Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Colour coding at walls

Published:Sunday | February 21, 2016 | 2:00 AM
Blue is known to have a calming effect when used as the main colour of a room - but go for softer shades.
All-neutral schemes fall in and out of fashion, but their virtue lies in their flexibility. Add colour to liven things up; subtract it to calm things down.
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You have cleared the room of all the easy-to-move items and covered the heavy pieces.

Paintbrush, check; roller, check; paint - not so fast. As a matter of fact, before you choose the colour to put on your walls, be advised it has a psychological value. Yes, you heard right.

When Jackie* changed her living room paint colour one Christmas, she had just seen the colour at the store and fell in love with it. Without any questions she bought a bucket of the rich, luscious crimson red and painted her walls. A few weeks later, she noticed a sudden change in behaviour of her 14-year-old daughter Chrissy* (who often studied in the living room) towards her schoolwork.

Jackie was oblivious to the fact that red raises a room's energy level. The most intense colour, it pumps adrenaline like no other hue. It is a good choice when you want to stir up excitement, particularly at night. In the living room or dining room, red draws people together and stimulates conversation. In an entryway, it creates a strong first impression. On the other hand, according to psychologist Alina Apostol, at the same time, it can be perceived as demanding and aggressive, which might have been the effect the change in wall had on Chrissy.

After being advised, Jackie quickly repainted the living room wall yellow. This colour captures the joy of sunshine and communicates happiness. It is an excellent choice for kitchens, dining rooms and bathrooms, where it is energising and uplifting. In halls, entries and small spaces, yellow can feel expansive and welcoming.

Even though yellow is a cheery colour, it is not a good choice for main colour schemes, so don't drown the room in yellow.

According to freshhome.com, blue would have also been another good colour option. It is said to bring down blood pressure and slow respiration and heart rate. That is why it is considered calming, relaxing and serene, and it is often recommended for bedrooms and bathrooms.

To encourage relaxation in social areas such as family rooms, living rooms or large kitchens, consider warmer blues, such as periwinkle, or bright blues, such as turquoise. Blue is known to have a calming effect when used as the main colour of a room - but go for softer shades. Dark blue has the opposite effect, evoking feelings of sadness. Refrain from using darker blues in your main colour scheme.

Green is considered the most restful colour for the eye. Combining the refreshing quality of blue and the cheerfulness of yellow, green is suited for almost any room on the house. Green also has a calming effect when used as a main colour for decorating. It is believed to relieve stress by helping people to relax, making it a great choice for the bedroom.

Does your personality call for a more dramatic colour? Go purple. In its darkest shades - eggplant, for example - is rich, dramatic and sophisticated. It is associated with luxury and creativity; as an accent or secondary colour, it gives a scheme depth. Lighter versions of purple, such as lavender and lilac, bring the same restful quality to bedrooms as blue does, but without the risk of feeling chilly.

Don't leave out the workout areas. Orange evokes excitement and enthusiasm, and is an energetic colour. It will bring out all the emotions that you need released during your fitness routine. In ancient cultures, orange was believed to heal the lungs and increase energy levels.

Neutrals (black, grey, white and brown) are basic to the decorator's toolkit. All-neutral schemes fall in and out of fashion, but their virtue lies in their flexibility. Add colour to liven things up; subtract it to calm things down.

* - Names changed to protect identity

Sources: freshhome.com;

psychologist, Alina Apostol, www.alinaapostol.com;

Tel: (876) 569 3118.