Every color has its own temperament. They have the remarkable ability to convey a very specific feeling, mood, and atmosphere. They even have the power to influence emotion and behavior.
That’s why choosing colors for your home can be such an important decision. What’s the first thing you want your guests to feel when they enter a room? What atmosphere do you want to create? What bedroom colors best suit your personality?
The meanings and associations of colors vary drastically across cultures and individuals. You may have learned to associate specific emotions with specific colors. What the color red means to Western culture takes on a completely different meaning in Asian culture.
But despite color’s high level of subjectivity, each color still has its own unique ability to embody certain characteristics. Designers find ways to understand color even better to be able to create the perfect room.
Red is naturally an eye-catching color. It’s bright, stimulating, commands attention, and stokes up passion and energy. While brighter, purer shades of red create emphasis, more subtle colors can be warm and comfortable. Too much red is sometimes an eyesore, but red in controlled amounts make a great accent.
Like a tall, cold glass of lemonade on a sunny day, yellow is the most cheerful and energizing of the three warm colors. It gives the room a touch of positivity, friendliness, and optimism. While brighter shades of yellow in large quantities can be overwhelming, softer yellows can make you feel warm and comfortable.
As the middle child of the warm color family, orange is the warmest color between red and yellow. It’s energetic and eye-catching, yet not so striking as red, which makes it friendlier and more approachable. Its subtler shades evoke sunsets and an earthy, autumn-like feel.
Nothing conjures up feelings of life, health, and restfulness as effectively as green. Because it so closely reminds us of nature, green can be energizing yet calming, striking yet balanced. Darker shades make for especially intimate atmospheres, while more vibrant tones can up your mood instantly.
Like the sea and sky it so frequently evokes, blue creates calm wherever you find it. It’s often used to give rooms a relaxing, reflective atmosphere, and certain shades of blue can supposedly make a room feel cooler (even if the temperature never actually changes). It’s perfect for spots in the house where you’re expecting to hole up for some quiet time, like a bedroom or office.
Purple symbolized royalty and wealth in many societies for hundreds of years because of how outrageously expensive and difficult it was to produce. That history has given purple its association with luxury, class, and even the exotic. Bluish purples are more relaxing and calming, while more reddish purples can be flashier, almost garish. Done right, however, you can bring out the sophistication in any room.
While often associated with femininity, pink’s reputation as a girly color has kept many a husband reluctant and uncomfortable. Pink can be fun, youthful, and lively, but pair softer pink accents alongside muted dark colors and the results are stunning.
You just can’t help but feel a sense of homeyness and familiarity with brown. It’s a safe, practical choice, bringing to mind feelings of reassurance and stability. And it’s highly flexible. Go for browns closer to natural colors instead of more artificial-looking variations.
Neutrals are the most versatile and flexible colors for interior design. A predominantly neutral-colored room lets you experiment with bolder colors that would otherwise overwhelm a room. Rather than dull, they’re classic mainstays, perfectly capable of giving a room a personality of its own.
The color black is elegant, sophisticated, and bold, yet simple. Used right, and your room becomes dramatic, luxurious even. Be wary, though: too much black and you risk inciting feelings of claustrophobia and discomfort.
Gray is another wonderful color to work with. It can easily pull off an understated kind sophistication and class. Warmer shades tend to be more inviting and pleasant, but too much gray and you’re left with an unpleasant, dreary atmosphere.
Choose white for a more modern feel. It’s clean, light, airy, and makes your room look and feel larger. It’s one of the safest color choices that gives room for countless variations. It’s best to layer a room with different shades of white so it doesn’t look too sterile and monotonous.