Change Your Room Color, Change Your Mood
Slapping a fresh coat of paint on the walls is one of the quickest, easiest and most affordable ways to refresh a room. Once you are standing in front of all those swatches though, choosing colors can make you feel a bit like a kid in a candy store. Before you reach for the first hue that catches your eye, consider what that color will communicate when it’s on your walls.
Peek at your closet and see what you wear the most; this can be a great indicator of which colors make you feel your best.
One’s color choices are an extension of one’s individuality and persona, says design instructor David Rodriguez, who teaches color theory at The Art Institute of San Antonio. Color expert Erika Woelfel, VP of Color and Creative Services at Behr Paint agrees: “Peek at your closet and see what you wear the most; this can be a great indicator of which colors make you feel your best,” she says.
While you want your paint colors to be hues you love, you also want to consider how they make you feel. Here are some expert tips on how to choose palettes that promote the following sentiments.
The color red is a great way to increase a room’s energy level, according to Rodriguez. “With such a high-energy color, red would best be suited for living- and dining-room areas. However, it can be used as a color for an entryway. When employed as the main color of the room, red draws people together and creates conversation. But there is nothing wrong with using it as an accent piece, as long it does not overpower the main color.”
Neutral colors, including brown, allow one to “ground” the color scheme while also giving it depth, explains Rodriguez. “Neutrals are a wonderful source of color as an accent hue. They can define and finish a space. Also at times they can create a balance between the colors. One key element of neutral colors is that they show off the furnishing and textures within the room.”
“The best colors to make your space more cheerful and inviting are warm hues like buttery yellow or persimmon orange,” Woelfel says. “However, the key to feeling happy in your home is choosing colors that speak to you. This could be anything from an energetic sky blue to a pear green or bold fuchsia.”
As an interior designer in the historic Main Line area of Philadelphia, Larina Kase, who also has a doctorate in psychology, has researched colors that promote calm. “In general, cool tones and neutral colors provide a calming effect. Adding in some light yellow and green tones also provides a slight energy within the overall calming effect,” she says.
Kase also points out that equally important to color is the contrast in a space and offers these tips for working with contrast to promote calm:
- Value (light to dark—less contrast in value is more calming)
- Pattern and angles (more pattern and sharper angles are less calming)
Once you’ve decided on colors, take the time to paint samples on your walls. If you still like them and how they make you feel, morning and evening, then grab your brush.