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When it comes to Colour . . . follow your Heart.
by Carolyn Goldberg
Interior Decorator & Principal / Accredited Member of CDECA

First published in Terra Cotta Magazine, Summer 2008 publication

How do you feel about your home and how does your home feel about you?

It is a well known fact that colour in your home does much more than anyone can appreciate and we as individuals are very visual beings and are more than likely to be swayed by the things we see which can have an immediate impact on our mood.

Transform your space
Changing a colour is one of the most exciting and economical ways to transform an interior space; alternatively, choosing a colour can be a very overwhelming experience, since there are a variety of colors available on the market as there are grains of sands on earth!!! Understanding colour is vital to creating your perfect space. 

Choosing a colour scheme
In the design world it's easier once you understand that colour is classified and organized on what is known as the Colour Wheel. Balance is the key as the colour wheel helps to sort things systematically. Colours Schemes can be termed by how they are grouped together; Monochromatic, Analogous or Complimentary.

Monochromatic, meaning one single colour, is one of the easiest schemes to create and is considered unified, peaceful and harmonious. You can create interest with different shades and tones of the same colour and incorporate a variety of volumes and textures using fabric, carpet, art and accessories.

The Analogous scheme is a combination of two to three related colours that are side-by-side on the colour wheel and considered to be versatile and eye catching. Usually one color is dominant and the other is secondary in importance.

A complementary scheme uses colors across from each other on the color wheel and is generally found to be visually pleasing to most people. Complementary color schemes are tricky to use in large doses, but work well when you want something to stand out.

Preferences vs Favourites
Colour preferences are not always the same as favorite colours. You may love cobalt blue as glass -- but not as a color on your walls. Lightened and subdued, cobalt blue might become a colour you prefer and would like to live with.

An idea file can help you identify your colour preferences. Start with decorating books, magazines and catalogues. As you look through your decorating books and magazines, flag or cut out pictures of things that appeal to you, whether it's an entire room, a fabric or a vase of flowers.

Do coloured walls look inviting? Maybe you like the feel of an all-white room or perhaps you prefer botanical or textured solids? Don't try to analyze why you like something; just collect the ideas and include family members in this discovery process, because everyone's preferences count.

Analyze your colour preferences by sitting down with your idea file and ask yourself a few questions. Do you like cool blues, greens and violets? Or warm reds, yellows and oranges? Perhaps you feel more at ease with neutrals. Do you prefer combinations of just a few colours or combinations that include many colours. One approach is not necessarily easier than the other; it's all a matter of taste.

Which is your least favourite colour? For adults, it is usually orange. But, can you see the potential in light-value, low-intensity versions of orange; colours that might be described as pumpkin or spice? Don't rule it out, in the right form, in the right amount, and in the right situation, your least favourite colour may turn out to be just right.

Colours look different in varied levels of lighting and will greatly affect the way you perceive it. Certain colours will have a different impact according to the characteristics of your space. Always view samples of paint or wall coverings in the rooms in which they will be used both during day and with the lights on at night so you get a true sense of how they will appear.

Stepping out of your colour box
A child's room is a great place to have fun with lots of colour! Kids' preferences tend to lean toward high-intensity hues.

Do you prefer light, airy colours or dark, dramatic ones, bright colours or quiet colours? Recognizing your preferences in these aspects of colour is especially helpful when you choose a wall colour.

What part of the natural world appeals to you? Just because you love the ocean doesn't mean you must build your colour scheme around blue -- in fact, ocean colours include many warm hues. Your preference might lead you to blue-greens, yellow greens, even yellow-oranges as well as neutrals.

Do you long for a calm space, or do you hope to create a high-energy room? If you favour a quiet earthy ambience, use warm neutrals, a single colour in many variations, or related colours such as cool clear blues, aqua or sandy tans, warm browns and orange. If you're after excitement, opt for more contrast-colours from all around the colour wheel, lots of light/dark contrast, and doses of high intensity colour.

Overall, selecting a colour scheme can be a very daunting task as there is a lot to consider when it comes to colour. A Professional Interior Decorator has the expertise to guide you through your colour selections. Tints, tones and shades are key components to consider when unifying your space so that you can sit back, relax and most of all enjoy the experience!!

We hope this article has offered you some insight. We invite you to continue to explore our site. Then, when you are ready, feel free to contact us for more information or to arrange a consultation.

© 2010 Interiors by Carolyn Inc.
All rights reserved. This article may not be published in any form whatsoever without express written permission of the author.

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