by Lorraine Alexander
On any given day, we find ourselves surrounded by the most incredible colors.
Most often, we don't give it much thought.
The best design pros know that color is a powerful tool that impacts a room more than any other design element. Color communicates a mood, so color really is a language. Combine the right colors and you can easily create cottage style or modern sophistication. A slightly different hue of the same color can make a room feel vibrant or relaxed. Splashes of color can add just the right touch of fun, or transform an unattractive room instantly into a room that is warm and welcoming.
Warm hues advance and cool tones recede
Science has proven that color can produce a positive emotional response in humans. This physiological study of color and its usefulness is now being implemented in hospitals and recognized for its healing effects to patients. If you tend to be high-strung and nervous, calm colors are the right choice for you. If you are low-energy, splashes of vivid color will give you just the lift you need.
Speaking the language, what you need to know-
The options are endless and selection process of the perfect shade is tricky. Colors are categorized as warm or cool. Warm colors advance, creating a cozier feeling to the room, while cool colors recede, creating an airy, open feeling. Additionally, all colors have a "gray scale value". The gray scale is a measurement of the lightness or darkness. The lightest value being white and the darkest value is black. Value is an important consideration, as it greatly affects the light in the room. Lighter colors reflect light, darker colors absorb light.
Your eye will see color differently depending on the amount of natural light and the type of exposure a room has (Northern light has blue rays and Western light is warmer and golden). In a nutshell, the same color will not look the same in all homes, or in all rooms.
All colors have a base or undertone that will affect the mood of the room. That undertone will either compliment or fight with the existing decor. Even whites have a tint or undertone that adds to the mix. Consider that our perception of color is greatly affected by other elements in the room such as lighting, furnishings, drapes and cabinets. The best advice is to consider both existing elements and any new material you plan to introduce.
In general think of the use of the room, how it is used, and the mood you want to create. Some designers pull their colors from fabrics, rugs, and artwork. I believe these are considerations, but not the dominant factor in the final selection. Think of activity levels in a room. The more active, the more fun the colors can be. Less active rooms that are designated for rest should more soothing, with just a few pops of color for accent. Find the balance and color palate that works with your personality, and more specifically for the use of that particular room. Even for those with an artistic eye, color selection can be challenging. But when it's done properly, the results are simply stunning. What better time than spring or summer to get inspired and rethink your home's colors. Your colors should beautifully unfold as you enter your home, as it tells a story about your personal style.
Don't be shy! Color is fun, so show your expressive side. Surround yourself in extraordinary color, a small indulgence that will make you feel fabulous everyday!