There’s more to colour than meets the eye – literally. Sure, you absolutely love that hue of blue, but did you know that it has a very specific effect on you psychologically? Colours are proven to be a highly effective form of non-verbal communication, invoking different emotions and even physiological effects. Understanding the effects of colour can go a long way towards helping you choose the right paint colours for various rooms in your home, and even for furniture. Let’s take a look at the various meanings of some colours that will help you with your paint colour choices in future:
Red is a popular choice for statement walls and is a very physical colour. It inspires strength, courage, romance, warmth and energy. It is known to raise blood pressure and energy levels, and also stimulates conversation.
- Good for: Social-centred rooms such as dining rooms, living rooms and kitchens. In particular, red in the dining room encourages the appetite.
- Bad for: Bedrooms and rooms where relaxation is preferred.
Yellow is famously associated with optimism, cheer, emotional strength, friendliness and creativity.
- Good for: Communal areas in the home – particularly the kitchen where you want to feel upbeat and cheerful in the mornings. It is also good when used in small spaces such as narrow entryways or hallways due to the fact that it gives the illusion of more space.
- Bad for: Too much yellow is not necessarily a good thing, so it is best used as a feature wall or as trimming against a white or grey wall. Take heed that babies tend to cry more in yellow rooms.
Blue is the colour of relaxation and serenity, said to lower blood pressure and improve productivity. However, a pastel blue can look too chilly, so it is advisable to choose warmer hues of blue in larger spaces such as lounges. Some beautiful, warmer hues include periwinkle and turquoise.
- Good for: Bedrooms, bathrooms, studies and as an accent décor in living rooms.
- Bad for: As blue can seem a bit chilly when used as the main colour in a room, especially if the room does not receive a lot of natural light. If your primary room colour is blue, add some warmth with deeper, richer-coloured decorations, pillows, linens, trimmings and fabrics.
Green is hailed as an incredibly restful colour, which works excellently in any room. When paired with white or blue, it is a beautiful colour for relaxation and comfort.
- Good for: A family room or living room, as it encourages relaxation, but its warmth also promotes a sense of wellbeing and togetherness.
- Bad for: It’s versatile and no room that it is bad for.
In its darkest forms, such as eggplant, purple is a luxurious, plush colour that exudes sophistication. It is great for creativity and lending a dramatic air to the room.
- Good for: Creative spaces such as a study. Also, in lighter forms, such as lilac, to promote relaxation. Rich purples work best as statement walls or as statement furniture pieces in a room painted in a more understated colour.
- Bad for: It’s good for any room.
These are just a few colours that are popularly used in decorating and painting. Remember, if red takes your fancy, you don’t have to paint your entire living room in a slick of bright red paint. Try these easy ways of incorporating one of these colours into your home:
- Create a bold statement wall using a bright, rich colour.
- Stencil a pattern onto a wall using a bright colour against a muted background.
- Paint a piece of furniture, such as a chest of drawers, bookshelf or chair to bring a pop of colour into an otherwise dull room.
Choosing the right colour
The starting point would be a consideration of the colour to paint this new room under renovation. Consider all the variables that affect colour appearance, including size of the space, the quality and quantity of natural and artificial light the room receives, colours of existing fittings (carpet, tiles, built-in cupboards etc.), colours of new furnishings and soft accessories to be incorporated, the end user’s personal relationship with colour, the mood you want the room to radiate as well as a consideration of the colour scheme you want to work with. Are there any architectural features of interest worthy of highlighting in a different colour?
Dark colours make small and dark spaces look even smaller than they are, so the size of the room and lighting effects are important factors to be considered. Lighter colours open up smaller spaces, so look at the colour intensity prior to painting it on your walls. Request for a sample colour so that you paint a segment of the wall and observe colour changes throughout the day and under artificial light.
Be careful where you draw design inspiration from, bearing in mind that what you see in magazines or at a friend’s house will not always work out as well for your personalised space.
Creating the right mood
Depending on the architectural plan of your home, ensure that the colours you choose for the room flow with the rest of the colours in your home. Colour is always seen in infinite combinations, so strive to bring visual balance and harmony to your décor scheme. If you are going for an accent/focal wall colour, ensure that the colours you choose flow well into each other and pick up colour details in your accessories. Slightly more intense colours can be incorporated in soft-furnishings to add a little colour drama to the room. However, remember to avoid high contrast colours as these create over stimulated environments and are not the least bit pleasant to look at.
Now that you know more about the meanings of these colours, you can get down to your local Jack’s Paint & Hardware store for all the paint and painting supplies you’ll need for your project. Our paint specialists will be able to help you mix and match the right colour palettes for your vision.
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