When it comes to my home, I am all about comfort. Give me oversized furniture, calming colors, lots of soft and cozy textures and I can create an intentional space for myself and my family that cradles our souls and nurtures creativity.
When we first moved into our home almost eight years ago one of the first orders of business was to have painters come in and repaint nearly every room. Although two of the largest areas and the stairwells were a wonderful color called Wheat (a serene neutral that marries beige with a slight tinge of green), there were some rooms that it literally hurt your eyes to walk in. One of the upstairs bathrooms was a garish version of fuchsia pink with a little neon thrown in for good measure. It took two coats of a primer based paint to cover it up and the painter, bless his heart (and eyes) said it gave him a headache. And then there was what we referred to as the Apple Green room – again, think neon. Yup, paint was a wise investment!
It also allowed us to be very intentional about the state in which we wanted to live in our home. We decided on soft earthy tones that allowed the visitor – whether our family or guests – to walk from room-to-room and although the shades of paint color would change, the viewer wouldn’t notice because the color schemes were within a shade or two of each other, this allows for a comfortable and pleasing user-experience if you will; easy on the eye. With exception to our home office (my husband picked his own color) and two of my children’s rooms where we allowed them to pick any color they wanted (one is a barely-there powder pink and the other a harvest gold), our home is intentionally grounded in neutrals.
Here are few things to consider when designing an intentional dwelling with color:
I don’t think it will come as any big surprise that color can enhance your mood and emotions. The color of your rooms are important depending on their use. For instance you might consider the calming effects of lighter shades of blues and greens for areas of your home where you want to promote rest, relaxation and calm, like bedrooms and even your bathroom (think spa!).
Red, on the other hand, is a powerful, energy-filled color, associated with vitality. With red relating to the physical body, it stimulates and raises the heart rate; and has the longest wavelength and slowest vibration of all colors. Red assists us with focus and attention to detail and various darker shades of red denote courage and leadership. We have Ralph Lauren’s Library Red in our home office and I can attest to its great working properties. Also, this office is predominantly my husband’s so the masculinity in the darker red is a good fit.
When you need light and happiness you can’t go wrong with a sunny shade of yellow. Beautiful shades of yellow are the color of sunshine. It’s associated with joy, happiness, and positive energy. We have a gorgeous shade of muted gold in our bathrooms called Blonde from Sherwin-Williams; I find it reflects light easily without the harshness of white and gives the rooms a warm, candlelight quality glow which makes your reflection in the mirrors soft and friendly – definitely a plus when your up at the crack of dawn! Also, yellow is a wonderful color for children’s playrooms; and with yellow’s mood-lifting properties it becomes perfect for any room, to include bedrooms, of those who might suffer from depression or anxiety.
As I said before, I am a huge fan of neutrals. The beige, tan and grays are what’s considered noncommittal colors that are serene in their fairest and lightest forms. They are also the colors of earth and minerals – think dirt, granite, tree bark, etc. These neutrals work and play well with color and can add a sort of balance to the brighter colors you find associated with summertime. I have the color Latte from Sherwin-Williams throughout most of my home and I find it’s truly a perfect neutral that enhances the whole color wheel.
I found this incredible chart on the psychology of color via graphic designer Carey Jolliffe’s blog that beautifully details colors and their associated moods. This is a wonderful way to research for your next paint project or if you want to simply infuse some colorful accents into your home. (Simply click on the image to be taken to Carey’s site and then click the chart to enlarge – just a wealth of great info!)
Inevitably, what it boils down to is your own personal taste and that of the others you share your home with; and it doesn’t matter how large or small, whether a house, condo, apartment or room – where you are, is where home is. What do the colors in your home say about you? The next time you walk into your home, take a moment to pause and really look at your rooms; how do they convey the kind of life you want? Do the colors make you happy? Do they relax you, put a smile on your face and beg you to kick off your shoes while you plop down on the sofa? Even white walls that cannot be painted can be dressed with color via paintings, tapestries, strategically hung curtains and shelving.
Enjoy these resources that make color and inspiration easy!
AngieSandy.com (What a gorgeous website with tons of great tutorials and info. Her color palettes are beautiful!)
TheCreativityExchange.com (This website is full of amazing DIY paint projects and color pallettes to inspire any project!)
Design-Seeds.com (I have been a follower of this website for a couple of years now. The color palettes are taken from images of all things beautiful.)