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Home Decor Paint : Which Hue is For You?

Applying the Science of Color to Your Home

There's much more to color than meets the eye. Science has shown that the colors we see every day affect our emotional and physical states, and the research findings from Colormatters.com are worth considering before you decide on a new palette for your home.

Can I Change Dreary to Cheery without Getting Bleary?
Some of us prefer the low-intensity neutrals, but to others these subtle shades are just plain boring. If you are trying to inject more life into a predominantly gray, beige, or white space, yellow may seem to be a good candidate. And in food-related environments, such as kitchens or dining rooms, yellow is a popular option. It is an undeniably cheery color that reminds us of sunshine, and many of the tasty foods we eat - bananas, eggs, and squash, for instance—are yellow. This favorable association makes the color a welcome one during mealtimes, along with other food-friendly hues such as coffee brown, tomato red, and lettuce green. In other contexts, however, yellow has its downside. It reflects an enormous amount of light, which quickly over-stimulates eyes. Yellow is our most exhausting color, and repeated exposure to it can lead to eyestrain, tiredness, and irritability. This makes sunny yellow a poor choice for baby nurseries, work areas, or exercise rooms. Tone down the brightness by using one of its softer shades as your primary color, or pick another color for large areas and apply dazzling yellow as a secondary color to punch up moldings, accents, and accessories.

What Happened to My Appetite?
Blue is a longtime favorite for many folks, and because it resides on one of the cooler spokes of the color wheel, it tends to produce a pleasant soothing effect. Much of blue's popularity lies in its predominance in nature, as we usually identify it with open skies and sparkling waters. Use the color liberally in any room where you want to relax, but think twice about your intended purpose before spreading it generously throughout a kitchen or dining room. If your aim is to curb your appetite, blue is the perfect color to tackle that job. Nature gives us precious few tasty blue treats, and the hue generally serves more as a warning than an attraction. Consider what happens to a piece of bread that has fallen unnoticed beneath your vegetable crisper, only to be discovered many weeks later. We have such a negative knee-jerk reaction to the pairing of blue with food that two effective dieting tricks are dying your food blue and eating it on blue tableware. To reclaim your appetite, surround yourself with the natural shades of food: brown, green, white, red, and orange. These last two colors are common components of restaurant and food-chain decor, as they are high-intensity colors that stimulate us in general and our appetites in particular.

Should I Go Green?
Green is another all-around great color, and if we look about us we can see why. Nature serves us this color in a feast for our eyes and our stomachs, surrounding us with lovely green plants and trees as well as luscious edible treats in different shades of green. Green is the most restful color for our eyes, and it has a similar calming effect on our spirits. When paired with blue, it reminds us of lush foliage set against a blue sea or sky, so use these tones wherever you want to extend or simulate nature in a tranquil manner.

Should I Cool It with the Hot Stuff?
Colors that hail from the tropical zones of the spectrum stimulate our interest and excitement. Warm reds, yellows, and oranges have the opposite effect of cool blues and greens, making us cheery and energized. You may now be wondering, "How can that be bad?" The flip side is that there are times when you want to relax, even if that relaxation comes at the price of some of your liveliness - in fact, relaxation is pretty much the opposite of liveliness. Warmer colors can be overwhelming in large quantities for extended periods, visually and spiritually drowning out the other, less forceful hues. Even the most color-courageous among us often regret the use of an intensely dramatic tone as the dominant color. That big red wall you loved so much when you were brushing on the paint can seem to grow bigger and redder with each passing day, making you yearn uncharacteristically for a beige room. Unless you know from experience that you will not grow tired of a dark or vibrant color, use it sparingly. Sprinkle it throughout the room in small doses through accessories, paintings, or fabric, and use a muted shade of the color for larger applications. Your eyes (and your housemates) will probably thank you.

Take Your Own Color Cues
Color preferences are complicated and highly personal, involving associations from nature, culture, and experience that we may not even consciously recognize. Keep the above information in mind when designing environments for specific occupants or purposes, but remember that the ultimate test of suitability is whether or not you truly like the color and can live with it.

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02:47AM Aug 1,2014
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