Color in Interior Decorating

Creating a Color Scheme

Of all the decorating elements in your rooms, nothing is more revealing than the colors you choose. What's right for one person's color palette isn't necessarily right for the next person. Just as each unique soul is on his or her own spiritual quest, each person has an exclusive color scheme.

When you decorate a room, you are an artist dressing a three dimensional space. Choosing a color scheme for a room is similar to putting together a wardrobe: first you pick one key color 'to be the dominant hue, and than you incorporate secondary colors that work with the key color. How you select a key color and combine it with other colors is a very personal experience. One color should dominate a space. It is the North Star, the lead actor. Be careful that the key color you choose lends itself to complementary shades and hues; these will support the key color's mood and spirit.

When people speak of hue, they are referring to color-red, orange, yellow, blue, green, violet. If you mix one hue with another, it changes the hue, or the color. A hue's value refers to its lightness or brightness.

The three primaries-red, yellow, and blue-have the strongest values, therefore the most wavelengths of energy, and cannot be obtained by any mixing of colors. It is these three primary colors that make up all other colors in the spectrum in various combinations of hue, value, tint, shade, and tone. Each primary color evokes a distinct mood in the decoration of houses.

color scheme
mood and color

Reflecting the Mood of the Room in the Color Scheme

More than any other element, color is capable of setting the general mood in the room. Strong chroma tends to create a feeling of informality; soft neutralized hues are generally reserved for a more formal atmosphere. Because rooms are backgrounds for people, color is generally most pleasing when not too demanding. The psychological effect of large areas of intense color can be irritating.

The entrance hall introduces the home. The entrance area can effectively set the tone for the space.

Living areas used for more formal purposes generally have neutralized color schemes that tend to produce an atmosphere of tranquility.

Dining areas at their best when the color schemes are unobtrusive, permitting, a variety of table decorations as well as serene dining atmosphere.

Informal living areas such as family room are often treated with stimulating colors schemes that create a cheerful and casual environment.

Kitchens are usually more desirable when large areas of color are light, fresh, and clean looking.

Bedrooms are private areas, and personal preference should be determining factor in the choice of colors. As a general rule, the master bedroom should be completed in restful tones, pleasing to the occupants. Children can be given an opportunity to select colors for their own rooms.

Private offices are like bedrooms, and personal and personal preferences should be the deciding factor.

How Colors Affect Each Other

Pure hue can appear different because it is changed by the colors next to it.

- If you have white walls and dark-green carpeting, the white will appear sea foam-green.

- White woodwork looks blue-green reflected in mirrors.

- In a pink room with mirrors, the white cornice and baseboard look pale blue-green. A shiny brown floor will make a white wall appear beige.

The clearer your tints, the more luminous the contrasting effect. Just as there is no absolute truth, there is no pure hue.