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Choosing Wallpaper - How Will Colors Affect My Room?

A good general guideline for choosing the color scheme of a room is to look at what you already have. We call these your "givens." What is in the room now that must stay? You may have a carpet or tile color that dictates the color scheme. Also, notice the color scheme of the clothes in your closet to see which colors you personally prefer.

Warm Colors:
Reds, yellows, oranges and peaches are warm colors. Intense warm colors create exciting spaces, while subdued warm colors form pleasant rooms for social gatherings. Warm colors are often used in eating areas, like breakfast or dining rooms.
Warm colors also help make north rooms more inviting. Research has shown that people actually feel warmer in a room painted with yellows, reds or oranges than they do in a white or blue room. In colder climates, warm colors are a popular choice.
 
        Warm Colors:

  • advance toward the viewer 
  • are masculine 
  • are informal 
  • are cozy 
  • are intimate 
  • are inviting 

Cool Colors:
Blues, greens, lavenders and grays are cool colors. Intense cool colors are fresh and dramatic, while subdued cool grays are tranquil. Cool colors make rooms feel less confining. They are often used in bathrooms and other small rooms.
Use cool colors in west-facing kitchens, porches and other areas where afternoon heat is a problem. In very warm climates, using white and cool colors exclusively can make an entire house seem more comfortable. 

        Cool Colors:

  • recede or appear farther away
  • enlarge a room
  • are feminine
  • are formal
  • are calming
  • are tranquil

Neutral Colors:
Neutral colors are shades of white, gray or beige. Most neutrals are tinted slightly with a warm or cool color. Neutral-colored walls provide a backdrop that does not compete with furnishings and accessories.

Light Colors:
Light colors create bright, spacious rooms. To the eye, light colors seem to recede, making rooms appear larger and ceilings higher.
Since light colors reflect the most light, they can brighten a north-facing room, a closet or dark hallway. White walls form a neutral background that does not compete with furnishings.

Wall roughness and paint sheen can affect the lightness of any color. Smooth surfaces and gloss paints reflect maximum light to make a color seem lighter. Rough-textured walls and flat sheen paints hold more shadow and minimize the lightness of a color. 

        Light Colors:

  • reflect light
  • make a room appear larger
  • make a room appear
  • more open and spacious

Dark Colors:
Use dark colors to create an intimate room. Because dark colors absorb light, walls appear closer to make the room seem smaller.
Darker colors can be used to disguise problem areas such as uneven walls, or to make a high ceiling seem lower. In heavy-use areas, dark colors can help hide wear. Rough surfaces and flat paint finishes make colors seem darker because they absorb more light.

Dark walls tend to dominate, so you may choose to use lighter-colored accents to add balance to a room. When the walls are dark, it is a good idea to tint the ceiling paint slightly with the wall color to make the room blend and work together. 

        Dark Colors:

  • absorb light
  • are intimate
  • are heavy
  • are quiet
  • make a room
  • appear smaller

Bright Colors:
Bright colors are highly saturated with pigment. They are not diluted by white or darkened by black. Bright colors work well in active spaces like recreation rooms, sun porches and children's rooms. Because bright colors draw attention, they are often used as accents in rooms with neutral or subdued color schemes. 

        Bright Colors:

  • create excitement
  • are active
  • work in low light area

Subdued Colors:
Subdued colors are less saturated with pigment than bright colors. They are blended to include mixtures of white, black or gray. Subdued colors are relaxing and restful, and are frequently used in studies and bedrooms, and form a soft background in bathrooms and dressing rooms. You can increase visual interest in a subdued room by adding a few brightly-colored accents.
 
        Subdued Colors:

  • are restful
  • are tranquil
  • are quiet