You wouldn’t think it but colour is powerful. It can change the feeling of any room in an instant. So, whether you’re extending or renovating and the building work has finished, wait for the dust to settle and start dreaming about colour. This is when the fun really starts.
Ever since the beginning of time when red was a sign of danger, and the purple hues of the plump berries on a random bush warned us of poison, colour, and the way it makes us feel, have been intrinsically linked. There are many colour theories and some people have strong ideals about what colours go together, and what colours should never be seen in the same pattern, but for this blog I’m going to talk about paint colour and home decor.
Did you know that many paint companies, such as Dulux, have a paint colour of the year? I mean how do they even know?? For example, the Dulux Colour of the Year 2021 was decided in February 2020. Just before the world fell apart. The colour in question is called ‘Brave Ground’. It’s a gorgeous warm colour, natural and earthy and for want of a better description, it’s an upmarket beige! (sorry Dulux) However, it is perfect for our mood right now. We need security and warmth, peace of mind and a little bit of sanctuary. We are staying home more and really making use of all our spare space. A lot of us are working from home and we’re now extending our homes rather than moving. We have started to realise that our homes and how they make us feel, are incredibly important. A feeling of safety, sanctuary and security is what we all need right now.
I loathe decorating. But since lockdown I have done more DIY and decorating in my home than I have in the past 10 years. It’s very odd. But I am really enjoying it and the feeling of accomplishment has been very rewarding. Whether you want to spruce up your stairs or dazzle your family and friends with a complete change in the kitchen, there are so many colours to choose from – it can be a bit overwhelming. Don’t panic!!! I’m here to help.
Let’s look at a few of the basics when it comes to how colours make us feel:
Red: danger, passion, energy, warmth, adventure, optimism
Best for: dining rooms as it promotes sociable and lively feelings, and stimulates the appetite
I would not suggest painting a whole room red but maybe use it as a strong accent colour? Definitely avoid a nursery!
Best for: bedrooms as it can be peaceful and restful. A hot fuchsia could bring out passion!
Some pinks can be a little sickly so team with blacks or charcoal grey for a grown up look.
Orange: stability, reassurance, warmth, and is thought to aid digestion.
Best for: large living and dining rooms. Because orange is an ‘advancing’ colour it can have the effect of drawing the room in, lots of light is the answer.
Green: nature and energy, calming and restful, balance security, stability
Best for: bedrooms, living rooms
It’s been said that being in a green room can make a person too laid back so not ideal for an office!
Blue: calming and soothing; promotes intellectual thought; believed to keep hunger at bay; loyalty, serenity, authority, protection, contemplative, prevents nightmares
Best for: bedrooms, bathrooms, studies. Sometimes a blue room can feel cold especially when there is little sunlight. Add warmer tones with carpet or accessories.
Yellow: sunshine and energy, stimulates the intellect
Best for: kitchens, dining rooms or north-facing rooms. Not ideal for a bedroom as yellow is said to enhance feelings of emotional distress.
Lilac: spiritual matters – suggests the misty area between the sky and heaven, feminine
Best for: bedrooms and bathrooms to create a stress-free sanctuary. Can be a little insipid if overdone so maybe this colour is best left for the bedding or just one wall.
Purple: creativity, fertility, joy, but also magic, evil, death and sex
Best for: bedrooms!
Purple on every wall is going to be way too much purple unless this you’re decorating a funeral parlour or a gargantuan ballroom. Just something to consider…
Black: death, eccentricity, drama. It’s a non-colour that absorbs colour and reflects nothing back
Best for: using in moderation – never good as a base colour but invaluable to soak up some of the more sugary colours.
I had a tip from a builder once and I’m going to share it with you: trade versions of paint are usually more economical, better quality and are easier to use. I have no idea if this is true but you never know!
Now I am not suggesting you paint every wall in a room with these bold colours, but it’s nice to think that you can promote certain feelings just by being clever with your choices. The range of paint colours available today is almost incomprehensible! Choosing the perfect shade and then getting used to a bold choice or even having that feeling of not making a very brave choice and wondering why you even bothered! My advice? Do some research, rip pages out of magazines or try tester pots and let your thoughts settle for a few days or even weeks before you plunge that brand new paint brush into a virgin pot of paint. You’ll be glad you did and when you’re all finished and you’ve removed the paint splatters from your kitchen sink you can sit back, relax and soak up the atmosphere you’ve created. Or you could change your mind and start all over again! Good luck!
*Pictures are from the Dulux official website.