How to Choose the Right Color for Your Home

Šime Unić
How to Choose the Right Color for Your Home

The psychological impact of color is a topic on which articles and books have been written. Color psychology is especially important in the marketing industry, as well as in interior design.

Think about it – for how long would you feel comfortable staying in a room with bright red walls?

Probably not for very long. This attests to how important the color of the space is, and especially the color of a space in which you spend a lot of time.

The Terra Dalmatica team has, in its fifteen years of experience in real estate, made quite a few observations.

How to Choose the Right Color for Your Home

Although you can just go with your gut feeling or simply choose your favorite color, when it comes to interior design, it’s best to bear in mind that a space should be harmonious and that you should feel comfortable staying in it.

If your favorite color is blue and you decide to paint everything blue, the spce won’t look balanced because the blue will be too dominant. However, you can use it as an accent color or even in a larger amount, as long as some other elements or walls will balance out this color.

When you think in this manner about color combinations, you’re actually thinking in terms of color schemes of which there are four in total:

  • Monochromatic - the simplest of them all. This scheme is made up of essentially one color (or rather a hue) which is tonally altered by adding black or white. The color thus becomes darker or lighter and you get a color scale that you can actually utilize.

Some examples include: black – gray – white, white – pink – red, light green – green – emerald green

  • Analogous - it's made up of colors that are analogous (next to one another) on the color wheel. One of them is usually a primary color (such as yellow) and the others are secondary colors like green and orange.

Some color combinations are: blue – green – purple, yellow – green – orange

  • Contrasting - it’s only important that the colors are significantly different. These combinations make a space come to life, but you can “calm things down” by adding the occasional light or white surface (or even use darker tones, if the space allows it).

Some color combinations are: red –blue – yellow, yellow – orange

  • Complementary - complementary colors are those colors that are opposite one another on the color wheel.

Some color combinations are: yellow – purple, red – green, blue – orange

how to choose the right color for your home

The Best Color Schemes for Each Space in Your Home

Since each room in the house has its own purpose, it's a good idea to use colors and interior design to accent that.

Optimal Colors for Your Living Room

Since you’ll most likely be spending the majority of your time here, it would be wise to decorate your living room so that it doesn’t strain the eyes, and so you can really stay in it for hours on end, without getting a headache.

This is why warm colors (such as shades of red, yellow, and orange) are often used in living rooms. Alternatively, calming colors such as pastels, light colors or white, as well as woody colors are also great choices. These have a more relaxing effect, make the room seem warmer and more comfortable to be in.

Besides, these color schemes leave enough room for experimenting with colorful details that can invigorate the room. And it's always nice to be able to hang a nice painting on the wall. This is when a neutral background is all the more important for the painting to stand out.

color for living room

Ideal Colors for the Kitchen and Dining Room

Many prefer light colors for the kitchen area simply because of cleanliness – it's easier to see, and thus clean dirt if you can see it on a light background.

Your logic might be the opposite. We all live fast-paced lives, and when a dark area in your kitchen, or dark tiles “camouflage” the occasional stain, you can feel less pressured in your own home.

Warm and woody tones are often used in dining rooms precisely because they get you to stay there longer, to spend quality time together, chat, and – eat.

To elaborate, warm tones enhance appetite. This is why, for example, red is so popular in the food industry for packaging. However, following the opposite logic, if your goal is to be more mindful of how much you eat, colder color tones and very light colors can help regulate your appetite.

color for kitchen

Appropriate Colors for Your Bedroom

Warm and intense colors tend to have a stimulating effect on the mind, so it’s best to avoid them in bedrooms. You can choose light colors, but it’s then best to go with creamy tones (such as beige or brown). Cold colors such as purple, blue, or green will be a great choice. However, it’s also useful to bear in mind that, for example, a calming seafoam blue or a dark blue will have a more calming effect on most people compared to ultramarine blue.

Relatively neutral colors such as beige, blue, or brown (as well as white) are also favorites for bedrooms because you can combine them with almost any other color. This makes choosing your sheets or decorative elements easier to choose, and for everything to fit in well together.

A general recommendation for choosing the color in any room is that dark colors make space seem smaller (which is why you’ll often hear that you should wear dark-colored pants if you want to make your lower body seem slimmer), and light colors make things seem larger. Dark colors shrink a room and you can expect them to work well only in extremely large spaces or those with very high ceilings. Most spaces that have ceilings of a normal height, that are average in size, and aren’t particularly well-lit function best when they’re decorated in light colors.

color for bedroom

Tricks for Achieving a (Pleasant) Color Contrast in Your Home

  • Use furniture or details in the interior (such as cushions or lamps) to add a pop of color to the room which is predominantly neutral in terms of its color scheme;
  • Play around with color combinations of the walls in a room. It’s recently become popular to paint one wall in a room an entirely different color compared to the other three, or perhaps cover it with decorative wallpaper.
  • Combine materials to achieve some texture contrast. In this way, you'll see popular combinations of traditional materials such as wood and glass, or perhaps brightly-colored furniture being placed in traditional stone houses.

Now all that’s left for you to do is get your hands on a color palette and place some color swabs next to each other until you find the winning combination!

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