Painting for Peace
Our society was not always such a disposable one and our ancestors typically did not rid of anything that could be repaired, reclaimed or reinvented.
In that spirit, interior designers and home rehab firms encourage home dwellers to always look for ways to improve or reinvent their living spaces to best suit their needs, while also respecting the care and work that went into building their home. That is, look to conserve and take care of our dwellings.
In the Founding Spirit to Reclaim
One of the easiest and most cost effective ways to improve our dwelling spaces is with paint. We can even affect the enjoyability and mood of our homes with paint.
With paint comes color and the language of color has been spoken since the dawn of man, when our Creator determined that our world would be more beautiful when all of His creation would be painted in different beautiful colors.
Every person responds to color differently. To add to that, the time of day and even the area in which you live has a different effect on color. To get even more discerning, the direction your home’s windows face affects how color appears in your home. With all of those aspects comes the power of color to play nicely with our mood and emotional outlook for the day.
Numerous studies have shown the power of color on the human condition to the point that many public institutions use certain colors to assist their endeavors to serve the public. And, the same can be done in our homes.
Using Color to Fit the Your Loved Ones’ Needs
Choosing colors for our home’s interiors have considerable effect on our mood and that of our loved ones sharing our home with us. Considerations for family preferences, how a room is used, the desired mood for the room and the type of light the room gets can all play into our color choices.
Besides the choice of basic color and then the general shade of that color, there is also a choice in the intensity of the color and the tone of the color, which could be more gray or more yellow or cool or warm in tone.
If you or your loved ones favorite color isn’t one that works well in your room, there is likely to be a way to vary the color by choosing a variation of the shade of color or to increase or reduce the intensity of the color or by making the color warmer or cooler or making it more or less gray. But, always remember to be patient with yourself and your loved ones when color preference is discussed, because not everyone sees color the same way. What one person may call “blue”, another person may see as “a shade lighter than a cornflower blue with a bit of yellow”. Another person may refer to sky blue, pool blue, royal blue and a navy blue as simply “blue”.
Choosing Color to Fit the Room’s Use
If you prefer to look to the general function of a room to determine a room’s color, rather than any one inhabitant’s color preferences, consider the general emotional influences of color when deciding. But, also note that there is a positive and negative side to any general affect, as there is with anything. That is, what can stir energy and discussion can also stir too much energy and lively conversation, which could equate to restlessness and argumentativeness. When it comes to color, it is always a good idea to be careful how you much color and what intensity you are using and the size of the doses. You also need to be true to what you and your loved ones need. For example, while some might figure a nice calming shade is best for the bedroom, if you know you fall asleep easily but tend to need a bit of rev in the morning, it is always right to go with what you and your loved ones need, rather than choose to conform.
Color Use and Attributes
Some general color attributes:
Reds can encourage passions, lively discussion, intimacy, drama and feelings.
Orange stimulates the mind and the appetite and friendliness.
Yellow can stir happiness, thinking, initiative and industriousness.
Green inspires rejuvenation and calm.
Blues deliver a range of calm to pluck, depending on the shade.
Purples deliver introspectiveness, creativity and inspiration.
Black brings a sense of drama, thoughtfulness and grounded feelings.
Brown instills coziness and thoughtfulness.
White creates feelings of cleanliness and restoration.
Color ~ Love and Hate
But, we must also note that, if you or your loved one absolutely hates a color, then they are unlikely to benefit from the general influences that color tends to inspire. (This might also be a good time to note that choosing white isn’t always the safest choice for living in or even for selling a home. For example, if your home tends to feel a bit gray and dim and you choose a white with a bit of gray, your home could feel worse. Similarly, if you choose an ivory that leans a bit yellow and pick a paint that offers some sheen to the surface, that same home will seem to be “white” or neutral, but it will also seem better lit and happier.)
Remember that just picking any color and expecting a certain mood to be achieved is typically not how color choice works. If you decide you want to energize your kitchen with some yellow, but you choose a pale yellow that has a lot of gray in it for a room that only gets some grayed light from a north facing window or you choose a yellow with a lot of intensity and too much green in a room with a lot of eastern light, you could end up with something either more dreary or too acidic to bear.
Getting It Right
When choosing a color, try the color with a sample and apply the sample to several walls or to a piece of drywall or poster board and hold it in several locations in the room and look at it at different times of the day. If you do not readily see whether a shade is cool or warm, ask your paint store (or color consultant, designer and color-savvy friend) for assistance to determine. When the light in your room comes mainly from a north or east facing window, tend to choose warmer colors or colors with a bit of yellow in them. If the light in your room is mostly from the south or west, you can get by with a color with a bit of gray in it.
Quite a few our clients simply want a restful atmosphere or serenity. If there was a most common request from clients, it has to be one for “peace” or rooms that feel peaceful and serene. Almost any color could deliver that for you. While it is common to choose warm grays or taupes, the safe “neutrals”, or the use of varying shades of whites, serenity can have more to do with how much contrast a room has. A room with dark floors and art and light walls and the use of a lot of additional color will always feel more lively. But, a room with mostly similar colors, say using just shades of aquas and ivory, and only a few splashes of color will always feel more calm. It isn’t uncommon for a family with one or more members with challenges of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) to choose very calm interiors using more monochromatic colors (colors in similar shades) with only a bit of contrast to support their family member’s need for calm.
Painting for Peace
So, it IS possible to “paint for peace” and thoughtful interior color consideration can be used, not only to restore your home, but also make it more enjoyable and even inspire mood or meet the need for serenity. When it comes to your home, whether it be a cozy apartment, modest bungalow or sprawling ranch, the care of your home and consideration of the needs of your family is a priority. Even in decorating our homes, we can make choices that reflect our home and family as a priority in our lives and worth consideration, even in the seemingly small choices.
Happy Painting and Home Care!
About this Author ~
REALDesign…is an interior design firm specializing in re-design, staging and color consulting in the Midwest and online. Originally a successful real estate rehab company, the additional services firm began in response to demand for the staging and design services experienced in the firm’s rehabbed homes. As the demand increased, the design service company was born in 2009. Real Design enjoys the process of helping home owners either sell their homes or make their homes spaces that are more enjoyable and usable for their families. After all, a home is much more than a shelter. It is the place where we rejuvenate, find comfort and enjoy our lives and loved ones.
The Founding Project would like to thank Real Design for contributing to our Home Front portion of our website. The Founding Project agrees with our Founders in the importance of family and home and offers helpful information for both on our website.