Tips and Articles

Break Away From the Blah - Decorating Using Color

Paint has an amazing ability to change the feel of a room and bring life to otherwise stagnant house plan. That’s because color goes beyond newly painted walls - setting the mood, influencing feelings and evoking memories.

If you are one of many stuck living in a beige world, then its time to discover the power of colors like sun-drenched yellow, cheery orange or hot Chinese red. Spend some time looking at a color wheel (available at your local paint store) and consider what design experts have to say about the many colors available today.

  • » Red, yellow and orange can make a small room appear just a bit smaller and give large rooms a cozier feel. They are cheery warm colors that invite you into a room.
  • » Amber, peach and coral are ideal for the dining room. They whet appetites and stimulate fascinating conversations.
  • » Lemon, jasmine, and golden yellows are "fresh" colors that unleash the creative juices and are ideal for the home office studio.
  • » Shades of blue, green and purple provide a cool, calming feeling ideal for rooms where people rest or rejuvenate. Pale azure and glacier blue provide a sense of cool serenity, while pale purple-blue is ideal for daydreaming.
  • » Deep green and pale green are both soothing colors perfect for the living room, bedroom, or library. Chose medium green to "refresh" your home office, family room or spa.
  • » Studies and rooms with a fireplace are ideal for walls painted a warm cozy red or red with a hint of rose.
  • » Bland neutralizing colors like brown, beige, gray and white are perfect for the kitchen or bathroom. That doesn’t mean these rooms should be color free. Use a splash of color to enhance the mood or make a room livelier.
  • » For an airy feel, use white - the old standby. White works well with all colors and is ideal for showcasing other vibrant colors.
  • » Add zip to a hallway or entrance with the exhilarating color of ruby, raspberry or brick red. All of these colors are great for areas that people pass through on the way to another room.

Can’t decide? Try using an analogous color theme - neighboring colors in a theme such as green, yellow or orange for instance. Pick a favorite from the color wheel then look at the colors on each side of the main color. For a contrasting look, use two opposing colors such as purple and yellow or red and green. Painting with colors that are opposites will intensify each color and bring a combination of warm and cool tones to a room.

Selecting a color or color scheme doesn’t have to be a challenge. Look for inspiration in each room - like a rug, painting or vase - and build your color scheme around it. Experiment and you’re bound to be surprised – pleasantly we hope.