How to choose the colors that best describes your personality

Friday, August 11, 2006

Color is the most important element in decorating. While most of us can identify our favorite color, few of us have much confidence when it comes to combining them. For most people, the ability to combine colors properly can be difficult unless they are experienced or have a natural eye for color.

Whether you have one favorite color or many favorites, stick to four core colors and two patterns. Ill go into the proper use of patterns at a later time, but when selecting your color scheme, the general rule is to use three different values: light, medium and dark. The darkest of the colors should always be used as an accent color scattered throughout the room.

Once you have decided on your color scheme for a specific room, there are other important things to consider. One important factor that will affect the color, is the lighting in your room. For example: depending on which part of the world you live in, a north facing room receives less direct sunlight; a west facing room receives strong, warm light in the evening, casting an orange tint; an east facing room receives strong bright light in the morning, casting a white glow.

Once you have considered the lighting in your room the next step is to have a better understanding of color. Here are a few things you should know about color.

The hue of a color is the basic color
The tone describes the color's density and reflective quality
The value of a color describes the amount of white or black in the color
The saturation of a color refers to its subtleness and boldness

To make it easier when choosing a color, you should use a color wheel. The color wheel identifies color families. All colors, with the exception of white, come from primary colors, which are blue, yellow and red.

Blue is generally a peaceful color. It brings a sense of peace and tranquillity to the spirit. Blue also brings with it the promise of heaven and the depth of the sea. Darker blues carry the message of leadership and authority. Dark blues would be best used in dens, home offices and libraries where quiet thought is required.

Yellow is considered a primary color but also a warm color as it identifies with fire the same is true for red.

Now lets take look at secondary colors, which are green, purple and orange. These colors are created by mixing two of the three primary colors together.

As a secondary color, green is one of nature's most prominent colors and blends easily with any room. It is considered the most restful color to the eye and green's association with prosperity and the color of money will lend a prosperous air to living rooms and entryway's.

The color purple is known to evoke strong emotions in people. It is also considered highly creative, enigmatic, spiritual, artistic and unconventional. Due to purple's popularity, we are starting to see a decline in pink with shades of lavender and purple taking the lead. While it has been a prominent color, in past years we are leaning more toward shades of violet and orchid. Violet is getting more and more recognition due to its connection to romance and serenity.

Although orange is considered a secondary color, it is also considered a warm color accompanied by red, yellow and brown because they identify with fire.

Red is the color of passion and excitement. Red is also a color that conveys birth, vitality, activity and strength. It is most commonly used when decorating in dining rooms and libraries.

Orange takes its traits from both yellow and red, tempering the passion of red with the sunny disposition of yellow. Orange is also a known stimulant to the appetite. You may want to consider orange in dining areas and kitchens. While reds and oranges were both big last year and will continue to be popular. However orange is taking the upper hand in the rise of orangey-reds.

Yellow is associated with cheerfulness, optimism and the sun it draws the eye and becomes brighter with greater saturation. It also can be used to bring the warmth of sunshine into narrow or dark spaces.

We have begun to see a rise in the popularity of brown and it is predicted that it will continue to grow. People are starting to see the sensuality and elegance of brown. It is also the color of a stable source of security, comfort and normalcy.

Now that we have a better understanding of secondary colors lets look at neutral colors which include shades of white, gray and black.

Often, white is the color of choice for every room in the house because it represents purity, joy and truth. At the opposite end of the scale, white can also seem very sterile, giving the impression of being cold and empty.

Designers love grey because there is always a tint, tone or shade that will work with any color. However, grey is a serious color and is best avoided in rooms that are playful, like family rooms and children's rooms.

Many people associate the color black as sophisticated, artistic, and elegant. When used in contrast to another color, black can be very dramatic. Black is a color that should definitely be used in moderation. Keep in mind that too much black can be oppressive.

Neutral colors can be stylish and dramatic when used properly. Black and white are neutral colors that can create a wonderful palette for additional colors. The best way to add layers of color to your neutral color scheme is with accent pieces and accessories.

In conclusion, by understanding how color describes you and your personality, it will help you decide which colors to use in your home and why. Decide on your color scheme by choosing colors that attract you and eliminate the ones that you don't particularly care for, because your feelings about color should be a deep and personal reflection of your personality.

The influence of color is nowhere more important than in your home. My advice is for you to keep it simple and keep in mind what you are trying to communicate through that particular room. As I previously mentioned, consult a color wheel if you're unsure of a color's complement. You can get one at an art or paint store for reference.

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