Color can be an indispensable asset in our arsenal for telling visual tales, building trust and making purchasing decisions.
Some color associations may be hardwired into our brains, while most depend on cultural influences or individual tastes.
Marc Chagall once famously noted that all colors should be friends to one another and lovers to those they oppose – this should serve as a guideline when using color effectively.
1. Warm Colors
If your home features mostly cool tones (such as blue, gray and white), adding vibrant warm tones such as red, brown or burgundy can inject energy and be used as focal points when combined with neutrals or other warm accents.
If you want to add vibrant hues without embarking on an exhaustive redecoration project, begin with your walls. Paint is a cost-effective and effective way of adding new shades into a space; and using a color wheel as guidance can help. Analogous colors sit close together on the wheel; these harmonious hues include red-orange with yellow-orange or complimentary pairings such as blue with orange or purple and yellow.
House Beautiful suggests adding warmth with wood or brass accents as a way to ease into bolder hues, adding color through rugs or artwork hung with warm tones such as paintings or photographs hung at eye level can instantly create a cozy feel, while colored mats add even more vibrance to your design scheme.
2. Cool Colors
Studies show that blue is the preferred hue for both men and women alike. Its soothing properties equate to feelings of tranquility. Furthermore, its proven ability to spark mental productivity makes it a wonderful choice for office or other workspace environments.
Cool colors like blue and green evoke images of water or sky, providing soothing comfort. Their soothing properties help you focus better while simultaneously relieving stress.
When pairing warm and cool colors, it is essential to consider their undertones. Blue can have warmer or cooler undertones depending on how much yellow or red is present, providing additional options on how you use it in your home – Marcum suggests pairing warm blue with cognac leather upholstery while Henderson suggests pairing sage green with crisp white surfaces as examples of such arrangements.
Neutrals may get a bad rep for being dull, but they offer a necessary break from saturation. Too much color – particularly vibrant hues – can be visually taxing, clashing with elements in a space and tiring on the eyes. Neutral tones give eyes time to rest so they can appreciate patterns, textures and details within any given room.
Neutral hues offer many shades, tints and tones that can be utilized to achieve various effects. Darker neutrals like black can help balance other colors for an eye-catching aesthetic; lighter neutrals such as khakis or beiges may give an illusion of larger spaces.
One way to incorporate neutrals is through natural textures in your decor. Handwoven jute, wicker, and rattan elements add an organic vibe that works wonders in creating a neutral setting. Plush pillow accessories can easily be changed out seasonally for added pops of seasonal color that help transition through all four seasons of the year.
Contrast is an effective design technique for drawing attention to key elements and creating balance in a composition, yet too much contrast may cause viewers to lose focus on its main message.
Contrast is an effective way to add drama and beauty to a space when used appropriately; think Van Gogh’s sunflowers set against an inky blue background, or Picasso’s bold black lines as examples of high/low contrast. Contrast can also come in many shapes, textures and materials like velvet pillows with burlap material or crystal punch bowl on wooden cutting board as examples of high/low contrast.
Understanding tonal, color and other forms of contrast is integral to designing beautiful spaces. Take some time to practice with a color wheel and experiment with how these principles could be utilized within your home – this way you will be sure to achieve an eye-catching, well-balanced space that will leave an impressionable impression with guests!