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Making the Right Color Choices for Your Home



Red stimulates the strongest emotional response. A powerful color, luscious red can be exciting and take center stage in any room design. Cherry red is an energetic color symbolizing romance, whereas earthy brick red has the warmth of an earth tone with an understated, classic look. Deep reds have a traditional feeling of importance and stature, and bright reds impart the feeling of daring adventure. Either way, red will attract the most attention- whether it is used as a wall or an accent color.



Orange is enthusiastic! Orange can range from bright yellow- oranges to deep terra-cotta and rust. The orange family of colors relays the refreshing feeling of fun and warmth. As bright yellow-orange, the light- hearted feeling of energetic orange is fun and youthful. Rich oranges can be terra- cotta or darker brick oranges, which remarkably share the warmth of an earth tone. Used as a dominant color in your design, light orange can be cheerful and whimsical, while a rich- orange theme can be nutty and comforting.



When people think of yellow, they think of sunshine. Bright and enthusiastic, yellow can be an optimistic color that is upbeat and bright eyed. The more delicate, lighter wheat tones can be comforting because of their easy-on-the-eyes subtle hues. Coordinating with almost any other color, soft yellows have a homey quality that makes them easy with which to live. Bright yellows, on the other hand,can have a vibrating intensity that can be difficult on the eyes. Because of the saturated quality of intense yellows, they can make young children agitated if overused.



Green is a comfort color. Relaxing and soothing, green is used in places where people are comforted, whether it is a medical facility or a ''green room'' where people relax before a performance. Lighter soft greens recall nature and soothing earth tones, while dark greens inspire a more conservative, traditional environment. Although usually considered a color that is calming, new versions of green have a feeling of renewal and youthful enthusiasm. These lime and neon greens are playful and energetic. They are fun and cheerful for the young at heart.



''True blue'' is an expression that describes the qualities of loyalty and honesty. That is the color blue. The color of water and the sky, blue denotes integrity. Most popular in bedrooms, this color can be a cool blue- gray or a baby blue, which is restful and calming. One of the most- popular colors, blue generally has a refreshing sense of tranquility. Although some find darker gray- blue to be somber- hence the term, ''feeling blue'' - it is most often thought of as a ''blue- ribbon'' color, implying that it is the best there is.



Rich, deep purples call to mind luxury and wealth. A color associated with royalty, purple denotes a luxurious sense of sophistication. Rich purples are often used in room with a quiet elegance, whereas light purples, such as lilac and lavender, are used to convey a light- hearted or romantic feeling. Soft purples can be more feminine than the richer tones of the color, which can create a feeling of splendor and style when you use it sparingly. Whether a whimsical accent for yellows and oranges or a majestic accompaniment to warm earth tones, purples can set the stage for a room.



The color of nature and the earth underfoot, brown has the feeling of stability and security. A reliable color that ranges from gentle earthy beige and brown- gray taupe to rich chocolaty brown, this earth tone has a sense of timelessness. A mellow and cozy color, the down- to- earth browns recall the luscious textures of wood and leather. The soft tones can be quiet and conservative, the backdrop to any palette, whereas rich browns give the feeling of balance and strength. With the warmth of cocoa and coffee, browns can be hearty and comforting.



Black is the color of understated elegance. A serious color, black has a sense of strength in design. Used as the dominant color in a room, black presents a sense of power and prestige. Overpowering if overused, ebony black can be the perfect backdrop to contrasting colors and metallic accents. Softened by the use of a deep charcoal color or less- saturated lighter grays, the classic black family will complement any color. However, the stature of true black will always embody the style and class of a black- tie affair.



Snowy white is the purest color. Bright white gives the feeling of freshness. Reflecting light, bright white enriches the more colorful tones with a strong contrast. Off- whites can bring in more warmth- creamy and pearl- colored whites have a warm glow, for example. Pastel hues paired with a soft white can be a soothing combination, whereas richer colors look crisp and clear alongside clean white. Whether you're working with the earthier ivory variations or pure bright white, either choice complements the palette with a sense of clarity and freshness.


Making the Right Choices:

How Lighting Affects Color

When deciding what colors will look best in any room, consider the color of the lighting. Different sources of light can affect how a room's colors look and how they make you feel. An incandescent bulb, which is a common household light source, adds warmth to a room. Simple off-white will appear golden when it is illuminated by only an incandescent bulb. A stronger yellow room, bright in daylight, will look somewhat softer in the evening when the light bulbs soak up the intensity of the yellow. Deep red will appear to be brick red; blue will look slightly green; and cool gray will seem to be a warm taupe.

The incandescent lighting that you use for most of your indoor lighting needs is perfect for rooms where you look at and groom yourself, such as the bath. Your complexion will appear healthier and more attractive in the bathroom mirror under soft, warm incandescence.

The standard fluorescent bulb, on the other hand, adds a cool ultraviolet or blue tint to the colors in the room. Warm wall colors, such as yellow, gold, orange, wheat tones, lose their warmth in standard fluorescent light. Yellow appears yellow-green, red looks like purple, and skin tone has a blue-gray cast. It is as if these colors have been ''washed'' with a subtle blue overtone. Because of its unflattering nature, it is except for some task lighting. However, newer warm white fluorescents are truer to natural light and don't have the cold blue cast of the old standard fluorescent.

A halogen bulb gives off a bright white light that closely resembles the qualities of daylight. The intensity of the heat produced by a halogen bulb means that you have to be careful where you place it. However, its crisp light provides excellent task lighting. A compact, low voltage version of halogen is perfect for accent lighting. Because of the balanced purity of the halogen light, artwork, such as oil paintings, photographs, and sculpture, look true to life within its remarkable glow. Therefore, low-voltage halogen lighting is the perfect choice for museums and art galleries, allowing viewers to appreciate the true colors and textures of what is on display.

The most minimal, soothing light source is candlelight. Nothing comes close to the warm glow of the candle's flame to create a serene atmosphere. Whether it is a lit candelabra on the table or small tea lights on the ledge of the tub, warm, glowing candlelight creates a cozy and luxurious mood in any room.

Lastly, consider whether your lighting choice enhances the colors in the room. Your eyes will compensate or adjust for the yellow glow or blue cast in the room, but is the amount of light right for the space? The more-saturated wall colors, a deep purple or an intense red, will actually absorb rather than reflect the light, requiring more light to illuminate your room.

On the other hand, lighter colors will reflect light and brighten a space. You can also make light bounce off the ceiling to highlight its accent color or to add softer reflected light. It is crucial to incorporate adequate lighting for your needs. Maximize your home's exposure to natural sunlight in order to keep spaces bright and upbeat.
Allowing fresh air and natural sunlight to dapple your kitchen encourages a cheerful mood. Natural light, more than any light bulb, creates a mood of overall wellness that cannot be imitated by an artificial light source over the tub or on the side of the vanity.

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