Courtesy of ARA Content
At first thought, winter might not conjure up words like spicy, bold or sunny. It should, though, at least when it comes to the inside of your home. While it might be gray and dreary outside, infusing color into interior decor is one of the quickest ways to create a cozy, inviting living area. And winter is the ideal time to do it.
Adding a shot of color to a space can be done quickly, but it can sometimes be confusing. In fact, mastering the ins and outs of decorating with color can be downright daunting.
“Although people love the idea of incorporating color into their homes, mixing and matching colors, patterns and textures can be an intimidating and overwhelming process,” says Donna Schroeder, color marketing and design manager for Martin-Senour Paints. “Whether it’s wall paint, new furniture or accessories, consumers might not have the confidence to step outside of their ‘color comfort zone’ and experiment with shades they might not normally gravitate toward.”
So, how do you break out of that “color comfort zone”? You can start by using available color tools such as those found in Martin-Senour’s color selector. Not just about wall color, it offers unique tools designed to help you balance the entirety of a home’s interior design as well as room-to-room balance and flow. From wall color to room accents, the color selector is a resource for complete home design.
Having a basic understanding of color and knowing what emotions different colors can evoke also helps. So, if you’re thinking about warming up your home this winter and are contemplating using a paint color that you’ve always wanted to try, but weren’t sure how or where to use it, these tips can help steer you in the right direction:
As the strongest color in the spectrum, red has the greatest emotional impact. Depending on the hue and shade, red resonates with passion, romance, energy and courage. In recent years, it’s become a popular color choice for dining room walls, but the drama of red is also ideal for entryways, living rooms and even bathrooms. The color combination of red with neutrals, such as tans and browns, results in warmth that is certain to carry you through those cold months.
Orange has evolved throughout the years; think terracotta and copper tones. It enlivens any space and can easily take center stage as a primary wall color, or as an accent color to give a refreshed decor a bit of much-needed punch. When paired with blues or purples, a spicier orange can be very powerful. For a more subdued effect, combine it with warmer colors like reds and deep, welcoming greens.
There is no better color to radiate warmth in your home than yellow, but don’t underestimate the intensity of this color. Bright, strong yellows on walls are almost always best saved for an area like the kitchen because they are said to increase attentiveness and have “wake up” qualities. Creamier yellows—think the paleness of fresh butter—are popular in living rooms and can even translate well into bedrooms when joined with a classic red or blue.
Purples have a powerful connection with our spiritual and introspective side. Because purple has varying degrees of red and blue in it, it’s easily paired with many complementary colors such as yellow, orange and softer greens. When slightly redder, purple can be vivacious and exciting; when slightly bluer, it can be restful. If you’re using purple for a room, decide whether the room is designed to entice drama, as with an eggplant-hued purple, or cast an air of relaxation and reflection, as found in a hydrangea shade.
Red, orange, yellow or purple, no matter what color you decide to use to help shut out those dark, chilly winter days, keep in mind that all colors can evoke powerful effects in any room. Understanding the basic building blocks of color can help you harness that power and create the stunning color schemes you’ve always wanted.
From the Jan. 6-12, 2010 issue