The color of your home  can impact you and those around you. Family and friends react to places largely based on color. Whether it is the actual architecture or an object within the building its color will account for 60% of their reaction to it. It will be the reason they like or dislike a place or object.

“Color Psychology” is the term used to describe this phenomenon. Colors influence over us is subtle but substantial. Color impacts us both physically and psychologically, yet it is often underestimated. It must be taken into account that wherever we go we respond to the colors around us. Although our moods are not directly related to an individual color, as most people think, colors do affect our emotions on many levels. This is why the colors we choose in our homes, for both exterior and interior painting must be done with great care and consideration. Here are steps you can take to make house painting easier and help you choose the colors that are right for you.

Start Small

Do not paint a large area, like the exterior of your house or the entire floor of your office until you are sure of the color you want to use. Whether you are painting yourself or hiring someone it will be you picking the color. To help you decide on a shade choose somewhere small, like a bathroom, hall or accent wall to experiment with colors you may have in mind. Pick a place that will dry quickly so you will know quickly if you don’t like it and test out other colors. You can use objects you have seen, like area rugs, artwork or furniture to inspire you.

Consider the Mood You Want To Create

When choosing a color for a room take into consideration the mood you want to create. Each area of your home will require a different interior paint based on its function. For example, your bedroom can be peaceful and relaxing or dramatic and intense. Warm, cool colors in neutral tones usually give off a cozy, quiet feeling while bolder, louder colors tend to convey drama and energy. So you most likely will choose a pale blue over a bright red for your bedroom. In your dining room you could go a bit stronger. The color you pick can make it feel formal and proper or more sociable and interactive. In this area neutrals and deep blue-greens will give an air of formality while warm but vibrant colors, like a rust, will give off a more social air. Children’s bedrooms are usually done in intensely bright primary colors, but this is not the best idea. You can go bright, but do so on an accent wall so it doesn’t overpower your child. Bright hues can overstimulate them and make them irritable.

Pay Attention to Lighting

How a color looks can change according to the light it is seen in. When you go to the store to pick a color consider these factors:

• Natural daylight shows the truest color
• Incandescent lights bring out warm tones and yellows
• Fluorescent lighting casts a sharp blue tone

Ideally you should view the color you chose in the corresponding light to get a real feel of how it will look. For example, if you chose a bright color for a wall with a big window and lots of natural light, you may want to tone it down or go with a darker shade.

Know the Color Terms

Understand the different terms used to describe colors so you can easily communicate what you want.

• Hue is the term for a color: red and blue are hues
• The value of a hue is how light or dark it is
• Saturation refers to how dominant a hue is. As you go from red to pink red becomes the less dominant hue
• Intensity refers to the brilliance of a color. Pure colors like red are more intense, while mixed colors, like yellow-green are more muted. Stronger, intense colors usually contain a dominant hue

Consider introducing a stronger hue if you want an active space. If you want a more even-keeled tone, consider using two medium-light pastel colors, which will create a luminous effect. Very light colors, like off-white can be startling and too bright when the entire room is done in that color.

Use a Color Wheel

A small color wheel is a great reference tool when choosing two or more hues for the same room. It can help you get creative and pick shades you might not have thought of. You may be surprised at how many colors work well together. For instance, red and green are complimentary (opposite) colors and are more intense when used together. The color wheel also demonstrates the visual temperature of a color. Draw a line down the color wheel from yellow-green to red-violet. All the colors on the left are warm colors and the ones on the right are cool hues.

Get Creative with Color Schemes

Many people think boring when they hear the word monochromatic, but the opposite is actually true. Using varying shades of the same color in a room can create a visually stunning effect. It gives off an air of sophistication and class. You can also use different tones to play up the various shades: use a darker tone on the walls and a lighter shade on the trim. Accent colors can be either warm (towards the reds) or cool (towards the blues). Just be sure it complements the main color. Again, be careful when using white or off-white. It can be too overbearing when using it on trim in a monochromatic room.

Play with Different Decorative Finishes

You can influence the look of a color by using different types of finishes. For example, you could use an eggshell (flat and matte) finish on the walls and a satin or semi-gloss on the trim for a well-defined look. This looks especially nice when done with the same color. Decorative finishes are another great way to play up colors and give a room character. You can add life to flat walls by using visual texture or broken color. Burnished mineral/metal finishes or colored glazes add depth and definition. Some softly reflective metals include mica, copper, and pewter, bronze and of course antiquated silver or gold.

As you can see, a lot of thought goes into determining the perfect color. Consider these factor before house painting so you are happy with the results.

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