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Colors can influence how much we eat. That’s why so many fast food restaurants use red, says Carhide. Bear this in mind when painting your kitchen or dining room. “For large feasts and hearty meals, consider fire colors, such as reds, oranges and strong yellows,” Martin says. “For weight loss and appetite suppression, choose blues. In the kitchen, she says, “Choose colors that insinuate health, happiness, and vitality. These would be reds, oranges, and yellows, but definitely not too much!”


If you want “to fall off to sleep,” select soothing hues for the master bedroom, Carhide says. “People want their bedrooms to feel relaxing and spa-like, which means using tranquil water colors like blues and teal greens,” Scarlata says. To enhance romance, select pale fire colors, such as lavender, pink, terra cotta, coral and soft maroon, says Martin. Earth tones “create warmth, calm and the grounding of the earth element,” she says.

COLORS TO GROW BY Children mature. So should their bedrooms, says Scarlata.

Teacher’s Tips What are the right color dynamics for your interior? Pigment preferences are subjective, says Marian Chilson, who teaches color theory at The College of Saint Rose. “Tastes change,” she says. “It’s a very personal choice. It’s about what kind of space we’re comfortable in. Most people’s goal is to generate a cohesive space.”

“Children’s rooms should be based upon a child’s favorite color, something that makes them happy,” she says. “They want their personality to show in their room. Use lively tones. When they become tweens, you want to change it to something more sophisticated, versus brighter colors or the pastels that we usually paint babies’ rooms.”


Autumnal tones make living rooms, family rooms and great rooms inviting gathering places. “Browns bring stability and a sense of peacefulness; soft oranges and yellows will facilitate openness and communication,” Martin says. “Some people want really rich, cozy colors like chocolate browns, so there’s almost a wrapped-in-a-blanket kind of feel,” Carhide says. “Some people want more of a conversation color — high impact yellows, reds and greens.” Alternatively, try neutral walls with colorful accents, Scarlata says. Always choose the furniture first, because it’s easier to match wall paint to your sofa than vice versa, she advises.

DOWN TO BUSINESS For home offices, some people like energetic tones such as orange, rust or red, while others prefer something softer and richer, Carhide says.

Colors evoke feelings, she says. “Red is a color that makes us aware, not necessarily in a relaxing fashion. Blue is an open, calming kind of color. You can have a warm blue and a cool blue.” Choosing colors might seem intimidating, but consider the alternative. “If everything is equally neutral — if your floor, your wall and your carpet are all the same color as your sofa —


Green is the color of plants that thrive off water. Because there’s so much water in the bathroom, “greens of any shade are a great choice,” Martin says. Especially if it’s the master bath, “soft, luscious” neutral tones are popular, says Carhide. “A lot of people are having soaking tubs and real luxurious finishes,” she says. “They complete that feel with a really spectacular wall color — warmer grays, soft, tranquil blues and greens. You feel like you can be rejuvenated when you’re in there.”

PUMP UP THE PALETTE Even if your workout is low-impact, highimpact hues are popular for home gyms, says Carhide. She recommends vivid colors that make you want to move, such as yellow, orange and red.


Neutral wall colors are best for halls, especially with contemporary, open floor plans, says Carhide. “Let the other rooms branching out have the importance,” she says. “With a lot of homes you go into now, you can stand at front door and get a 180-degree view of a lot of rooms in the house. You don’t want to feel like you’re walking into a circus.” 

you may find you’re tripping over it all the time,” Chilson says. Her pupils study saturation, intensity, value, complements, triads, tetrads, harmony and contrast. Paint companies do the work for consumers, basing palettes on such concepts. “It’s like the Garanimals solution for children’s clothing,” she says. “If I pick all the right tags, it will go together.”

Chilson recommends testing a color before painting the whole room. “When you see a little swatch in the store, it’s going to look very different in different situations — at night, on a cloudy day, a sunny day, in morning or evening. That’s why you see a move to sample sizes of paint. Paint an area on your wall, live with it for a couple days. See it in the space.”  |  45

Life@Home April 2013  
Life@Home April 2013  

Life@Home magazine is packed with inspiration to help you make your house a home.