Color is the third element we are learning about in our ELEMENTS OF DESIGN SERIES. Although some might think color is a straightforward topic, let me say, it is NOT! Not by a long shot! Color is complex with both emotional, psychological and physical ties to our very selves. Let’s talk about the elements of design… color!
As home decorator’s it is so important to realize that color has a direct effect on our environment and the environment on color! The best way I can describe it is to pull a word from nature and say that color and our environment have a symbiotic relationship. They are mutually dependent upon each other.
Color has an immense effect on me. Most people would probably think I am “not a color person”. Actually, just the opposite. It affects me so greatly I am better living with neutral colors and adding a pop of some color I love and relate to into the decor mix. Too much gray makes me feel sad and too much red in a room makes me almost crazy!
Depending on the time of day and the kind of light, color is seen differently. Sometimes this difference can be dramatic! And our environment depends on color to evoke a reaction.
Color words like primary, secondary, complementary, tertiary, warm and cool are essential to create beautiful color palettes for our homes.
THE LANGUAGE OF COLOR
Colors are often associated with words that describe the feelings they evoke. This is called color psychology! Color is sending off a subliminal and very powerful message!
Here are a few words and feelings associated with color…
- red- excitement, love, passion, daring
- black- evil, sophisticated, power
- yellow- friendly, happy, hope
- pink- kindness, romance, playful, feminine
- green- earth-friendly, envy, renewal, energy
- white- purity, innocence
- purple- wealthy, wisdom
- orange- attention-getting, enthusiastic
- brown-strength, reliable
- gray- moody, dull
- blue- relaxing, loyalty, intuition
These color feelings transfer to the colors we put in our homes! What an important concept to be aware of!
WARM AND COOL TONES
Take a color’s temperature! Every color is either perceived warm or cool!
For time’s sake let’s talk about warm, cool, and neutral colors. Warm colors like red, orange and yellow can actually energize a room. While cool colors like blue, green and purple can make a space feel relaxing.
Neutral colors are black, white, gray and brown. But even neutral colors are not totally neutral. They tend to be warm or cool too! Even white!
Why is knowing if a color is warm or cool so important? Because it’s all about how a room is used. Warm colors are best used in spaces where people are active, like the kitchen. And cool colors are preferred in spaces where relaxation is desired, like a bedroom. Like all things in decor, these are just guidelines.
And warm and cool colors and tones and shades must be very carefully mixed together or the room can look confusing!
Neutral tones can balance out warm and cool colors.
COLOR AND SPACE
Color also has a profound effect on how we see the space in a room. Darker colors tend to have a visually heavy value and look smaller. Light colors tend to expand the space we live in and make objects in color seem larger. This is a very applicable concept when creating a room. Do we want a room to feel cozy and sophisticated or do we want a room to feel airy, large and light? Both rooms have their place in decorating!
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE COLORS WE PUT IN OUR HOMES?
We could talk about color and the effect it has on our homes and lives for hours and not scratch the surface! So here’s the takeaway nugget… pay attention to color and chose it wisely in your home! Color is part psychology, part science, and part preference!
It’s really more than how much you love a color!
Do you have a favorite color to decorate with? I’d love to know!
By the way, can you tell what color I love?