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Creating Color Effects
Color surrounds us and affects nearly every aspect of our lives—it is the single most important factor in creating spaces that reflect individual mood and style. We are soothed by certain colors and stimulated by others. We use color to describe our world-- to change a house into a home.
Since the human eye can perceive millions of different colors deciding on the best colors to decorate your home is no simple task. Even if you limit your choice to one color family, there are still thousands of variations to choose from. So it's important to understand the effects of the temperature of color, how light affects color as well as the effects that juxtaposed and complementary colors can create.
A color is categorized as cool or warm depending on its place in the color spectrum. Warm colors promote a feeling of warmth in a room. They tend to advance space and are used to make walls appear closer. Cool colors seem to enlarge the space in a room by making the walls appear further away. Red, orange and yellow are examples of warm colors, while violet and blue are classified cool colors. Green is known as the most neutral color.
While just about everyone is familiar with the magic formula that “warm colors advance and cool colors recede,” creating color effects is also dependent upon value (lightness or darkness) and intensity (saturation or purity) in addition to temperature. For example, a bold green or blue can advance space or make a room seem smaller while a subtle red or pale yellow can create a sense of greater space.
Color complements are those colors that intensify each other and are directly opposite each other on the color wheel. Each warm color has a cool color as its complement.
Complementary colors create contrast in a room to effectively balance and liven up the space. For instance, if you use red and green together in a room, each color will appear more intense than when used alone.
Light can play tricks on the way we perceive color as well. One corner of a room painted blue for example, may appear to be a different shade from the rest of the room because colors reflect light, which changes its appearance.
Most colors are associated with certain emotions, which vary from culture to culture. According to author Nell Frances in her article Color Facts and Color Effects, the following are some of the of the most popular color associations:
• Red: power, passion, courage, vitality, excitement, strength, speed, love, heart and warmth.
• Yellow: light, cheer, sunlight, happiness, creativity, confidence, self-esteem, intellect, innovation.
• Blue: caring, devotion, trust, wisdom, peacefulness, serenity, loyalty, truth, coolness, harmony.
• Green: nature, fresh, growth, abundance, life, youth, renewal, hope, fertility, peace, balance.
• Orange: energy, warmth, contentment, fruitfulness, strength, security, sensuality, abundance.
• White: pure light, energy, truth, perfection, serenity, harmony, loyalty, sincerity, clarity.
• Black: formal, reserved, drive, dignity, reliability, authority, power, prudence, wisdom, glamour.
Remember, when choosing your decorating colors, it is important to consider not only how those colors will affect your space but also the effects that the colors will have on the people living there.
About the Author: Article by Payless Decor, your premier source for blinds, curtains, shades, and other window treatments.