When thinking 'green' we already know to choose paints that are low or no-VOC, but that's an easy thing to find these days. Choosing a paint color can be so much more frustrating and time consuming.
The association of colors to our everyday lives (and moods) is much deeper than what we may think. There can be a myriad of reasons why people have favorite colors, and it’s usually because of an association with a particularly enjoyable event or one that has made a significant impact on their life.
For instance, someone who grew up in the countryside would likely prefer one or more of nature’s colors. Someone who grew up in a highly-urbanized environment would be more drawn to a mixture of colors and hues because of the environment, as cities are typically full of bright colored lights, buildings, and billboards.
These associations make it natural for a person to pick a favorite color or combination when choosing the right paint for the home. However, making the right color choice for a home or condo unit is more than just being partial to your favorite color. This is why many homeowners often end up with color combinations that they believe look good but seem a bit weird for others.
If you find yourself having a hard time choosing a color theme or motif for your home, it will be easier if you start by learning which color schemes to avoid at all costs.
1. Going Too Bright May Not Be Such A Bright Idea
There’s no doubt that brightly colored objects are attractive.
Unfortunately, painting an entire wall or room with a bright color has the exact opposite effect. It’s even worse if the home’s exterior is painted with a bright hue.
Not only are bright colors too strong for the eyes, but they also have a tendency to reveal otherwise subtle flaws on a wall, which is why professional home interior designers typically avoid color schemes that are too bright when planning color motifs for homes and condo units.
2. Flat White Is.... Flat
White may look clean and safe, but flat white is not only boring—it’s also dead. If white is your favorite color, then maybe choose a different shade. White with a creamy shade can work wonders as it livens up the room a bit more. Additionally, white or shades of white are best used on ceilings. White is a bit too bland to be used on walls.
3. Psychedelic Isn’t So Groovy
Officially, there’s no limit on how many colors you can use in a room, but it’s best not to go for the psychedelic effect. It’s fine to have a particular color scheme in each room if you want, but putting all colors together simply won’t work in one room. If you want different colors, try to space them throughout the house instead of using them all in a single area.
4. Your Favorite Color May Not Translate
Everybody has a favorite color, or at least a preferred color. However, there’s a wide range of colors and shades to choose from. Avoid choosing color schemes that are based strictly on your favorite color. Don’t limit your choices and yourself. Take your time and study different color schemes based on recommended color combinations, and you might be pleasantly surprised. You can also take inspiration from featured homes in interior design and real estate websites.
5. Going All-Neutral
Neutral colors are great, but a room needs a bit of excitement here and there. Instead of choosing a neutral color for the entire room, decide on which particular areas require focus and choose a stronger color for those areas.
6. Straying Too Far From The Basics
The basic rule in color schemes is 60-30-10. The dominant color should take up 60% of the room. Your next color choice should be 30%, and accents should only take up 10%. It doesn’t need to be exact, but try not to stray too far. For instance, using the same percentage for a dominant color and secondary color and not using an accent color would make a room seem divided instead of perfectly mixed.
7. Avoid Matching Walls with Furniture
Sometimes, the problem with having a favorite color is there’s a tendency to use the same color on everything, from the walls to the furniture.
If you used your favorite color on the walls, try to use other colors for your furniture, or vice versa. It costs more to change the color of furniture than walls and accessories, so it would also be good to choose room colors based on the color of your furnishings.
8. Lighting Plays A Role, Too
Lights not only brighten up a room, they also play a huge role when drawing attention to certain objects. A lot of homeowners have a tendency to forget about lighting effects when choosing dominant, secondary or accent colors. Keep in mind that lights can change how a color is perceived and the hues that it may cast onto other objects in the rom, so pay close attention to how a room’s lighting affects your choice of colors.
9. Choosing Gender-Specific Colors
Gender specific colors are a thing of the past. Blue is no longer reserved for boys, and pink isn’t exclusive for girls. Choosing a color scheme based on gender limits the possibilities significantly. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to break from tradition, so some people are still stuck with this mentality. To be safe, it’s best to avoid using gender-specific colors in communal areas such as the living room. If you must use them, hey are best used in bedrooms and bathrooms.
10. Not Paying Attention to Color Psychology
Colors have a psychological effect on people. For instance, red and yellow can make people hungry, which is why you’ll notice restaurants usually use those colors. Blue has a calming effect, especially the lighter shades. The four colors that affect a person’s psychological state the most are red, yellow, green, and blue. Knowing exactly how certain color schemes affect people and learning about the ways you can use color psychology to your advantage will prevent you from choosing the color schemes you should not have at home.
Choosing the right color scheme for your home is never simple, as there are quite a number of combinations and themes you should avoid. It may seem as if the right color schemes are a bit limited, but more often than not, it’s about how the colors are combined and not the particular colors themselves.
If you’re not sure which color scheme to use and you’re afraid you might pick the wrong ones, it’s best to enlist the services of an interior designer.
Nevertheless, you should take the time to learn how to choose the right color schemes. Doing so will not only eradicate color mistakes you have at home, but also lead you to a world of possibilities.
Author, Emily Harper is an Environment/Sustainability/Health and Women Advocate. She is also fond of analyzing home structure and design and has been a Home Stylist and Consultant. She is also an active community member, concerning community improvement and security. She loves to write about her two kids, home and living.