There are two products on sale at the supermarket. Both of them perform the same functions, are of the same size and also cost the same. However I still found one of them to be more appealing than the other.  I had to choose between two products which are the same in every aspect except one. That aspect was colour which can account for our buying behaviour when all things remain the same. Colour can add to the beauty of a product in a manner that nothing else can. The effects it provides can be subtle or it can be significant. It could be physical or even psychological. Colour can even impact our moods and every colour has its own story to tell.

This is most evident when we choose colours to paints the rooms in our house.  We want our homes to have a personality of its own and hence spend a lot of time in just deciding the colours for every room. So here are a few tips to choose the right colours.
But before we discuss selecting colours, lets learn some terminology which is used to describe colours. The first of these is Hue which is what colour is called. For example yellow is a hue and so is red or blue etc. The Hue has a value and this determines whether it is light or dark.  Next we will talk about saturation which refers to how dominant which the hue is. For example in the sky blue hue the Blue hue is less dominant. Lastly we will discuss Intensity which is the brilliance of the colour. In general when we talk about intensity, just remember that purer colours are more intense than mixed colors. Now that we have discussed some of the basics let us start discussing about colours.

It is better to start small, especially when you are not sure from where to begin. You can start from a small part of the room that can be completed fast. This will help you see the results faster and in case you are not satisfied will give you the option to change it without too much fuss. To start with, select a hue to be the main colour or accent for your room. You can select hues based on the colours of the Furniture, furnishings, carpets or paintings that adorn the room in a way so as to make them blend in or stand out.

As we discussed earlier we want our homes to have a personality of its own. So when selecting colour we have to consider the mood of the room. The mood can be varied based on the colours. It can be relaxing, soothing, romantic, sensual, active, exciting, formal or informal. The general rule is that soft, light and less intense colours encourage a quite relaxation while the more intense colours are for increased activity. Warmer, brighter colours promote more social atmosphere which could be perfect for your living or dining rooms while deeper blue-greens will make it a bit more formal which is great for an office. So it is up to you on how you want your room to be. In a similar manner, the rooms for the elderly can be made more relaxing by using less saturated hues while those meant for kids can be made more active by using intense hues. Therefore questions you need to ask yourself to decide on the colours for a room are:

  • What function is the room supposed to serve?
  • Who will be ones that would mostly use that room?

When choosing colours taking the help of the colour wheel is a great way to intensifying or modifying colours. The colour wheel is an illustrative organisation of colours around a circle which helps us know about the relationships between various colours. This helps identify the appropriate colour scheme for the rooms so as to create an aesthetic feeling with a great style and appeal. Yellow and Blue which are complementary colours can have a great effect when they are used together. They also help us determine the visual temperature of colours. Take the colour wheel shown above as an example. If we draw a line from green-yellow to red-violet we would be able to differentiate the warm colours from the cool ones. Another great colour scheme that can be followed involves using a single colour group; which are basic subtle variations of the same colour. You can use warmer or cooler colours of the same colour group to accentuate your main accent colour. White or off white colours can also be used to great effect in monochromatic colour schemes.

Now that you have fair idea about colours lets discuss the lighting. There are three different kinds of lighting to be discussed here. They are natural sunlight, Incandescent light and fluorescent light. The incandescent light refers to light from bulbs while fluorescent light is that of tube lights. Of these three light sources it is the sunlight that brings out the real colour. The other two will mute certain aspects while highlighting certain others. For example, the incandescent bulbs will highlight the yellows and warmer colours while the fluorescent tubes will sharpen the blue hues. So depending on the lighting in your home, the colours will come out different. Do note here that on portions of your room which would be exposed to natural light a stronger colour that you choose might be a bit too bright and overbearing but the same colour might be perfect foil when used with indirect light. It is for this reason that most paint stores have light boxes so as to test the colours under different lighting.

Adding decorative finishes and multiple paint finishes will also add a lot of appeal to your rooms. Decorative finishes add a lot of visual texture and depth, especially through the use of metal/mineral finishes like mice, copper, pewter, gold, silver and bronze. In a similar manner addition of multiple paint finishes helps differentiate your rooms further.

You can use the above points as a base template when visiting paint dealerships but always remember the most important colour rule. That there are no rules and it is all about adding your own personal touch to your work or home space.

Written by Bajith Sasidharan

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