Using Color to Set the Mood in Your Home

    Inhabitat.comThe use of color in a room can change it dramatically. Many people know that cool colors (like blues, purples, and greens) will make a room darker, more somber, and more calming, while warm colors (reds, oranges, yellows) will brighten up a room and make it seem more energetic. Balancing interior paint colors along with furniture pieces and decorative accents can be quite the delicate dance, which is why this awesome infographic from Design 55 (via Inhabitat) is so helpful.

    It's not just about how to deftly use color to make spaces seem bigger, create designated areas within a large room, set the tone, or create a given look and feel. Color also affects mood, which is why color has been so thoughtfully applied in interior design at locales like hospitals, counseling offices, and other areas where people might be feeling down and in need of a pick-me-up. In fact, some people find benefits from color therapy, which uses colors with various assigned traits to address depression and other mental health conditions.

    Design 55 helpfully lays out the moods associated with given colors and notes where they can be used to best effect. For example, bedrooms do better with dark blues and greens for coolness, stability, and calmness. Warm colors aren't great because the bedroom is where you want to sleep, and you don't want to be getting all energized right before hitting the sheets. For your home office, on the other hand, Design 55 recommends rusty reds for creativity, rich oranges and yellows for energy and intuition, and maybe a hint of slate blue for prestige.

    Their chart is quite detailed (it even includes a billiard room, for those of us struggling with billiard room decorating schemes), and while you might not necessarily agree with all of the moods assigned to the colors on the chart, it certainly creates food for thought. And, perhaps, some inspiration for your next interior design project or room painting job. The core points behind the chart are also true: as you can see from the excerpt above, warming and cooling colors have very different effects on mood, and can radically change the way people interact with a given space.

    Artfully used accent colors can also make a big difference, for people who are renting and have limitations on their space, or people who aren't ready for a major remodel. Adding a lamp, rug, or similar accent in a bold color may shift the energy in a room in the direction you want it to go. Take a bland kitchen, for example, with white appliances and dull counters. Try tossing in a rich brown for friendliness, or a bright sunny orange for energy, and maybe the kitchen will feel more like a social hub where it's fun to cook and mingle with guests. Our friends at Hometalk have also had a lot of success with painting interior doors to freshen up rooms.

    Has all this talk of color got you think about hiring a Houston painter to give some of your rooms a fresh coat of paint in a bold new color for energy, an unsaturated hue for calming and restraint, or a crisp tone for balance? Or perhaps you're just thinking of taking a trip to the interior design store for some new throw rugs, pillows, or other decorative accents to bring out the moods you want in some of your most beloved rooms? It's okay to start small, and to focus on the rooms you use the most.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to repaint the billiard room.

    Katie Marks writes for

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