Colour your home with care
Colour is one of the most important aspects of the design of any room. It can create a mood or evoke memories of a far off, distant place. Colours can even make you smile, relieve your stress and help you wander off into a good night’s sleep.
So how do we know which colours are best for each task? Designers are always throwing around terms like warm colours and cool colours. Understanding what they mean will help you determine what to look for when choosing colours for your de´ cor.
Warm colours are orange, red, yellow and the like, and various combinations. They tend to evoke thoughts of warm things, like sunlight and heat.
Warm colours look as though they come closer, or advance (as do dark colours), which is why they’re often used to make large rooms seem cosier. If you have a huge bedroom that you want to look more intimate, try painting it a warm colour, such as terracotta or brown.
Cool colours, typified by blue, green and light purple, can calm and soothe. Cool colours remind us of water and
sky, even ice and snow. And they recede, making them great for small rooms that you want to appear larger.
If you have a tiny bedroom you want to enlarge visually, try a colour such as light blue.
Meanwhile warm colours are associated with heightened emotions and passion, as well as joy and playfulness. Think of the vibrance of a bright orange or the intensity of a deep, rich red. They can also be stimulating, making them a good choice for rooms that see a lot of activity.
Cool colours make you feel calm, relaxed and refreshed. Their receding effect can even make you meditative, as though you are losing yourself in an endless blue sky. That’s why cool hues are natural for bedrooms and baths, places where we go to unwind and relax.
Can colour make you feel warmer or cooler? It certainly can, just like it can make a room appear brighter or darker. If you live in a climate that’s hot most of the year, you might prefer a decorating scheme that’s dominated by cool colours. Likewise, if you want to feel warmer in your home or specific space, warm colours can help.
The effect that colour has on visible light may be even more important than temperature. However, perceived brightness has more to do with the lightness of colour than whether it’s warm or cool. Lighter colours reflect more light than darker and deeper colours.
If you want to brighten a space that’s short on the sun or artificial light, choose light-reflecting colours. To tone down a room that gets a lot of light, or to add contrast to the brightness, look to dark colours, warm or cool.
An important thing to remember when dealing with warm and cool colours is that no room should have just one. If you want your room to be cosy, use warm colours for the dominant scheme and add a few elements that incorporate cool colours (and vice versa). As with all elements of decorating, it’s important to have some balance and contrast.
When choosing colours for your home de´ cor projects, it’s important to think about the mood you want to create and whether you want it to feel light and airy or cosy and intimate. Knowing the difference between warm and cool colours is the first step.
Cool colours can transform a room.