If you've been reading decorating magazines lately, you'll know that plain white walls are passé and intense colors are trendy. But with all those fab colors available, how do you choose the ones that fit with your personality?
We begin with a little information about color psychology. In general, colors in the red area of the color wheel are considered "warm," active, exciting, even aggressive. In contrast, blue, violet and green hues are "cool," passive, and calming. Light colors are active. Intense colors are passive. Active colors signify contact with the environment, while passive colors signify withdrawing into oneself. Red colors increase tension, while blues and greens release tension--it's no secret that many physician's offices are decorated in blues and greens to help patients feel calm.
Your choice of colors for your home decor may reflect the personality traits you feel most comfortable with--warm and outgoing, or quiet and reflective. If you frequently enjoy entertaining, you may want to consider colors in the red hues to increase energy and activity. On the other hand, if you prefer areas conducive to sloughing off stress, choose blues or greens. You may even want to color different areas of your home according to purpose--a game room in reds and a library in blues.
When combining colors, how can you create a harmonious palette? Joe Gillespie suggests that you take your lead from nature. Develop a collection of nature photographs with colors that appeal to you and reflect your personality. Choose the photograph with colors that you find most appealing and scan it into your computer. Using your image program and your eyedropper tool, select the most prominent color in several shades and a few contrasting colors, then print your new page with just the squares of color you selected. You've created a harmonious color palette that suits your personality, and that can be used to match colors for your decor design.
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Last updated 2010