Interior Decorating - What Paint Color Choices and Schemes for Your Room Should You Choose
Warm Room Colors
How can you warm up a north-facing room that seems “chilly” even during the summer months? Does your room lack windows, thereby restricting the amount of natural light that it gets? You don’t have to touch the thermostat to dial up the temperature in a room – just use color! It’s not easy to heat a large room, but it can be accomplished simply and visually with the right colors. Focus on the warm side of the color palette or wheel. For example, yellow, in its most vibrant form, can make even the coolest space visually warm and appealing.
Taking that a step further, think red – it provides you not only with warmth, even “heat”, but also with drama. You can add excitement with different shades and hues, such as with orange (like the color of the fruit), even cantaloupe and cinnamon shades. Go more toward the peach and apricot shades and you have perfect tones for living areas. Peach and apricot shades compliment skin tones and they add a nice warm glow to everything in the room.
Cool Room Colors
Now, if you head on over to the other side of the color wheel to the cool hues, you can easily drop the temperature several degrees in a room that needs cooling off. Perhaps you have a room that’s surrounded with windows and drenched in sunlight so much so that it’s too warm to appreciate, or maybe it’s an attic or second-floor room where the heat consistently rises…
You can come to the rooms’ rescue with a cool color palette, especially the cool tones that are on the lighter side. If you like the blue color family, consider a shade that’s the color of the sky. You can also take a cue from god ol’ mother nature with assorted shades of green. Leafy greens feel springy and fresh, while paler shades, like celery, are more subtle. In most cases, it’s best to combine the cool colors with some touches of white – it helps give you some crisp lines, but it also acts as a cool shade.
Remember, not everything in the room has to be cool. Your room can be filled with lots of warm colors, like warm earth tones on furnishings, and then cooled off with a nice dusty blue on the walls.
Black, white and beige used to be known as the basic neutral colors because they go with pretty much everything. Then gray, camel and taupe shades brought more variation to the scene. Neutrals today are defined very differently – today neutrals are colors that compliment most of the other colors in the spectrum and can include yellow and green or more. The key is selecting the right shade of a color.
A bold, neon yellow does not have the same neutral effect that a buttery yellow has. Same goes for greens – shades closer to sage are the best options to remain neutral, as well as dusty, herbal shades. Think of a flower’s stem and you’ll realize that every color goes well with green. Many neutrals are pulled right from nature; sage green IS a neutral! Peach is also considered a neutral.
Using Color to Link Rooms
Many homes these days have open floor plans which makes it more important than ever to link one room to another with the use of color. You can still give each room its own personality while keeping the rooms cohesive. Repetition is the key, but don’t do it literally. What’s meant by that is if you paint your kitchen cabinets red, that doesn’t mean that you have to paint something in the adjacent room red, too. Use the color as a cue and instead choose a red sofa and matching chairs or dress a large window in red.
If your living and dining rooms are combined, side by side, into one great room you can link them by painting the portion of the wall under the chair rail in the dining room one color and using that color as an accent on one wall in the adjacent living room.
Add a Little Texture with Your Color
Texture is important in a room, even though it may not be as exciting as pattern and color. It is definitely most important in a room that is nothing but neutrals – without texture, a beautifully designed room will look flat. Texture adds diversity and interest, especially when you combine different textures in a room.