You know that saying about learning the rules so you know how to break them? That’s how I feel about color theory! We know color and emotion go hand in hand, right? … Think about how a sunset makes you feel, how a bouquet of flowers makes you smile or the fun clothes you have in your closet that make you feel sophisticated and . We’re surrounded by color! It’s just as much a part of your home’s design as the furniture and the accessories we lovingly put in them.
As an interior designer, I want your home to inspire you – to reflect your personality so that it gives you the confidence to accomplish anything. Color plays a large role in that. Since everyone is influenced by color in their own way, that’s when breaking the rules is so fun!
A lot of research has gone into helping us become more aware of why certain colors make us feel the way we do about them, it’s truly fascinating. Understanding the emotion behind color is a great first step:
Neutrals (White, Taupes and Browns): Expansive and airy, fresh and clean. Grounding, yet flexible in that you can bring in other colors and change your design rather easily.
Image courtesy Style At Home
Yellow: It’s the sun so no wonder it’s the first color your eye notices! It’s bright, fun and happy. A playful color that’s full of energy.
Orange: A fun color that both calms and stimulates since it’s a combination of yellow and red. With varying shades it can be warm and comforting or fun and youthful.
Image courtesy Pinterest
Red: Intense and energetic! Deeper saturated tones are rich and elegant while brighter hues are stimulating and passionate.
Green: Relaxing, represented in nature therefore healing and fresh. It’s also seen a s strong and symbolic of renewal and growth.
Blue: One of the most calming colors, think sky and sea! A color known for depth and stability, as well as loyalty, wisdom and trust.
Purple: The color of luxury, prestige and royalty. Rich hues are dramatic and sophisticated. Lighter shades are spiritual and restful.
Image courtesy Palas Design
Now let’s break the rules!
What I appreciate about contemporary design is how, as designers, we acknowledge the moods of color but we’re also experimenting with other colors that are just as powerful. We know the rules but we love breaking them just as much! That’s the beauty in knowing how color makes you feel, it gives you the confidence to expand your palette.
Black and deep charcoal grays are quickly gaining popularity as these colors can easily create an elegant and sophisticated room.
Image courtesy Steven Gambrel
Silver and slate grays achieve lightness and add serenity when paired with brighter and softer elements.
Image courtesy Ann Lowengart Interiors
Go beyond classic red as an accent and make an impact. I like to design a corner nook in dark, brooding colors. Other times I like to turn small rooms into TV rooms and libraries, which look best in dark, rich colors.
Image courtesy Peace Design
However you want your home to feel, you can do it with color. If you think outside the box, you’ll get great results!