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Choosing A Color For Your Walls

The decorating trend has moved away from all white walls to adding color to our homes. Color is a great idea, but itís not always easy to choose. You can bring paint chips home, but take it from me; even that does not always ensure you have chosen the correct color.

Color definitely affects your mood, so you want to choose the right color for the right room. Warm colors in reds and yellows promote sociability and are a great color for kitchens and living rooms where family gathers. However, if you are constantly on a diet, you may want to choose blue for your kitchen and dining room, as it is believed to be an appetite suppressant. Red is a stimulating color and may not be the best choice for a bedroom if you have trouble sleeping. If you want a room to be quiet and serene, choose the cool color schemes of blues, greens, and violets. Neutral earth tones are also calming colors.

There are three ways to create a color scheme for your home. The first is using a complimentary color scheme. This scheme uses the color wheel with colors at the opposite end of the wheel. They are directly across from one another on the color wheel. They do not match or blend, but rather compliment each other. Some examples of complimentary colors are red and green, blue and orange, or violet and yellow. This is a bold statement and is best used for accent colors. For example if you have yellow walls, you may want to have violet in your pillows for a little bling.
The second color scheme is analogous, which uses colors that lie directly next to each other on the color wheel. Examples of analogous colors are blue and violet, violet and red, red and orange, orange and yellow, yellow and green, and green and blue. These colors blend well because each has a little bit of the other in it. This scheme can be used with both vibrant or pastels, or a mix of pastel with an accent wall in vibrant. You can use a dash of complimentary color on the opposite end of the color wheel for accents such as pillows, art, and accessories.

The third scheme is a monochromatic color scheme, which simply uses the same color in various tones and shades. You can go to your paint store and find a monochromatic mix on their sample cards. This scheme can be very restful and relaxing.

If you are afraid of a lot of color, a splash of color on one accent wall can make a statement without dominating the room. This wall can be a vibrant color or just a deeper shade of your primary color. Another way to add color to a room is to find something you love and go with that color as an accent. This could be a piece of artwork, a treasure heirloom, a rug, or a piece of pottery. Interior designers usually say to pick the primary color of your room and choose accent colors to match, but I find it easier to choose a piece I love with color and then select the primary neutral color for the walls. There are so many colors to choose from today, you should have no problems selecting a wall color.

Use color as texture for your room. There are many paint finishes that add texture to your room. Suede and sand finishes are a few examples. See our article on faux painting for more texture ideas.

Donít be afraid to mix warm and cool colors together, for example; soft yellow walls with blue accents or a deep red with a soft sage green.

Remember paint is cheap. If you donít like the color once it is on your wall, you can tone it down by colorwashing. This is simply done by mixing a small amount of a neutral color such as brown or black to water. ( 1 part paint to 10 parts water) and painting over your too bright color. You can add more or less water for whatever look you want. Do a practice area before you commit to the whole wall. You donít have to buy a gallon of brown paint. Just go to your craft store and buy 1 or 2 ounces of latex craft paint. You can use a brush or even a cloth to wash over the wall. Try it. What have you got to lose if you donít like the original color? If you donít like the colorwash, go out and buy another gallon of paint. Donít be afraid to experiment.


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