Go for sec­onds — they add per­son­al­ity

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - CON­NIE OLIVER

WE’VE cov­ered the ba­sic psy­chol­ogy of the three pri­mary colours over the past few weeks. To­day, we’re go­ing to look at the sec­ondary colours and their role in our lives and homes. These are the colours that give the dé­cor per­son­al­ity and vis­ual mo­tion. Let’s look at sec­ondary colours and their re­spec­tive traits. Pur­ple A pop­u­lar colour to­day, pur­ple is a colour that comes from mix­ing red and blue. It bal­ances the stim­u­la­tion of red with the calm­ing ef­fects of blue to a har­mo­nious end. Be­cause of its re­la­tion­ship to roy­alty, pur­ple can con­note lux­ury, wealth and so­phis­ti­ca­tion. Pur­ple is up­lift­ing, calm­ing (of­ten used in spas), en­cour­ages cre­ativ­ity and for some, of­fers a sense of spir­i­tu­al­ity.

Soft vi­o­let is a great colour to cre­ate a calm­ing and re­lax­ing set­ting in a bed­room. This shade of pur­ple is soft and ro­man­tic and mys­ti­cal. It in­vites in­ner con­tem­pla­tion and med­i­ta­tion.

Darker shades of pur­ple are ground­ing and com­fort­ing. Used as an ac­cent colour on a wall or in bedding, dark pur­ple can be very strik­ing. Bal­ance it with vary­ing shades of lighter pur­ple and pink for a lovely monochro­matic pal­ette. Dark pur­ple can also be ac­cented with yel­low and red in small doses and can be bal­anced with soft white or cream colours. Green Green rep­re­sents earth and life. Like blue, it is calm­ing and re­fresh­ing. Mix­ing sunny yel­low and serene blue re­sults in a colour bal­ance that is re­fresh­ing green. Green is a pop­u­lar colour choice for the home. It’s a colour that is widely found in na­ture so we are ac­cus­tomed to it. Green shades range from a soft cel­ery green to the darker for­est and olive green so there is a per­fect green for just about ev­ery dé­cor style and taste.

Green works well with blue, yel­low, white, black, pur­ple and even orange. My own kitchen is a mix of as­para­gus green, navy and white. It’s a lovely com­bi­na­tion for the kitchen but in dif­fer­ent hues can work in just about any room. Pale blue-green (sea foam green as it’s been called) in the bath­room sets a re­fresh­ing back­drop to mauve and blue ac­ces­sories. In the bed­room, a deep olive green bal­anced with shades of cream and rust can make for a cosy, earthy space. The cur­rent trend is more to­ward the pale shades of green, which are muted and vis­ually re­fresh­ing. Orange Orange is an­other love-it-or-hate-it colour, how­ever, used in small doses it can give a room that fi­nal wow fac­tor it may have oth­er­wise been lack­ing. Like red, orange catches the eye so it’s a good strate­gic colour to use when bal­anc­ing your dé­cor. Orange is seen as a mostly cheer­ful colour, be­ing the re­sult of mix­ing sunny yel­low and lively red. It ra­di­ates warmth and en­ergy but it can be ag­i­tat­ing when used in large spa­ces. I once vis­ited an open house where a south-fac­ing bed­room was painted bright orange and it nearly blew out my reti­nas! You’d have to wear sun­glasses to be able to stay in a room like that for more than a few min­utes. On a more pos­i­tive side of this vi­brant colour, a client of mine painted the liv­ing room of her Vic­to­rian home in a burnt pump­kin orange and it was stun­ning set against orig­i­nal white trim and wain­scot­ing. In the right set­ting and hue this colour can be quite spec­tac­u­lar. Earth tones Earth tones are com­fort­ing and ground­ing. In na­ture the for­est floor, moun­tains, tree trunks and so on are all in shades of brown so the earth tones are very rep­re­sen­ta­tive of se­cu­rity and safety. These colours have a sta­bil­ity about them that is sub­con­sciously ap­peal­ing. In the dé­cor Brown, taupe and tan colours are cre­ated by mix­ing three or more colours to get the de­sired shade. Be­cause they stem from a num­ber of colours, they co-or­di­nate with just about ev­ery dé­cor colour, depend­ing upon the hue or shade be­ing used. Be­cause they com­ple­ment most dé­cor colours earth tones are of­ten used in per­ma­nent items such as floor­ing, coun­ter­tops and cab­i­nets.

Earth tones can also be dy­namic on the walls. Creamy cof­fee tones pro­vide a neu­tral but stylish back­drop to daz­zling art­work and ac­ces­sories. These light to medium tones unify the dé­cor and give it a good base for ev­ery­thing else in the room. Darker brown can be en­velop­ing and rest­ful in a bed­room or den. When us­ing these darker tones on the walls be sure they are bal­anced with sub­stan­tial trim and mould­ing in lighter tones or light fur­ni­ture and ac­ces­sories. Good light­ing is also im­por­tant to keep the room look­ing el­e­gant and not like a cave.

Aside from black and white we’ve cov­ered most of the colour bases in the past few weeks. Hope­fully, this has given you some in­sight into what road to take when choos­ing and har­mo­niz­ing colours for your home.


A splash of colour is not some­thing one should fear.


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