Using Color for Home Decorating – Do Rules Apply?

One of the things that most of us love about living in the Keys is that the rules seem to be a bit different for us – even the most eccentric of us can easily fit in and seem totally “normal”.  In so many areas of life the rules of the mainland just don’t seem to apply.  We are a glorious eclectic community of bright, bold and quirky people so it does not strike one as odd that the same should hold true for how we decorate and color our homes.  So do rules apply?  I think not!  There are certainly trends that come into play; right now in some regions gray tones seem to be especially popular.  People in coastal communities often favor colors that are inspired by the ocean, with hues ranging from intense sky blue to colors mimicking the soft turquoise waters.    Whether you choose to go bold and wild with your room colors or more subdued or trendy, there are some things to consider and questions you may want to ask yourself which may prove helpful in choosing your color palette.

Beth2What kind of light does the room get?  
There is a big difference between how a color might look when it receives a lot of natural light versus a naturally darker room.  A bright or bold color may be too much for a room that has a big window with a lot of sun, but it might be very pleasing as an accent wall with less direct sunlight.  Start with a sample can and paint a large piece of cardboard that you can move around to different walls during different times of the day.

How will the room be used?
These are important considerations.  According to Feng Shui, the ancient art of placement, life is built upon five elements.  Each of these elements correlates with certain colors and qualities of our being.  In theory, enhancing a certain color should nurture that element and associated qualities.  Perhaps the elements below will assist as you think about how you will use the room:

  • Earth – yellow, light brown, orange = wholeness and unity
  • Metal – white, gold silver = children, leadership
  • Water – black, blue, purple = career, power, knowledge
  • Wood – green, brown  = family, good health, life
  • Fire – red, orange  = passion, wealth, money, energy

Beth3How does the room make you feel?
According to experts, each color has its own vibrational energy and because we are energy, every cell in your body can be influenced by the color around you.  Color therapists believe this influence can be profound and even have a positive impact on your health.  Below are the colors and parts of the body thought to correspond with good health:

  •  Violet – brain, nervous system
  • Indigo – pituitary, ears, eyes, nose
  • Blue – throat, thyroid
  • Green – heart, lungs
  • Yellow – pancreas, spleen, gall bladder
  • Red – kidneys

Beth4Consider the Color Wheel.
A color wheel can be a great tool and helpful when you are looking for complimentary colors.  It can be a bit surprising to find that colors you never thought of together look great even though they are total opposites on the wheel.  Color schemes fall into three categories: complementary, analogous, and neutral. Complementary schemes combine a primary and secondary color from opposite sides of the color wheel (red and green). Analogous colors are either warm (reds, oranges, and yellows) and cool (greens, blues, and violets). Neutrals are colors not included in a color wheel, such as browns, whites, and blacks.

The bottom line when you are picking paint is to remember, it is temporary and easily changed.   Let your personal style shine through and have fun!  The most important thing is that you love it and have created a space that makes you feel good!

Originally from Minneapolis, after 17 years in corporate America she traded in her high heels for flip flops and now thoroughly revels in island life… professionally and personally!