More about color

In the early 90’s the whole ‘Southwest’ decor style came at us. Peach and blue; geometric borders, ceramic coyotes, zipper paintings. I remember one house in Alberta done entirely in this color scheme that was so cold feeling in the winter it was very uncomfortable. Then some smarty pants designer re-did the color scheme to deep red, blue and green and it worked. The vibrant colors complimented our climate and matched our state of mind .

About this time the economy was getting busy and our interiors became softer, colors more muted, lots of beige and taupe. Lots of monochromatic schemes. Not much color anywhere as we all cocooned in our great rooms and stainless kitchens. We were very busy outside our homes and wanted the interiors to be soothing; places of refuge from the hectic day to day life.

Take a look at the shelter magazines on the stands right now. COLOR is what it’s all about. As the economy struggles, our homes become the go to place for inspiration and ‘cheering up’. Lots of purple -the color of power and luxury. Orange is around again – the color of health and mental activity. Vibrant blues are the colors of creativity and intelligence.

What makes this decorating cycle a bit different is the way the bright colors are appearing. The walls of our rooms are staying soft; muted versions of the bright hits of color that appear in the rooms. Red leather sofa -no; red cushions, yes. Lamp shades, area rugs, vases, art; maybe some painted accents but mostly the vibrant colors are removable.

Color will affect your state of mind. If you want your space to be more invigorating, for example, choose a color that will help you achieve this, like orange, and add it to your existing rooms. There are many shades and tints of each color so you should be able to find one that works with your existing scheme. Do some reading on the psychology of color. Do a few pieces at a time. You don’t need to spend a lot of money but you do need to have some fun.

As a side note, while researching for this I read several times that tests have shown that babies cry more in rooms with yellow walls….

Please visit my website for more information and for re-prints of all my Design Dilemma columns.

Written by