“What’s your color?”
According to experts in fields ranging from therapists to dietary specialists, that might be a more perceptive question to ask on a first date, rather than the tired, “What’s your sign?” Color preference or aversion tells a lot about a person, and can be used to boost your mood, make your home more welcoming, or even improve your health. Ultraviolet light and color therapy is one of the newest and most promising forms of medical therapy being researched today. So why not incorporate some of your favorites colors in new ways throughout your home for a fresh perspective and new outlook on life? This will not only boost your mood if you plan on living in your current condo or house, but also help to entice buyers if you are trying to sell your home. In a competitive real estate market, any edge you can give your condo is a plus and could make or break a sale.
Everyone has a favorite color, or at least tends to gravitate towards certain shades or tones. Take a look at your car’s paint, the clothes in your closet, the comforter you chose for your bed, or think back to grade school and that first box of crayons. Does blue calm you? When you see yellow does it make you smile? Consider each room of your home and decide what feeling you’d like to evoke in that room and which colors encourage those desired emotions and atmosphere.
If you browse though Chicago real estate listings, particularly the higher end http://www.bestchicagocondos.com/luxury-condos/index.html then you’ll notice that professional designers try to maximize both space, light and color. Color psychologists theorize that the colors of the rainbow have individual character traits or personalities. Using those traits as a general rule of thumb, along with your favorite color choices, you can customize each room in your home to create a certain feel.
Bedrooms should be calming and restful to insure quality sleep and comfort. Shades of blue and indigo are conducive to relaxation and rest. If painting the walls isn’t an option, simple accents can make a huge difference. Try changing your sheets, comforter or bedspread to a soft shade of sky blue with darker toss pillows. New curtains or window blinds can change the entire tone of the room, filtering the light in different ways. Even putting down a throw rug or two in matching shades of blue can make a difference in your bedroom.
For a children’s or young adult’s room, violet and shades of purple are good choices. These colors are said to inspire creativity and imagination. Use purple accents in the same ways as blue can be used in an adult’s bedroom.
For a bathroom, green and coral can be a refreshing change of pace. Green, in lighter shades, evokes images of the sea. The color promotes harmony and balance, which can make for a relaxing shower or bath experience.
Redecorating your bathroom can be as simple as a new shower curtain, towels and wash cloths, or as complex as installing new tile and flooring. But easy splashes of color can be accomplished by green cucumber candles or a small mirror trimmed in coral or green.
The living room or family room often seem to come alive when natural earth tones are incorporated. Deeper greens, warm tones of orange like peach or terra cotta, along with tans and sienna are all calming colors that connect to nature and have a sense of freedom about them.
Again, major changes to your living room can be made by installing new carpet in one of these colors as a base, then accenting with throw rugs. If new furniture is an option, pick a single color as a material choice and build around that will toss pillows, fresh artwork on the walls or new drapes in a complementary matching shade.
Speaking of walls, painting is the most common way to refresh a room. If you don’t want to repaint the entire living room, pick a single wall and give it a fresh coat in one of the earth tones mentioned above and trim it with a darker shade of the same color. You can then hang a selection of family photographs in matching frames to create a picture wall.
Hallways, entryways and basements can benefit from a touch of yellow. The color works well in dim or poorly lit areas. It gives a feeling of welcome, openness and creativity that can greet you as you enter or brighten a dark space. Paint walls, change floor coverings or hang artwork or pictures with shades of yellow.
The kitchen is often as much as a gathering place as the living room, but the primary function will always be associated with food. Building on that, red tones are often good choices for kitchens and dining rooms because that color stimulates your appetite. Again, natural colors found in foods that promote health work well in decorating your kitchen.
We are automatically drawn to the red of tomatoes, green of peppers, broccoli and cabbage, and orange of pumpkins and carrots. Incorporate these colors into your kitchen with new cloth napkins, place mats, table cloths, dish towels, dining seat pads or dish patterns. Walls and cabinets can be painted in these shades and new curtains can frame the windows in fresh colors. With a few easy changes, you can spice up your meals without adding a single calorie.
Whether you decide to make a major decorating change to your home or just add a few subtle color accents, there are some basic tips to remember:
* When choosing a color theme, a room should be divided between 75 percent warm colors and 25 percent cool colors or just the opposite. Every room needs to have a definite theme or message, so giving one color or shade (light or dark, warm or cool) is a must. Otherwise the room will look disorganized and cause you to feel uncomfortable or restless.
* Try to limit each room to three colors with one being dominant and the other two as accents. Any more than that and it becomes overwhelming. Any less and it becomes bland. Also try to coordinate colors in adjoining rooms.
* Paint always looks lighter in the store or on a sample card or chip. When you get it home and on your walls or cabinets it will often look much darker or stronger than it did in the store. Try painting a small area to see how it looks when dry rather than painting a large surface all at once.
Remember, it’s all about what works for you. Not everyone’s rainbow ends in a pot of gold. Yours might be blue or green or red or…well, you get the idea.
Paula Cherrist writes articles about Chicago real estate, home trends and housing related topics for Best Chicago Condos.