You might have heard that you should never paint a room black because it will make it feel boxy and small. You might also have heard that painting a room white will make it feel open and spacious. While both statements are founded in real, psychological observations, there’s a lot more flexibility to them than you might think. As you consider what kind of paint you want to be applied to your home, rest assured there are plenty of creative ways to incorporate your color preferences and personality without having to stick to plain white in every room.
The team at PaintPro has a long history of helping customers turn their dreams into a reality by transforming their homes with a fresh coat of paint, and we’d be happy to do the same for you. But if you’re not sure where to begin, here are some other facts about color choices you might not have considered.
Understanding Color Moods
When speaking of interior painting design, colors may be referred to as belonging to different mood groups. These affect how they make us feel when we view them. Generally, they fall into three categories:
1. Active Mood
Colors with an active mood are those that we find stimulating. These are generally warm and bright, including colors like red, orange, and yellow. We draw energy from them, inspiring us to be more productive or have more movement in our lives.
2. Passive Mood
These are colors that provoke the opposite feeling. Colors included in this category are green, blue, and purple. They help guide us towards a more meditative state, or a place of relaxation.
3. Neutral Mood
Then there are the colors that don’t quite fit in either of the other two categories, like brown, beige, and grey. These muted tones can help complement the other colors, giving you additional color options that won’t clash or seem out of place.
Individual colors within groups can have more specific effects, so this is a good starting place. Understanding these basic color moods can help you make some general decisions about which colors should go in which rooms. For example, generally, a bedroom should be a more peaceful place. Adding in colors that are too active could contribute towards having a difficult time getting to sleep at night. However, keep in mind that these moods can be adjusted by changes in lighting and adjustments made to the saturation of the chosen color.
Creating Color Combinations
You might have an idea of the main color you want to apply, but be stuck thinking of how to combine it with other colors. This is where the color wheel can be very helpful. We already have certain color combinations that are popular in the art world. These include the primary colors, secondary colors, analogous colors, and complementary colors. By adding in white and black, you can also explore monochrome colors.
Another way to create color combinations is by observing colors found in nature. For example, taking inspiration from the fall foliage to create a cozy, comforting atmosphere, or drawing inspiration from the bright colors of a betta fish for a more visually exciting effect.
Finally, you can use your decorations as a guide. Is there a central piece you want to incorporate in a room? Basing your color scheme off that piece can help to highlight it while tying the room together.
Apply Contrast With Care
As you start assembling your chosen colors, consider what kind of contrast you’ve created. While applying contrast can be a great way to breathe some life into your space, too much contrast can make a room look cluttered and distracting, and even cause eye strain. If you find that the colors you’ve chosen are a little too harsh when put together, consider changing their saturation. Muting your palette by a minor degree can go a long way towards helping the different hues harmonize with each other.
The Truth About White and Black
Learning new information about the use of color in interior design is certainly useful, but it’s also important to unlearn misleading assumptions that could affect your color choices. First of all, there are many different types of black and white. In fact, it would be more accurate to say that most white colors used in homes are off-white, as they are most often some form of eggshell or cream. This means that you can add different undertones to each to make them warmer or cooler, thus having a different effect on your mood.
When Should Black Paint Be Used?
Black paint can indeed make a space feel constricting. This is because black absorbs light in a space. But that doesn’t mean you can never use it. A great way to counteract this effect is by ensuring the room is well lit. Natural light can be extremely effective, so if you have large windows, you might not have to do much else. Otherwise, a combination of lights and mirrors can brighten up a space.
Your chosen décor will also have an impact on the room. Using black in your decorations can help the room feel cohesive while adding elements of brightness and color can provide some much-needed contrast.
Alternatively, you could always opt to simply paint a section of the room black, creating an accent wall.
Are There Any Challenges to Using White?
In terms of psychological impact, white is a great neutral color that helps bring light into a space. There’s a reason why most apartments are painted with some form of off-white color. But white has its drawbacks, too. Aside from being more difficult to keep clean, it can also feel very impersonal. The wrong kind of white can add an unwanted coldness to the space, making it seem less like a home. You’ll also want to be careful with lighting, as the type of light you use can add warmth or chill to a room when combined with the white on the walls.
Because they’re so bright and visible, white walls have the added drawback of seeming inherently plain and sterile. They require a good amount of decoration to bring a room to life.
Putting it All Together
While many principles go into interior design, at the end of the day, you need to trust how you feel and choose the palette that works for you. Whatever combination you have in heart, the experienced Austin painters at PaintPro is ready to help you get started. Call today to share your vision with us, and together we can help transform your house into a home.