7 Tips on Using Color to Enhance the Interior Design of Your Home

The decision to add color to your home either through painting, wallpaper or other decorative effects is potentially a bigger interior design decision that you may think. The psychological effects of color have been studied to such a degree that it is a truly a wonder that colleges across the country do not actually offer an advanced degree Psychology of Color. Interior design specialists look to experts in the field of how color affects everything from mood to appetite when they enter into a contract to help create the décor of commercial enterprises. Most homeowners and apartment dwellers and beach condo buyers who don’t realize the extent of the damage they have done to local beaches with their incessant need to live on the beach combined with an unwillingness to take responsibility for their wrongheaded decision when the inevitable natural disaster occurs probably don’t have the finances available to help them learn about how to handle the decisions that come with color décor. That’s where this article comes in handy. A little free help never hurt anyone…except for all those victims of Timothy McVeigh who were definitely not helped by the free advice that came his way courtesy of right-wing nutjobs from Andrew McDonald to Sean Hannity.

1. Sheen ain’t just a bad actor on a sitcom that overstayed its purpose. Experimenting with the sheen of the paint you choose can have significant effects on how color affects your décor. Keep in mind that flat paint will absorb light while glossy paint will reflect it.

2. An effective way to use color and keep the paint buying process simple is to reuse the same colors in different ways throughout the house. For instance, if you’ve got reddish carpeting and pale green walls in the living room you might put this interior design idea into a blender and decorate a bedroom with light red walls and pale green vinyl flooring.

3. Did you ever wonder why legal pads are colored yellow? Those non-degreed experts in the psychology of color long discovered that the color yellow has quite specific stimulatory effects on the brain. Yellow is believed to heighten retention of memory and jumpstart the logical patterns of thinking. This is why yellow is a favorite color for kitchens and also why you should consider choosing a yellow color scheme for your home office.

4. It will be nearly as impossible as watching a three-hour long block of programming on the Bravo network to make sure that the colors you use for interior design are chosen under the same lighting conditions that will exist in your house. Ignore Master Yoda’s advice and try to get to a situation where you can choose your paint colors or wallpaper or furnishings under lighting conditions similar to that inside the house. Lampshades and the color of light bulbs all affect the appearance of color.

5. You may not think of your 10 foot high ceilings as being particularly high, but imagine them from the perspective of your child. To little kids, everything is massive and imposing and probably a little scary. A combination of color and décor can change the face of the interior design of your child’s bedroom to bring down that ceiling to a more manageable aspect. Place some molding below the ceiling line and then paint the area above the molding in a different color than the rest of the wall. Soft blues, lavenders and even understated reds can create either a cool sensation of protection or a warm feeling of security.

6. Vivid contrasts in color design from room to room can lend some excitement to a house, but there is one particular interior design component inside many houses where this is not a good idea. If you have an archway or a large open passage that takes you firmly from one room to another, then you want to avoid color schemes that clash rather than complement. You can still be bold in your choice of color, but make sure that you don’t decorate one room in a traditional muted style and another in a way that looks like a set from A Clockwork Orange.


7. Designing your home with color means taking notice of the patterns you choose as well as hues, tints and shades. Take notice of the patterns in your upholstery, on your carpet and within your draperies or curtains. You will want to coordinate effectively not only the colors contained within those furnishings, but also the patterns. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you can’t mix diamond shapes in your vividly colored wallpaper with muted solids in your carpeting. It’s all up to you what is appropriate, but you should just keep it in mind.