Designing With Color to Create Harmonic Interiors

Feeling At Home

Did you ever wonder why some rooms make you feel strangely uneasy while others make you feel wonderfully alive? Is the feeling intuitive, or is there really something in the air? Well, the terms “good” and “bad” vibes may have gone the way of the Marrakesh Express, but the fact remains, vibrations of color, space and light are still playing an interesting game with your senses. The combination of these and other subliminal environmental factors have influence on whether you feel happy or unhappy, production or depressive and should be taken into consideration when decorating your home.

This is a first in a series of Hubs based on the principles and power of color, space and light and their relationship to successful interior design. For many years I’ve successfully utilized these principles to create “harmonic” interiors. By “harmonic” I mean peaceful, unified and beautiful. The proper use of color on walls, fabrics and floors can help you create the ultimate “harmonic interior”.

Color Power

Long before the Clairol company told us “blondes have more fun”, advertisers were using color in advertisements to convey subliminal sales messages. Blue was used to make you remember a product and red was used to get you excited about it. Today, even more attention has been given to the affects of color in our lives. We’re not only learning what colors to put on our eyelids this season to make us look sexier, we’re learning what colors to wear to make us more powerful at the office. We also hear of doctors and other medical practitioners using color-therapy to cure illnesses.

The Western world is discovering and accepting an ancient Eastern philosophy; that every color of the spectrum has a physical quality that emits its own energy. Each color vibration can evoke a specific physical and emotional response. This concept is now widely used in business and industry to increase productivity and to strengthen company moral.

At home, color response is most beneficial in reducing stress and increasing family harmony. Individual tastes of all family members should always be taken into consideration when choosing a color scheme for a room; however, if an emotional quality is missing in our lives, we can evoke that quality by bringing in the respective color. Once you understand the principles of color response, you will be able to use them to enrich your life.

Why Is the Grass Green?

Objects appear to have color because they absorb all the color rays of light except for the one that is reflected back to your eyes. White is actually the combination of all colors of the spectrum and therefore reflects them all. Something that appears Black absorbs all the color rays and reflects none.

How should you apply these principles of color to create a healthier, happier home environment? You first need to analyze the areas you wish to decorate, noting the activities that you perform in each space. Then ask yourself, “Is there an emotional quality that I would like to bring into this room and into my life?” You proceed by selecting the appropriate colors and using them within the room.

Designing with Emotions

As Red creates excitement and warmth, it works well in activity rooms and rooms lacking sunshine. Red stimulates the appetite, so it works well in eating areas (unless you diet regularly!) Red also invites positive change and can bring you out of a depressing mood.

Orange evokes sociability, enthusiasm, confidence and optimism, so it works well in areas where you entertain. Orange can also help you become more outgoing.

Yellow works well in study areas and offices because it is the color of wisdom and creativity. Yellow helps you think clearer, so use it in places where you need to concentrate or you need mental inspiration.

Green may be used in any area where the family gathers or in work areas because it promotes peace, brotherhood and growth. It works for you in the bedroom, because it enhances serenity and relaxation.

Blue also works well in the bedroom. Its calming effect also stimulates feelings of understanding, honesty and devotion.

Violet, the spiritual color helps you become more intuitive and less preoccupied with problems. Use Violet in area of relaxation or meditation.

Because White reflects all the colors of the spectrum, it naturally reflects each of their stimulating properties. White also compliments each color it is placed beside and magnifies the physical and emotional response received from that color.

Even tints of white, such as pastels or shades of white like soft-gray or beige promote a positive overall sensation of well-being because they contain a stable, well-balanced amount of every color of the spectrum.

You may use one or many colors within a room. You may use mixed colors like blue-green to receive double benefits! Darker shades, lighter tints and muted colors all evoke an energy response relative to their original hue.

Plan Your Space

By creating your own color/emotion guides you can simplify the process of bringing color and emotional harmony each room of your home.

You’ll need a white sheet of paper attached to a black background and six colored pencils – Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and Violet. Although you may intend to decorate your home in pastels or earth tones, at this point you shouldn’t concern yourself with those delicate tints and shades. Concentrate only on the basic colors and the benefits and emotions these colors reflect.

The white paper represents the room you wish to decorate. Decide on the predominant emotion you’ve chosen for the room. On the paper, fill in an area with the amount of color you feel is necessary to establish the emotion.

For example, if you’re decorating your library, you may fill a large area with Green to promote the dominant emotion of tranquility. To the remaining area of your paper, add all the other emotions you desire. It may be Yellow for creative thinking, Blue for relaxation or White for balance and stability. Whatever the emotion you wish to convey, just apply the relative amount of color required to achieve the desired emotional response.

When you are finished, you will have the basis for coloring your room with emotion and you’ll have a guide for selecting the color for walls, windows, floors, fabrics and even works of art.

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