Wondering about color? When it comes to a room makeover, color is where we spend most of our time thinking. You’re looking for a hue that can do a little bit of everything. It should complement the space, capture style and reflect your personality all at the same time – it’s no wonder color selection gets so much attention. That’s why we’re breaking down the building blocks of color theory to help you find the perfect hue that checks all the boxes.
It’s all in the name. Warm shades of red, orange and yellow are associated with the literal warmth that the sun and fire radiate. These vivid shades are closely tied to energy, joy and positivity, to create a space where the emotion feels uplifting and welcoming.
Red is symbolic of strength, power and passion, but it’s boldness can often overshadow its versatility. The key to using this hue is focusing on the statement you want to make with it. While the brighter shades of red generate more energy, darker ones tend to show a softer side that’s subtle and conservative. Consider a rich burgundy or brick red when designing for a space where the atmosphere is warm and welcoming, like a dining room.
The overall friendliness of orange makes it an ideal choice for rooms where people gather, but it’s also well suited for front doors that welcome guests into your home. From the bright citrusy hues to the muted earth tones, this happy hue’s versatility allows it to work well with a number of different design styles.
A cheery nature follows yellow wherever it goes. This golden hue triggers thoughts of happiness and sunshine especially when it’s used in a room with lots of natural light. Since it’s often considered to be the brightest warm color, a soft, sunny yellow is the perfect choice for guest bedrooms because it makes everyone feel right at home.
What comes to mind when we think of cool colors? Whether it’s a serene lake or a clear sky, cooler hues are often associated with feelings of calmness, relaxation, and tranquility. They’re a softer option that can make a space feel larger thanks to the way they make color look like it’s receding.
Mixed with the calming nature of blue and vibrancy of yellow, green is a color embodying balance and harmony. This down-to-earth hue is just as diverse as the nature it’s inspired by. Soft sea-greens can bring a restorative energy into a space, while deep olive tones can add depth and stability that feels anchored to the ground. Consider using deep greens to emphasize features you want to stand out like kitchen cabinets.
It’s the color of trust and tranquility. Blue is just as refreshing and friendly as it is reserved and sophisticated. It’s representation of sea and sky closely ties to open spaces where inspiration and imagination flourish. Soothing shades of dusty blue create a sense of serenity, while midnight shades of navy can add depth and drama. Blue’s universal energy makes it a hue that works anywhere.
Like green, purple embodies the characteristics of the colors it’s made of. The energy of red and tranquility of blue result in a hue that’s rooted in imagination and poise. With the ability to be both calming and uplifting, purple is an ideal choice for spaces where you seek creative energy and focus. Try this distinguished color in a home office or as an accent wall in a meditation space.
It’s not always warm or cool. Sometimes color falls in the middle for a hue that’s a perfect blend of both. Neutrals can take on the meaning of the colors they’re paired with or they can stand on their own. Either way, these transitional hues are tried and true thanks to their timeless appeal and versatility.
An air of mystery surrounds this bold hue that’s commonly associated with power, elegance and an ability to coordinate with any design style. While this color is most often used as an accent, we’re starting to see it take center stage in newer design trends. Dark shades are working their way into our homes more and more to create a space that’s rich, dramatic and full of dimension. Create a contemporary look by pairing black with rich jewel tones or play up its softer side with natural wood tones and neutral furnishings.
It’s technically the absence of color, but when it comes to white, there’s more than meets the eye. Known for its light and innocence, this hue can often be viewed as simple, but a variety of tints and tones proves there’s more complexity than you’d think. Bright whites can help design a space that feels larger and spacious, while softer whites create a sense of warmth and coziness. No matter which way it’s used, this neutral provides a backdrop for endless options.
The conservative nature of this balanced shade infuses spaces with the mystery of black and the lightness of white. Lighter shades of gray can be used to achieve bright modern looks, whereas darker shades can be used to create a bolder space that’s more dramatic, but gray’s versatility doesn’t stop there. It comes in a variety of shades with undertones ranging from red to blue and everything in between.
Rounding out the warm end of the neutral spectrum is a nurturing hue that comes in a variety of tints and tones. Like its gray counterpart, beige is a great transitional color that can take on warm or cool depending on what’s surrounding it. Its natural warmth derives from brown undertones that capture the comfort and calmness that we all seek in a home.