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The Perfect Color for Every Room

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When choosing which color to paint a room, most of us first consider our favorite shades or the ones we believe work aesthetically. Here’s another consideration to throw into the mix: the color that is optimal for each room’s purpose, be it a calming hue in the bedroom or a hunger inducer in the dining room.

Olga Ashby Interiors, original photo on Houzz

 

Bedroom

You will likely spend about a third of your life in your bedroom. It’s where you rest, sleep, dream, snuggle, stretch and cuddle. Where you rest is a very important place — and so is the color you choose for this retreat.

Green contributes to a peaceful rest. “The colors we use in our homes and surrounding environment affect our well being, emotionally and physically,” says Wendy Greenhalf, general manager of the Australia-based International School of Colour and Design.

“Green is often associated with nature, comfort, calmness and relaxation, which works well as a color of choice for a bedroom,” she says. “If you lead a busy and hectic life, adding some soothing green to a bedroom can provide an energy balance and bring a sense of healing, helping you to relax and recharge after a good night’s sleep.”

Traditionally, green symbolizes new life and regeneration, which is just how you should feel every morning after a rejuvenating sleep.

Tip: Remember that a bedroom is all about you and that decorating it isn’t just about wall color. Bedding, pillows and other accessories also add your signature.


Related: Pick the Perfect Shades of Green for the Bedroom


A.Jennison Interiors, original photo on Houzz

 

Study or Office

An optimal study or office is a space with no interruptions and an atmosphere that allows calm focus. This is a place for you to concentrate, expand on ideas and complete your work, be it creative or analytical. An office is supposed to nurture your line of thought and support action.

Blue boosts productivity. Blue is versatile — it helps you feel calm and productive. A University of Texas study found that blue increases productivity by helping to lower your heart rate and allow you to focus.

Blue is associated with the sky, ocean, water and even hygiene. Who doesn’t enjoy gazing at a clear blue sky or crystal blue ocean? According to a Creighton University study, people in blue or green office spaces felt calm and hopeful about their work.


Related: How to Use Teal Indoors


Eric Roseff Designs, original photo on Houzz

 

Dining Room

Enjoying a meal with friends and family is not only about the food, but it’s also about creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. And hunger for the meal ahead adds to its enjoyment.

Red can whet the appetite. Red is an exciting, energizing and warm color. It is associated with love, roses, danger and passion. Marketers believe that the color red makes people hungry: Think of popular fast-food logos.

“Having a shade of red in a dining room can add a sense of drama,” says Andrea Lucena-Orr, Dulux color planning and communications manager. “Reds are welcoming, vibrant and warm, and are thought to stimulate the appetite,” she says.

Greenhalf agrees. “Red hues have a stimulating effect and are the perfect choice for rooms that require warmth and physical movement, which is why they work well in dining rooms where you want to encourage conversation and warmth around the table.”

Tip: Since red is such a strong color, it can be effective even when used in splashes around where people eat.

 

Kitchen

Food prep areas should be warm and cheerful spaces where you can be creative, work up an appetite and enjoy the aromas of beautiful meals in the making.

Yellow adds to joyful cooking. Yellow is a bright, warm and happy color. Think about bright yellow things. They are generally positive and fresh — lemons, bananas, sunflowers and the sun itself.

Like white, yellow helps reflect light, which can be useful in a dark kitchen, Lucena-Orr says.

D/O, original photo on Houzz

 

Tip: Yellow is a fun choice for feature color to bring extra personality to a modern or a classic kitchen through accessories, such as these cheery bentwood bar stools.

Life Well Lived, original photo on Houzz

 

Living Room

The living or family room is where your household will come to unwind. It is a social space and the place you go to switch off after a long day.

White living spaces foster relaxation. White walls make a space appear larger by reflecting light. Many beautiful aspects of nature are also white, such as clouds, sand on a beach, shells, waves, rocks and cliffs. White is often associated with purity and cleanliness. It contributes to a great lounge space.

A white living room has an expansive, free feeling that sets a mood for reflection, Greenhalf says. “Warm whites will give you a softer, traditional look, [whereas] clean cool whites will give a more contemporary, crisp look to a room.”

Whites, of course, are also very versatile, Lucena-Orr says, and help bridge different materials, textures and colors.

Tip: White looks best when contrasting with a mix of textures. Use colorful and neutral furniture and furnishings to break up white in a lounge room.

Raumdeuter, original photo on Houzz

 

Media Room

OK, so this room goes way beyond what most of us use for watching our favorite shows, but it makes the point: The best media rooms allow you watch films, sports and your must-see TV programs in comfort and with a total focus on the screen.

Pitch black increases viewing pleasure. Being in a black room can affect people in different ways. Darkness is very much related to night, of course, and black is connected to the unknown. Sitting in a dark room creates an atmosphere of mystery. A black media room allows viewers to focus on the only light in the room: the screen. It also helps with viewing color and reduces reflections, Lucena-Orr says.