Let’s take a closer look at color. Color is a basic element of design. People are physically, psychologically, and socially influenced by color. It also helps to set the mood of your design.
Warm Colors – red, orange and yellow draw attention and have the advantage of being inviting and harmonious (think of the colors of autumn). In general, warm colors advance making a space seem visually smaller.
- Red is a passionate and stimulating color. It increases enthusiasm, stimulates energy and encourages action and confidence.
- Yellow is bright, happy/cheerful, warm and inviting. Note that certain shades of yellow can be dingy lessening the pleasing effect.
- Orange is warm and energizing. It stimulates activity, appetite and encourages socialization. Orange combines the energy of red with the happiness of yellow.
Cool Colors – green, blue and purple are very calming (think of the color of the sea, sky and trees). In general, cool colors recede making a space seem visually bigger.
- Green is the pervasive color in nature – 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 and offers a sense of spirituality and encourages creativity.
Neutral Colors – brown, black, gray and white tend to be versatile and classic. They are restful to the eyes, mix easily with other colors and create a good background for other colors.
- Brown is the color of earth and is associated with all things natural. It makes a space feel grounded.
- Black is authoritative and powerful. Note that too much black can be overwhelming.
- Gray is timeless, practical, and solid.
- White is pure and clean – like the freshly fallen snow.
In thinking of colors to choose for your space, keep in mind the “value” (lightness and darkness) of your choices. Dark colors advance and make a space feel smaller while lighter colors recede and make a space feel larger. Dark colors also absorb light, making a space appear smaller. Lighter colors reflect light, making a space seem larger.
There are many ways to achieve your design goals with color. They can include a simple match or contrast. They can include feature walls or fixtures. They can also be accomplished solely with accessories. Future posts will address all of these techniques. Watch for them and if you have any questions or need some assistance, you know who to call!