The power of color cannot be understated when it comes to making a room the best that it can be. Your choice in color can completely shape the atmosphere and feeling of a space and help to create the perfect atmosphere for the room’s purpose.
Settling on a color for a space can be an intimidating prospect, even forgetting the impact it can have on a room, you’re going to have to live with the color you choose day in and day out.
So, how exactly are you supposed to choose a color for a room, beyond simply picking your favorites?
Color and Space
The shape and floorspace of a room should be a key consideration when choosing the color you want to use, as this can have an impact on your perception of the space.
Well, what exactly does that mean?
Basically, painting a smaller space with limited light a dark color can make it feel even more constricting, while painting it a bright, airy color will make it feel bigger than it is.
While this aspect of paint color is often highlighted when talking about making small rooms feel larger, it can also have the converse effect on larger spaces and hallways.
For example, a darker shade can help make a large room feel warmer and cozier than it is – which is particularly important when you’re painting a living room or bedroom.
When considering the room you are working in, you should keep in mind more than just the floorspace. Try and think about the impact that lighting, ceiling height and shape also have on your sense of the room.
The most important thing to remember is that you will often be using these rooms for dedicated purposes, so try and find a color that compliments what you will be doing in the space. Which takes us neatly into the next area to consider when choosing a color.
Color and Mood
It’s well documented that color can have a big impact on your mood, and while everyone is different, there are some general rules of thumb about how different colors can make you feel.
While black can have connotations of darkness, grief and negative emotions, it can also invoke feelings of elegance and style. While painting a room entirely black would be a bold choice, it can be a great option for feature walls or highlights.
Generally, white can invoke feelings of pureness, calm and peace. White can also help you to feel energized in a space and ready for action. While it can be difficult to keep pristine, white is often great for rooms which have a clear purpose – bathrooms, kitchens etc.
Often thought of as a color of passion, red can have a large impact on emotion to both extremes. Like with black, red is best used in moderation to apply accents or to draw attention to individual features.
Blue can inspire similar emotions to white, with general connotations of peace and calm, but certain shades can also create feelings of distance from your environment.
Blue has also been associated with increased productivity and a better ability to focus, making it a great choice for a home office.
Perhaps one of the more invigorating colors, green can be associated with feelings of excitement and energy. Best avoided for bedrooms or places of rest, green should be used in rooms of activity, or as an accent to more relaxing colors like white.
Color and Finish
The finish of your paint can also have an impact on how the color appears once applied and dried. High gloss emulsion paint colors will often appear brighter than the matte version of the same brand and color.
A great rule of thumb for choosing a finish, is to think about the finish in the same way you think about colors themselves – how will this finish complement the space you’re decorating.
One of the final areas to consider when choosing a color for your paint is the relationship to other colors in your home. While it may be exciting to think of painting every room a different color, this can often make your home feel disjointed and lacking in cohesion.
When you’re picking a color for a room, try to keep in mind what other colors you are already using in your home. What color is your furniture and connecting rooms? Do these complement your color of choice or the opposite?
Referring to a color wheel is a simple, but effective, way to reference how colors blend and complement each other. When looking at the wheel, think of neighboring colors as complimentary and those on the opposite side of the wheel as strikingly different.
This doesn’t mean you can’t use any color you like, but opposing colors are best used as highlights or accents rather than as blocks
Of course, the hugely significant thing to keep in mind when choosing a color of paint is to experiment and test! It can be very difficult to picture how a color will look once it is applied, so it’s best to get out there, pick up a tester pot and give it a try.