Color has the ability to completely alter the atmosphere and ambiance of your home. Using color to enhance a home and make its occupants feel more content and peaceful is a useful way to counteract any sense of stress and negativity that you may feel in your home. It is color therapy for the inhabitants as much as for the home.
Observe the colors in your home. What are the predominant colors surrounding you? On a piece of paper, note how the colors make you feel as you are viewing them. Note whether they are bright, muted, eclectic, matching, etc., and how these different color effects impact on you.
Select your favorite color spectrum. Find a color wheel. A color wheel is divided into primary and secondary colors, with the warm color spectrum (red, orange and yellow) on one side and the cool color spectrum (green, blue and violet), on the other side. Which side attracts your attention and emotions most? The colors that please you are a good indicator of what will please you around the home.
Consider what meanings the colors have for your household. The cool colors are suggestive of water, sky, and trees. They equate to a sense of calm, balance, peace and being soothed. The warm colors, on the other hand, are suggestive of sun, fire, and stars. They equate to a sense of vibrancy, energy, creativity and action.
Involve the rest of the household. Creating color harmony in the home should not be the harmony according to one person. Let all interested family members choose the colors that soothe, energize or please them. You can see whose ideas match and where compromises need to be reached. After all, there are plenty of rooms in the house, so if there are mismatches, compromises can be reached on coloring the rooms according to those inhabitants who spend the most time in them.
Decide on the ways that you will bring the new colors into your home. Will you paint or will you simply change the soft furnishings? If you are really serious about ushering in a new era in your home, it is likely you will aim to do both–paint and make changes to curtains, bedspreads, pillows, rugs, etc. See the “Tips” for extra ideas of the ways you can bring color into your home.
Decide which rooms will be the focus of each color spectrum.
The warm colors are best suited to studying areas and high traffic areas such as a kitchen, where a lot of love and laughter is shared.
The cool colors should be in entrance and exit areas to ensure that on leaving or returning home, a sense of peace and calm descends in both directions. Cool colors are also perfect for bedrooms, movie dens and any area where you would like to encourage calm and balance.
Dining areas can be a mixture–cool for ensuring slower eating and warm for enlivening conversation. A mix can be achieved by painting in one color and then using curtains, tablecloths, serviettes, paintings, etc. in another hue from the opposite spectrum but matching.
Bathrooms are often better on the warmer side as this gives the impression of warmth from shower to dressing and it also brightens the room for other activities such as putting on makeup and shaving.
Draw up a color theme plan. Whether you are only fixing one area or room of the house, or the entire house, it is important to draw up a blueprint so that you have a good idea of what you want. Most importantly, this will provide you with an overview of the end result and will guide you through the process of bringing color into your home. Theming color is important because it gives you an idea of which colors you want to remain dominant and which other hues can be successfully blended in without overpowering the main color.
Consider absence of color as another liberating alternative. Whites, creams and beiges can afford a sense of serenity and space. Such a basic color scheme can be dressed up if needed or left as is. It will often suit a room that receives a lot of sunlight and has a good view into a garden or similar relaxing space.