Color is a powerful communication tool. It affects moods, feelings and emotions, and can cause physiological reactions (see Part 1). While perceptions of color are subjective, there are some effects that have universal meaning. Colors in the red area of the color spectrum (red, orange, and yellow) are known as warm colors. In nature they represent change, and evoke emotions ranging from feelings of warmth and comfort to feelings of anger and hostility. Before we discuss them in depth, let’s have a look at the color wheel and how to approach choosing a color scheme for your interior.
A color wheel is a visual way to organize the colors of the spectrum. In its most basic form, it consists of the primary colors (red, blue, yellow) and the secondary colors (green, orange, violet). Becoming familiar with traditional color schemes such as complimentary (colors across from each other), analogous (colors next to each other), and monochromatic (tints and values of a single color) will help you determine if your color combinations will work.
THE WARM COLORS
Warm colors are stimulating and soothing to our emotions. They tend to appear larger than cool colors, as well as closer.
RED increases a room’s energy level. It’s a good choice when you want to stir up excitement and social activity. In the living room or dining room, red draws people together and stimulates conversation. In an entryway, it is welcoming and creates a strong first impression. Red has been shown to raise blood pressure, and speed respiration and heart rate. It might be too strong as the dominant color for a bedroom, but as an accent color with the indirect lighting of a table lamp in the evening, red will add drama in a rich and elegant way. Red, the most intense, pumps the adrenaline like no other hue.
ORANGE evokes excitement, enthusiasm and energy. It is the color of spontaneity and adventure! You might not choose orange for a living room or bedroom, but it would be great for an exercise room, helping to channel all the emotions you need when jumping into your fitness routine. In ancient cultures orange was used to heal the lungs and increase energy levels.
YELLOW invokes the joy of sunshine and happiness. It’s perfect for kitchens, dining rooms, and bathrooms, where this cheerful color is invigorating and uplifts. In halls, entries, and small spaces, yellow can feel spacious and airy. This warm and radiant color may not be the perfect choice as a main color for a room, as it has been shown to create anxiety. People are more likely to become critical and lose their tempers, and babies seem to cry more in yellow rooms (not good!). This color can create feelings of enthusiasm and confidence, as well as frustration and anger. It is also the most fatiguing on the eyes. In chromotherapy yellow is believed to stimulate the nerves and purify the body.
Coming up next: The cool 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.