Color is an international visual language understood by all so when you’re trying to communicate or transmit something through interior design, there’s no better way to do it than through color. In order to do that, you need to understand how colors behave, how they change their character and how they influence our mood.
All colors change their character when lightness and saturation are modified so it’s not enough to pick a color for a certain interior design element because you also need to pick a shade. Light colors are airy and, as a general rule, they make rooms feel larger and brighter. Dark colors are sophisticated and warm and they make rooms feel intimate.
Colors basically behave in three ways. They can be active, passive or neutral. Neutrals include black, gray, white and brown and these colors are often used to establish balance in a décor that includes both active and passive shades.
An environment can become understimulated or overstimulated, depending on the colors used. An understimulated environment features weak intensities of color and weak or monotonous color contrasts while an overstimulated setting features highly saturated colors, strong contrasts and/or too many complex visual patterns.
The colors you use in your interior design and décor have an impact on the atmosphere you create and you need to correctly assess what this ambiance should be before you choose the colors. A bedroom, for example, needs to be calming and relaxing. A living room has to be exciting and energizing and so on.
When selecting a color palette for a room, there are several factors to take into consideration. First of all, practicality is important. If you have pets or small children stay away from white and other colors that are difficult to care for.
The colors you pick should either coordinate or contrast. So decide whether you want the décor to be harmonious and relaxing or interesting and dynamic. Be careful when choosing the tones and shades.
You need to figure out what colors work where. For example, because orange is an energetic color and yellow is an uplifting and welcoming color, they are both great options for the entrance area. Blue is calming, relaxing and serene and it’s often used in bedrooms and bathrooms. However, if the color is too pale it can become annoying.
Purple is rich, dramatic and sophisticated and it could suit areas such as the living room or even the dining room if you’re trying to create a more formal ambiance.
Green is calm and restful so it’s a great option for the bedroom although it could also look wonderful in the kitchen because of its freshness.
Red is a stimulating color and should be used in small doses, just like black. Only use it as an accent color in areas where you want to create contrasts or focal points.
Earthy colors such as terracotta are warming and relaxing, although often considered outdated to decide whether or not they match the style you’ve chosen before you add it to your color palette.