Color is essential in an interior. It is a personal thing, and considers your design style, your home’s aesthetic, and your own taste. In the next two posts we will be discussing color, how it evokes emotions, and how to use it in your home. For now, let’s start with some basics.
When color is right, it can:
- Enhance feelings of health & well being
- Modify perceived temperature (make your room feel warm or cool)
- Modify perceived space (make your room feel larger or more intimate)
- Stimulate the senses
- Rejuvenate static areas
Here are three important words to remember about color:
- Hue is how we distinguish color (red, yellow, blue, etc.)
- Saturation is the intensity of a color.
- Value is the lightness or darkness of a color.
Generalizations such as GREEN is relaxing, BLUE is soothing, and RED is energizing are good places to start but should be used as small steppingstones. Color is affected by its surroundings and light, and choosing the right hue (and value and saturation) is important. For example, a bright kelly green would not be relaxing, an icy blue may not be soothing, and light pink would not be energizing. Think about where the room is and what will it will be used for, and what types of lighting you are using (LED, fluorescent, incandescent, halogen, etc.)
Count the windows and consider the direction they face. The natural light in the room will change throughout the day, and in turn so will the colors in the room. North facing rooms have cool, diffused light coming in; south facing rooms will be sunny and warm; east facing rooms have generally soft light that is strongest in the mornings; and west facing rooms get strong warm light in the afternoons. The landscaping outside the window can also have an effect on the perceived wall color.
The décor and furnishings of a room also affect the spatial perception. Objects that contrast with wall color will seem to fill up the space, whereas a monochromatic color scheme will create a sense of openness.
A note about ceilings: The ceiling represents one-sixth of the space in a room. It is often overlooked, and usually gets a coat of white paint. White (or a very near neutral) is the best choice especially in a room with little natural light, because it is the most effective color for reflecting light back into the room. But don’t limit yourself! As a general rule, painting the ceiling lighter than the walls will create height, while those that are darker will feel lower (without the claustrophobia) and more intimate.
Coming up next: Color schemes and the warm side of the color wheel.
Celebrating over 25 years in business in Westchester County, New York, Country Willow is a unique neighborhood furniture & accessories store with one of the largest showrooms in the northeastern United States. We hold to our founders’ mission to offer solid, sustainable furnishings and personalized service amid a warm and inviting showroom.
We enjoy getting to know each of our customers in the NY/CT area while offering complimentary design services from skilled decorators who can help curate a home, room or single piece with each client’s preferences in mind. Visit us today at 230 Route 117 Bypass Road, Bedford Hills, New York 10507 or call us at (914) 241-7000.