pops of color. Swedes are known for clean spaces of white or soft gray dressed with bold color pops like pink, red, orange and other electric hues directing the eyes to anchor elements.
Control Your Moods
Color does affect human moods and energy. This is proven and provides an important consideration in decor. Use colors which make you happy. But remember that it is generally best to use calming, soothing colors in rooms of rest or relaxation, like bedrooms and bathrooms. Living rooms and kitchens are places in which to remain a bit neutral. Less frequently used spaces like formal dining rooms and powder rooms are great spaces for more creative use of dark tones or dramatic hues.
Open Up to Color
For today’s open floor plans, it is best to remain neutral for foundational surfaces like walls, cabinetry and floors. Engage stronger colors to direct the eye to zones within the open floor plan. For example, boldly colored pillows, area rugs and other textiles can create pockets of interest within a wide open space.
Color can actually creatively divide an open space without the restrictive boundaries of walls. Through color similarity a space can be opened up. By adding contrasts and little bursts of color, that same space can become more divided. Visit Cabinet Genies for more tips on designing your perfect home.