A good friend of mine recently asked me what color she should paint her room. From experience, I know that selecting a color for a room can be a difficult and confusing process. The sky is the limit because there are so many to decide from. My advice is that prior to selecting a color (or colors),you should ask yourself these questions:
- How much light does this room get and is it natural light or dark?
- Is this room overly hot in the summer and cold in the winter?
- How much time do you spend in this room and what activities take place in this room?
- Are you trying to create a certain emotion or mood for this room?
- Is the room overly small or large?
So why not just go out to a store that sells paint and pick your favorite color? Believe it or not, there is some science behind the psychologies of color. If you want to paint your room with a goal in mind, the following information will tell you how!
Let’s say you have a small room (like a bathroom) that needs paint and it is dark with no windows. The color Yellow is great to use for a room like this. Yellow is considered a fun and cheerful color that makes objects seem closer, which causes a space to appear larger after you paint it. However, be aware that yellow is stimulating and can tire the eye, so don’t overuse it or you and your guests may come out irritated. For accessories, trim, and/or accent wall, use yellow’s complementary color, violet (or purple).
Another stimulating color is Orange. Several fast food and dine in restaurants use the color orange. A long time ago, Corporate America discovered that red, orange and yellow make people desire food. If you are someone who is constantly dieting, this probably won’t be the best color for the kitchen. However, it does lift your spirits, provides warmth, and makes you feel comfortable. Definitely do not use too much orange. Instead, apply its complementary color, which is blue.
Like the color orange, Red is not for the kitchen unless you intend on gaining weight. This is a warming color that stimulates the nervous system and increases appetite desire. Bright red can be very irritating and annoying, so use it cautiously. However, red can be a great accent color and full of class. It is also a great color for portraying passion and creating a romantic mood. Red’s complementary color is green.
Green, one of my favorites, lowers blood pressure and relaxes the nervous system. Now you understand the reason why most hospital operating rooms are a light shade of green. If you use your room primarily for sleeping, you should paint your room green. Also, if you or one of your family members is debilitated, paint his or her room green because it is a healing color. Green is also great for making a small room appear larger. And, of course, green’s complementary color is red.
If there is a space that always feels warm and you want to give it a cooler feel, Blue is a great candidate. This color is great for depressing hunger, which could make it a good color for a kitchen or bathroom. It is also great for making small rooms appear larger. A royal blue can create a formal look, too. If you do a lot of studying or writing in your room, blue can help trigger the brain, clearing your mind and helping you concentrate. However, too much blue can be a bad thing because it can cause a space to look and feel too cold.
Violet is yet another good color for making a small room appear larger. If you are a creative person and develop art projects in your room, violet helps to enhance creativity, mystery and magic. This color is also extremely associated with royalty. You can use accents of gray (also a great color for enhancing creativity) or yellow (violet’s complementary color) to dull down the use of violet.
Brown and other earth-tone colors (such as taupe or beige) creates a tranquil look and provides intimacy. However, if overused it can cause a space appear too bland, so applying other colors or textures to accent is wise. Taupe and beige can create a sophisticated space. Green and blue are also great accent colors because they fall into the earth tone category.
Pink is a warm and comforting color. For those of you that love pink, I bet you didn’t know that pink is a great color for turning a cold stark space into a warming atmosphere.
Black is an elegant and sophisticated color that can make you feel protected, independent, and self-sufficient. However, it is better used as an accent color because too much black can create a dark and depressing feeling to a space. It will make a larger room appear smaller.
White is stark and sterile, but serves as a great accent color. As a background color, it punches out other colors and makes them stand out. White is also a color associated with purity, virginity and all-around goodness. If you are a clean person concerned with hygiene, white is the perfect color.
Now that you have more knowledge about color families and how they may affect you and your space, all you have to do is answer the questions above and selecting the perfect colors will be less complicated.
HINT: If you do not plan on living in your house very long, it would be wise to keep the color scheme neutral. Prospective buyers will appreciate your neutral home. You can use small pops of earth tone colors to spice it up if you like.
Below I have included some interactive paint sites that provide you with the ability to see your completed room with the colors that you selected. I have experience with them myself and they work wonderfully to give you an idea of what your end result will be. All you do is select a color and insert it into a room provided by the website.
It can cost anywhere from $200-$500 to have one room painted. Painting a room yourself can save you a lot of money. In many cases, you can do it for under $30. If you’re on a budget, here is a good site for calculating how much paint you will need. Just enter your measurements and the site figures out the rest.