Color Primer: Choosing Colors For Home Decor

Choosing the perfect color for that room can be a tough decision but I am here give you some tips on how to pick the color that will be perfect for you and your personality. I am going to assume that you know what furnishings are going into the room. The easiest way to pick a color for any room is to draw from what you already have. Choose a color that is a shade or two lighter than a say a color in your couch or go darker for a more dramatic look.


Now if you are re-doing a complete room and buying everything new, I would find one element of the room that you really love and go with that color for your wall color. When you find that color you love, try to have that color (just a little) in each of your accessories to tie the room together.

Most people make the mistake of painting their ceilings white. One sixth of your room is ceiling. If you paint your ceiling a lighter shade of your wall color, it will make your room feel higher and if you paint your ceiling a shade darker, it will make it feel cozier and lower.

Also you should consider the light in your room. If it is a dark room that only gets light for certain times of the day then you would want to stay away from dark colors and use your paint to lighten up the room. If you have strong light from lamps or overhead lighting, you may want to go with a medium shade of that color that you love. Always try to get a small paint sample of your color if you can because that way you can paint a small patch on the wall and see how it looks at different times of the day. Paint color is a very personal choice so try and find a color that fits what you love and your lifestyle.


First, you need to understand a little something about color. Color is broken down into three categories: Warm, Cool and Neutrals. There are many shades of color so here is something to remember. Light colors are expansive and airy, they make rooms seem larger and brighter. Dark colors are sophisticated and warm; they give large rooms a more intimate appearance.


Let's start with the warm colors. Warm colors are red, orange, yellow.


Red is the color that is an attention getter. It is the most dramatic color of the warm color group. We associate red with love, valentines, danger, desire, speed and strength. The most emotionally intense color, red stimulates a faster heartbeat and breathing. Red raises a room's energy level. In the living room or dining room, red draws people together and stimulates conversation. In an entryway, it creates a strong first impression. True red is considered to be too stimulating for a bedroom but a color like burgundy which will be mostly seen by lamp light can be very elegant and restful. Red is also a very good color to use as an accent. Crimson red can make some people feel irritable. So this is a color that can be used as an accent. Pink, the romantic shade of red, can be used in bedrooms and is considered restful. From a medium pink to the palest shade, it can help you set a restful and cheerful mood for any room. If you paint a room extensively in red, the furnishings and accessories should be neutrally or lightly colored, so that the eye is not distracted by a whole lot of contrasting colors. Red is a perfect color for an accent wall to add "punch" to a room.



Yellow captures the joy of sunshine and communicates happiness. Yellow represents optimism, idealism, imagination, hope, summer, gold. Cheerful sunny yellow is an attention getter. Although yellow is a cheery color, it is not a good choice to be used as the main color scheme of a room. Researchers have found that people are more likely to lose their tempers in a yellow room. Babies also seem to cry more in a yellow room. It's perfect for kitchens, dining rooms, and bathrooms, where yellow's happy color is energizing and uplifting. In halls, entries, and small spaces, yellow can feel expansive and welcoming. Yellow also makes a wonderful accent color where every a "little ray of sunshine" is needed. One thing to keep in mind is that yellows and golds can be overdone. It can be hard on the eyes so use it sparingly. Soft buttery yellow can brighten a dark room and make it more welcoming.


Orange is a combination of yellow and red. Orange is considered a warm color like red. Orange expresses energy. It symbolizes balance, warmth, enthusiasm, vibrant, flamboyancy, and is demanding of attention. Orange works well in family rooms and is also a good choice for children's bedrooms. This color is great for an exercise room. It will help bring all the energy out that you need when jumping into your fitness routine. Orange's darker, richer tones carry much of the personality of reds, bringing vibrancy and warmth. Like reds, these darker tones are best used in conjunction with more neutral colors because they will grab the eye.


Now let's look at Neutrals. All neutral schemes have their own challenges. Their virtue lies in their flexibility: you can add color to liven things up or subtract it to calm things down.


Black is the absence of light and therefore, of color. It represents power, sexuality, sophistication, formality, elegance, wealth, mystery. It is also stylish and timeless. Black is best used in small doses as an accent. Indeed, some experts maintain that every room needs a touch of black to ground the color scheme and give it depth. Generally, black is a great furniture color.


White is what we see when all colors come together in perfect balance. It represents reverence, purity, simplicity, cleanliness, peace and winter. All white rooms can come across as sterile and cold. Purely white rooms rarely feel open and sunny. White can have a depressive affect on mood. All white rooms can be warmed up using different shades of white such as cream and off white. White should always be used in concert with other colors, whether it is painting a single accent wall to give the room punch, or adding color through furniture, some colorful artwork and accessories. White, when used with black, creates a very sophisticated, formal look. White can also be used with darker reds, blues, greens, and purples to lighten the otherwise overpowering effect of these colors.


Solid, reliable brown is the color of earth. Brown represents safety, earth, masculinity and home. Chocolaty, mocha browns can create a very warm and inviting atmosphere. Though it is a dark color, it should create feelings of warmth, like chocolate and a good book on a cold night. Brown works very well with other browns, so several different shades can be used in your choice of furniture and accessories.


Cool colors are considered the "Calm" colors.


Blue represents peace, tranquility, calm, stability, harmony, unity, trust, truth, confidence, sky, water, cold, technology, and depression. Blue can "slow the pulse rate, lower body temperature, and reduce appetite. The color of the sky and the ocean, blue is one of the most popular colors. It causes the opposite reaction as red. Peaceful, tranquil blue causes the body to produce calming chemicals and is used in any room where a sense of peace is wanted. Blue is the perfect color for a bedroom where you would like to release the tensions of the day. Beware of pastel blues as they can look beautiful but make a room feel chilly. To offset this, you can use accessories in the warm blue range. In large rooms like your playroom or family room, you may want to stay with the warm blues like bright blue.


Green represents nature, environment, health, good luck, renewal, youth, vigor, spring, generosity, fertility. Green is suited to almost any room in the house. In a family room or living room, it encourages unwinding but is warm to promote comfort and togetherness. Green is considered the most restful color for the eye In a bedroom, it's relaxing and comforting. Green also has a calming effect when used as a main color for decorating. It is believed to relieve stress by helping people relax. Also believed to help with fertility, this is a great choice for the bedroom. In a kitchen, any color of green cools things down. Light greens work well in baths and living rooms; mid-range greens are a great accent for kitchens and dining rooms.


Purple represents royalty, spirituality, nobility, ceremony, mystery, transformation, wisdom, enlightenment. Purple is considered an exotic color. Purple at its darkest can be sophisticated and be luxurious. Colors like lilac and lavender can be restful and is a great choice for a bedroom.

I hope this has given you some ideas on how to pick a paint color that will represent you and your lifestyle.


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