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Color is a basic element of design and has a huge impact on the mood of a design and a person. It can also help to emphasize something important and leads the eye through a design/space.

  • Red is a passionate and stimulating color. It increases enthusiasm, stimulates energy and encourages action and confidence. Too much can be overwhelming
  • Orange is warm and energizing. It stimulates activity, appetite and encourages socialization
  • Yellow is bright, happy/cheerful, warm and inviting
  • Green is the pervasive color in the natural world- it is tranquil and refreshing
  • Blue is calm and cool and therefore is tranquil and serene
  • Purple combines the stimulating qualities of red balanced by the calmness of blue. It gives off a sense of mystic and royal qualities. It is uplifting, calming, sensual, offers a sense of spirituality and encourages creativity
  • Brown is the color of earth and is associated with all things natural. It makes a space feel grounded.
  • Black is authoritative and powerful. Too much can be overwhelming
  • Gray can be a warm or cool color. It is timeless, practical, and solid
  • White (which is not really a color) is pure and clean

In thinking of your design style keep in mind the value (lightness and darkness) of a color. If you pick out a paint chip/palette and go up and down the chip you will move between light and darker values of the color. If your style is more traditional then the darker values would be better, if your style is contemporary you can use the palette as is, if your style is cottage chic go for lighter values.

When thinking of a wall color keep in mind that dark colors advance and make a space feel smaller and lighter colors recede and make a space feel larger. Dark colors also absorb light and lighter colors reflect light. This is not to say you should be afraid to use a dark color in a space (even a small space). In fact you can, providing that you have the appropriate lighting or furnishing to reflect the light in the space. Try lighter color furnishing/accents and white ceiling/trim to add contrast, interest and pop to the space. In addition, when it comes to wall color keep in mind that the lower the finish (i.e. flat or matte) the more light that is absorbed.

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