How To Give Your Home Personality With Colour
Whether you’re ready for a big splash of paint, or some subtle pops of colour; there are plenty of ways to brighten your home. But where do you start? It's not necessary to cover the whole place in the current Pantone colour of the year (Greenery, if you’re wondering); but as well as picking shades you like, it’s worth considering how colour can shape mood around the house.
First off, think about how certain colours make you feel; and what mood you want to create? Explore pinterest for ideas, looking out not only for what catches your eye, but also what will work with your home, and lifestyle. Consider what you’re working with already, and remember that you can include colour with big statements, or subtle highlights. It doesn’t necessarily have to be dramatic, or (thanks to the affordable homewares around) even long term, if you don't want it to.
One of the most passionate colours; red is a great choice in areas where you want to stimulate conversation or even appetite. For walls, this is particularly powerful in rooms you mainly use after dark. Seen mostly by lamplight, the colour will appear muted, rich and elegant. That’s why red, particularly rich ‘Dragon’s Blood’ shades, are so popular for formal areas like dining rooms; but it can also be used to great affect with brightly coloured kitchen utensils, or decorations.
The Pink Effect
Pink might traditionally evoke femininity, but different shades can create very different moods. Grey-toned pinks aren’t too sickly sweet, and can create an elegant tone; and apparently the ‘Pink Effect’, means exposure to large amounts of pink can have a calming effect on the nerves; and (opposite to red) the longer you’re exposed to it, the calmer you become! Lighter pinks are great for children’s rooms as they promote feelings of love, and kindness; and a very pale dusty pink is a nice alternative to white for neutral walls.
Warm Orange Tones
Orange evokes energy and enthusiasm, which is why this shade is appropriate for the kitchen; especially when you’re needing that extra boost of energy to finish the dishes!
Yellow captures the joy of sunshine and communicates happiness, but it’s all about finding the right shade. Soft lemony shades are soothing; while more saturated shades of yellow have an energizing effect so can be too overpowering over large areas. Studies show that people are more likely to lose their temper in a yellow interior, and babies apparently cry more in bright yellow rooms; so please avoid too much neon! Yellow is an excellent choice for kitchens, and bathrooms, where it’s energizing and uplifting; or in halls and small spaces, where it can feel expansive and welcoming.
Combining the refreshing quality of blue and the cheerfulness of yellow, green is suited for almost any room in its variety of shades. It encourages unwinding, but has enough warmth to promote comfort and togetherness. Green has a calming effect when used as a main colour for decorating, and is traditionally believed to help with fertility, making it a great choice for the bedroom!
Blue is said to bring down blood pressure and slow respiration. Reflecting the colour of the sea and the sky, it’s considered calming, and is often recommended for bedrooms and bathrooms. Cool pastel blue can seem too chilly in rooms that have less natural light; so balance it with warmer hues to really bring it to life. To encourage relaxation in social areas, consider warmer blues, such as periwinkle, or bright blues, such as cerulean or turquoise. Darker and more intense shades can have the opposite effect, evoking feelings of sadness; so refrain from using darker blues in your main colour scheme.
From rich aubergine shades, to restful lavender and lilac; Purple can add a sense of luxury. Lighter shades can bring the same restful quality as blue does, while stronger shades can add the opulence of red with less of the intensity.
This whistlestop tour of the rainbow is a good starting point, but colour choice is a very personal matter: You're the one who has to live with it, so choose a hue that suits you, your family and your lifestyle. To make sure the end result doesn’t overwhelm, consider having some sort of overall colour scheme or through-line for your home, rather than having a different theme for each room.
There’s no need to eliminate a colour you love, so find ways to work this hue into your space by choosing a shade that is calming rather than stimulating, or incorporating a more vivid colour subtly, with accent pieces. If bright colours make you happy but you don’t want to be overwhelmed; consider livening up your living room with pops of colour from cushions; or use bright utensils to make your kitchen sing. Accents can be particularly helpful for renters; but they’re also handy if you favour the clean look of white walls, or are just starting out, and want to experiment without the pressure: Even the smallest of touches can make a big difference. Good luck, and happy decorating!
What's your favourite colour for decorating? And do you have any big projects on the go? We'd love to hear.
If you're in the market for new items, it's not too long till Homesense opens in Ireland. Hoorah! Check out 7 Ways To Update Your Home For Spring next; and if you're about to embark on a full makeover, don't worry ... there will be plenty more advice on interiors in the coming months.