Color is an essential element in the design of any room. It affects a room’s mood, the way it makes you and others feel when you are in the space. Color can actually create physical reactions in living creatures, soothing fears or escalating agitation, inducing sleepiness or inspiring creativity. Because the choice of color scheme is so important, many people find it intimidating. You’ll feel more confident in your decisions if you know some common mistakes to avoid, so here are tips to consider when choosing a color scheme.
Like fashion, interior design colors are often in one year and out the next. If you choose major pieces of furniture, floor coverings, or window treatments in this season’s hot color, they may look dated before long. These are the most expensive items to replace so limit trendy colors to pillows, accents, and small pieces that you can afford to change when you like.
When selecting colors for a room, think about who will be using the space, what they use it for, and the mood you want the room to promote. Will there be lots of foot traffic? Do children use this room? Is it a space primarily for one person or will family and friends share this area? Is this room principally for rest and relaxation or is it a room to work or entertain in? The answers to those questions are significant clues that help decipher which colors best suit the room.
Sometimes when you don’t feel completely confident in your own decorating choices, it’s easy to be swayed by other people’s opinions. Even though you love that warm apricot paint color and instinctually feel it would harmonize with your olive-green couch when teamed with the right accessories, you may let your mother-in-law convince you that a nice, biscuit beige would be a better choice. She’s certain your husband would like it better, too, and after all, she’s been decorating houses for forty years, and you’ve never done it before. Listen to the voice of experience, consider their suggestions, but trust your own instincts. If you don’t, you’ll feel a twinge of disappointment every time you look at those blah beige walls.
Color can create obstacle illusions. If your ceilings tower overhead, bring them down with a dark paint. If the ceiling feels low, white will raise it up. Light colors create the impression of more space and deeper hues make a room feel more intimate. Consider how much natural light enters the room through windows and doors. Decide if you want the room to feel light, airy, and energizing or warm and cozy, then add colors that enhance that affect.
Your goal is to create a room that suits your personality and makes you feel good when you’re there. If you’re still not sure where to begin, do a little research and discover what color palette fits you. It won’t answer all your questions, but it’s a fun place to start.
Guest writer Kelli McDonald is a contributing writer for a number of popular interior design blogs. She also works with LuxeYard, a website changing the way people think about high-end furniture.