The Power of Colour
Neutral tones in the home have now been fashionable for so long that it has become easy to forget the power of colour. If you want to give your home something extra, effective use of colour is an easy way to do it, and it can really bring a dull room to life. If you don’t like it, it’s easy to change back, so why not be bold this year and brighten things up?
Colour and mood
The first thing to think about when working with colour is the mood you want to create. Although your mood is likely to change over the course of each day, there are likely to be particular ways you feel in each room of your home that are worth enhancing. In the bedroom, for instance, you may prefer relaxing, muted colours such as rose, azure and lilac, or you may want to be bold and sexy with a splash of red. Most people prefer a pale bathroom, which makes dirt easier to watch out for, but adding notes of blue or green can give it more energy and trigger positive associations with water. Similarly, bright colours in the kitchen add character, and citrus shades will make it feel fresh and fruity – try orange, lime green or lemon yellow.
A simple transformation
When you want to give a room a dramatic makeover at a low cost, creating a brightly-coloured feature wall or adding a rug is a really easy way to do it. This approach works especially well in living rooms, where you can adjust lighting to bring out different aspects of the room at different times of year, making it look bold in summer and cosy in winter. In the West we generally associate red, orange, pink, brown and gold with warmth, and a rose-tinted lamp can make these colours appear richer. There’s also evidence that this can help you to relax in the evenings.
When thinking about colour, don’t be afraid to think about ceilings and large pieces of furniture as well. If you find it hard to imagine the result, take photos of your room and change the colours on your computer. It won’t need to look perfectly realistic to help you get an idea.
Using colour highlights
As an alternative to using large areas of colour, you can often get a striking effect from using just one or two pieces of feature colour in an otherwise neutral room. Brightly-coloured window shutters, for instance, can really make a statement, and you can match them with a strikingly designed chair at the other side of the room for extra impact. Consider items such as cushions, vases, pouffes and standing lamps for this. In an ordinary bedroom, bright pillows or flowers on your dressing table can have an amazing transformative effect.
If you’re not sure about using colour, go slowly at first, but the chances are you’ll soon find yourself ready to try something more dramatic. This is a great way to infuse your home with your personality and turn it into a place where you truly feel you belong.
Some useful resources here to further strengthen your home improvement skills: