Painting Your Home the Right Color for You

If you’re thinking of having your interior painted, you may want to learn a little bit about color theory. Isaac Newton invented the first circular diagram of colors in 1666. Since then, artists and scientist have focused on color theory, discovering many rules and formulas. These rules and formulas can be used to create visual illusions; with just a few of the basic principles, you can enlarge your living area.

Residential Paint Color Wheel

Let’s start with the color wheel – it’s constructed of twelve different colors, consisting of primary, secondary and tertiary colors. Primary colors include Red, Blue, and Yellow are referred to as true colors. Primary colors are used to create all other colors. Secondary colors consist of Orange, Green and Violet, and are made from combining two primary colors. Tertiary colors are Yellow-orange, Red-orange, Red-violet, Blue-violet, Blue-green, and Yellow-green. The placement of colors on the color wheel defines which colors complement each other. Complimentary colors are directly across from each other on the color wheel, with split-compliments flanking the complimentary color. Using a color with complimentary and split-complimentary colors will create a color harmony.

Residential painting color choices according to a color wheel.

Residential painting color choices according to a color wheel.

Interior Paint Color and Temperature

Colors can also be classified into temperature groups, warm and cool. Warm colors advance while cool colors recede. This is very similar to the effect dark and light colors have, dark recedes while light advances. When applying this theory to furniture, warm colored furniture will decrease the size of a room, where as cool colored furniture will increase the size of a room. Warm colors include Red, Orange and Yellow, where as cool colors include Green, Blue and Purple.

Interior painting with bold colors like red are sometimes best used as accents

Interior painting with bold colors like red are sometimes best used as accents

Interior Color Consultations

The tone of the color can also affect the appearance of size. When you place one square that is black next to another square that is identical in size and shape, but is white; the black square will appear to be smaller. If a lighter color makes an object seem bigger than it actually is, a room can be enlarged by painting the walls a light color. A solitary color will create an optical illusion, but the human eye only notices when it can be compared to another. Use two colors in sequence to enhance the illusion. By painting your ceiling a lighter color than your walls you can create the illusion of a higher ceiling. Colors can also give us an emotional reaction. When learning the basics of color design, it is important to know what colors influence specific emotions. You can create a calming environment by using blues and greens. An energetic environment can be created by using yellows and reds. Please note that each individual reacts to colors differently; one color may have a totally different effect on one individual to the next depending on personal preference. Red can influence conversation and heightens the energy in a room. Red can also be overwhelming as the dominant color in a room. I suggest using it only as an accent color. Yellow is an elevating, energizing color and is a great choice for kitchens when used as an accent color. Some people may become angry in a room that is painted dominantly in yellow. Blue is calming and is perfect for bedrooms. Blue also lowers blood pressure and slows down the heart rate. Green is also calming as well as relaxing. It can be used in any room, but is a great choice for bedrooms and common areas. Violet is dramatic and sophisticated, it also generates a calmness to a room and is also a grand choice for bedrooms. Orange generates excitement and energy in a room. It can over-power a room but would be great for a workout room. Still not sure what will work best for your home? That’s ok – we’re always happy to give color advice at our free painting estimates!

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