Redo You: Design - Push the Envelope

Posted on Aug 24, 2012 10:45am

How do we pick the right colors for rooms in our home? Casey Noble, designer and host of HGTV's "Design on a Dime" has the tips you need to make that happen.

Casey says,
Find color inspiration everywhere.
When choosing a color palate for your home, you want to consider what you already own... Your geographical location, paint catalogs and magazines.  You have to get smart about choosing colors. Color is more than just what initially meets the eye. You need to look everywhere for color inspiration.  Looking at different kinds of magazines is a good place to start when deciding on a color palette.  Magazines have advertising pages and these advertisers know how to entice the human eye with a variety of colors.  For example, I was looking at a magazine and flipped through a page with a blue ocean and big brown rocks, those colors became my inspiration for my next project.  You can find the most beautiful color inspiration from a photo!

Buy paint containers in sample sizes before painting an entire room.  Use a swatch!  Every paint manufacturer provides sample sizes of paint because of consumer demand.   Nine out of ten times the color in the paint container will be the incorrect color on your wall.  Take sample paint and see how it looks on your wall. It's hard to predict a color so it's important to get sample paint sizes before you do anything else. 

Look at a color wheel!  There are so many colors to choose from!  You have to decide if you want warm colors or cool colors, saturated or muted colors for a certain space in your home.  These colors will enhance your emotions so you have to pick the right color for each room. 

Choose cool colors.
When we're talking about our bedrooms, the best colors are cool. You want to go with; blue, green and shades of purple are all associated with calmness. The color blue is scientifically shown to slow down our biological functions, encouraging a state of introspection, tranquility, and peace.  It slows down our heart rate too.  Choosing a medium to light shade of blue or blue-green increases these effects and is most effective for a restful experience. Paint your walls blue and buy bedding with cool colors.  In contrast, more saturated colors feel more active, the strongest by far being red.  Red is most stimulating and it's associated with warmth which may seem ideal in a cozy bedroom. But it actually heightens blood pressure, heartbeat and other biological functions and does not lead to a restful experience. It's best to leave red or other saturated colors for your kitchen because it's the most active room in the house.

Enhance color with lightning.
Incidentally, even though we want and need to be at peace in our bedrooms, as a designer, that's where I often see the worst lightening! Humans have historically lived with natural light during the day and "fire" light at night; this makes people feel comfortable and relaxed. The best bulb to use to create the same color spectrum as a fire is an incandescent bulb or LED lights. They are warm and lovely. Just please, please stay away from florescent light bulbs in the bedroom!  Florescent bulbs can hurt the eyes and they keep you wired and wound up.

Select bold accessories.
Use green as your wall color!  Since the dawn of man, we've been surrounded by green in trees, leaves and bushes.  Green is the easiest color for our eyes to see.  It is the only color that registers directly on our retina which means our eyes don't have to "work" to see it and that makes it a great candidate for the main color in the office. On top of that, however, it is also important to include other colors like the ones on this desk. I used bold accessories in orange, tan, white, and blue to provide stimulation and interest and keep the room from feeling boring and monotonous. The ultimate office experience is one that feels comfortable but interesting and awake. This is also a room where lightening is critical. Natural light is critical to have in our everyday environment for our biological well-being.  If you don't have enough natural light in the office where you spend your days, bring in a mirror.  Position it near a window to catch as much natural light as possible.

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