The Use of Color to Express Personality in Your Interior Design and Decorating

Nothing is more personal than color! Nothing expresses your personality with clearer or more unmistakable attraction than color. The primary and secondary colors are six in all, with three colors per category. The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. The secondary colors, which are combinations of the primary colors, are orange, green, and violet.

Color is a very deep and complex subject from the following the viewpoints: scientifically, emotionally, visually, spiritually, and intellectually. It touches every aspect of our lives with meaning and symbolism. Therefore, it is helpful to understand color and how it impacts your life. Your understanding of color does not have to be at the PhD level. Just a good, solid, basic understanding will do.

First and foremost, color has its source in light, and natural light comes from the sun. Therefore, color is how you light it! Color is perceived based on the source of light that is used to illuminate objects, and the way color is absorbed and reflected back to your eye.

Color can be described in three terms… Hue, Value, and Intensity.

Hue means the name of the color. Value means the relative lightness or darkness of a color. Intensity means how dull or vivid the color is.

Red suggests fire and blood. It is associated with activity, aggression, and passion. It is interesting to know that the aggressive and advancing quality of red makes a room in which it is used seem smaller in appearance.

Yellow looks most like the sun, as it expresses the quality that the sun seems to give out. With light and warmth from the sun, we are cheered as well as made more light-hearted. Yellow in a room will produce similar feelings under normal conditions.

Blue has an opposite effect from red. Its’ reactions are restraint, coolness, repose, and distance. By association, one thinks of a clear blue sky and the cool breezes from the blue waters of the ocean.

Orange is always warm and advancing, as well as cheerful, vibrant, and glowing. To a lesser degree, orange has some of the effects of the colors red and yellow.

Green is the union of yellow and blue, and expresses the qualities of both. Nothing could be more restful, soothing, and agreeable than the cheering and cooling effects of a seat in the shade upon the green grass under luxuriant green trees, in the middle of a hot day. It is easy to see the practical application of this in decorative art and interiors. In a sense, it is almost a neutral, as it is a great backdrop color for any other color, as evidenced in nature.

Violet, or purple, historically has been the color of royalty, as well as a color that represents intelligence and creativity. It has the qualities of red and blue.

Incomplete as the above descriptions are, they’re sufficient to establish the point that personal qualities or individual character traits can definitely be expressed in terms of color, or hue.

Value, the second attribute of color, is the quality of lightness or darkness of a color. It relates to a multi-step gray-scale; from white, through increasingly darker shades of gray, to black. A tint is a value lighter than a color’s normal value. For example, pink is a tint of the color red. A shade is a value darker than a color’s normal value. Maroon is a shade of the color red.

Intensity is the third quality of color. This aspect is the most important of all for a proper understanding of interior design and decoration. This quality determines how brilliant or how forceful a color tone is. Softer and less aggressive tones are called neutral or neutralized colors.

The most valuable question in using color decoratively is that which relates to the distribution and correct placing of neutralized colors in relation to the more intense ones. The biggest errors in the whole realm of color, used in interior decoration, are committed in this area. The following two major principles will clarify this matter for you:

“Backgrounds should be less intense in color than objects that are to appear against them in any decorative way.” What this means is that walls, ceilings, and floors must be less intense in color than hangings, upholstery, pictures, and other decorative aspects.
“The larger the color area the less intense it should be, and the smaller the area the more intense it may be.” According to this principle, hangings and large rugs must normally be less intense in color than toss pillows, lampshades, decorative ceramics, and other accessories. These fundamental ideologies also apply to fashion. For example, for a man, a red necktie is more appealing than a red suit. For a woman, a red flower or ribbon is more decorative on a black stylish hat than a gray ribbon would be on a red hat.

Even the slightest attempt at using color discloses its’ power to express your personality. With a little knowledge and wisdom, you can use it to your best advantage.

Creating Sumptuous Spaces – Tips on Interior Design and Decorating

Our homes are our castles, our keep and refuge to which we return after doing battle with corporate dragons, traffic, bureaucratic brain scientists and recalcitrant nursery school tots. And how much more pleasant the experience when the space is to die for. And getting those spaces beautiful is one of life’s great pleasures. There is nothing quite like a spot of interior design and decorating therapy to brighten the dingiest day.

Well, most of the time anyway. Sometimes things can really go badly wrong and slips between the drawing board and the paint bucket can cause some spectacularly unexpected and, well, interesting results. Never fear though, there a couple of basic pointers when it comes to decorating that can save the day.

Make your own choices. Although glossy house and home magazines can offer up tons of great ideas, your home is your space and anything you apply should center around your needs, taste and the constraints of the space itself.

Lighting and the effect of furnishings and features affects everything you put into a space, so don’t choose fabrics, carpets etc. in the store. Ask for samples or swatches and check them in your home environment.

The same applies to colour. Don’t choose paint in a store. Buy a sample and paint a small section of wall and assess the effect in your room. Also remember that texture plays a big role in how colours present themselves. Paint on a smooth wall will look subtly different when applied to a textured finish, particularly as light shifts through the area.

Don’t crowd your walls. Unless you have absolutely no choice, don’t allow furniture to hug the walls of a room. Group the furniture to create social space and don’t be afraid to utilise the centre spaces. Walls are easier to maintain in this way as well.

Don’t box yourself in. Points of entry and exit should never be obstructed and logical traffic flows should be left open. This not only makes for an easy flow through the area but facilitates cleaning.

Avoid trends. Trends are gone as quickly as they pop up. Stick with classic, timeless themes and quality furnishings. Neon animal print faux fur may be “in” today but will probably be a source of great embarrassment tomorrow.

Create focal points in an area. Any room benefits hugely from having a feature or furnishings that create strong focal attractions. Arrange the furnishings in the room to maximise the effect of that focal point. At the same time try and keep the focal attraction generic with wide appeal. Uncle Ernie’s stuffed whale head is not a good idea for the living room wall.

Mismatched furnishings can destroy a space if you can’t find some way to tie them together theme wise. Try and maintain a common thread or theme when decorating a room.

Details, details, details. The importance of detailing in a room can’t be stressed enough. Colour coded scatter cushions, table lamps, books, fragrant candles and flowers all make great accessories and add detail that draws a theme together.

So, there are a couple of pointers to help your home decorating have personal impact. The most important thing to remember though is to express yourself in your decorating and above all else – Have fun!