What would life be without color? Perhaps it would be like watching a black and white TV all the time — pretty boring. Fortunately, color surrounds us, yet we are unaware how much we react to it. Some colors leave us feeling faded and spent while others lift our spirits and energize us.
We usually assume color is a uniquely visual experience. However, we not only see color — we sense it. Color has sound, taste, smell and touch. Our senses evoke pictures of color. Color actually speaks, and I’ve learned that color speaks differently to each of us.
In many years working with clients, I’ve learned that most people fear color. They make choices about color based on safety — hiding behind neutral and earth tones. This is why the neutrals have remained popular for so many years. New neutral colors are introduced along with accent colors every year, but they come and go. Generallly when you go into a furniture store, all you see are neutral tones on the floor. Merchandising is the reason. They know that bright colors and patterns influence the eye which can distract and scare the customer, making buying decisions difficult and often confusing.
In your home the colors you choose express how you want to be seen. Are you flamboyant in your color expression or subdued? What is the energy of the house you live in? You have to find your color personality.
Most clients ask, “How do I connect the rooms if I do not want the same color scheme all through my home?” It’s important to know you don’t have to use the same color. However, it is necessary to decide on a color scheme for each room depending on the activity or the main occupant.
To begin, use the empty canvas of the floors and/or walls. They can be consistent throughout the house or you can change them from room to room easily if there is a door. You can also bring in different accents for each room if it is an open area with one color continuing the theme throughout. Ask yourself if you need the continuity or if you are bored with it. You will have to determine if you like that kind of change or whether it would be too unsettling for you. If you have several color schemes in your home, you can pick one color to run throughout to create continuity.
Color can be the great unifier. So, if you want to show your true colors, don’t be afraid to use them.
There are so many questions to ask yourself, but just remember that rooms have no feelings — you do. JN
Barbara Kaplan, interior designer, works with clients to enhance their video conferencing messages and designs homes for work and play. Visit BarbaraKaplan.com or YourZoomRoom.com for more information.