Ideas for Decorating: Make wise colour decisions for your home or office

This colour article will give you for decorating.

As a professional artist, I love colour and want to help you to make the right colour decisions when decorating your home or office.

Colour is a complex and highly subjective topic. Due to our varied personal experiences, people hold very emotional responses to colour, especially when it comes to ideas for decorating.

The famous artists Piet Mondrian, Wassily Kandinsky and Johannes Itten were all keen students of colour during their creative careers. In fact, Itten (1888-1967) was a teacher at the highly influential Bauhaus art school . He made famous the first technical colour wheel pictured below.

When thinking about ideas for decorating your home or office, you need to be careful the colours you choose to live with. Make sure the colour decisions you make don’t have uncomfortable subliminal associations.

Point 1. Colour contains powerful emotional associations.

For example, the right colour blue might remind you of a beautiful summer sky. However, the wrong colour blue could trigger feelings of depression.

Likewise, the right colour red might remind you of your favourite lipstick or fast car. But the wrong colour red might look like the local street post office box.

Here’s an important tip when making important interior design decisions.

Point 2. Start with your favourite colour and be very specific when communicating it to other people.

Then build a complimentary colour scheme around that particular colour. Even create a mood board for the room from cut up magazines, to give other people an insight into your vision for the space.

To help you build a successful colour scheme for your room, you might want to try out different colour options. Or research the latest international colour trends for the year by visiting the website . Monochrome colour schemes are very impressive in a room and can create an elegant and inviting living area.

Point 3. Monochrome colour schemes use shades of only one dominant colour.

For instance, if my favourite colour is blue, then I would experiment with different hues of blue on Ittens colour wheel. For examples of blue monochrome colour schemes, visit the website and play around with the colour gauge, as shown in the picture below.

The emotional power of colour is clearly illustrated by the following case study in real American jail. After extensive academic research into the colour pink, it was decided by the County sheriff to paint the whole Texan jail pink.

Yes, Pink!

Furthermore, the prisoners are enforced to wear pink jumpsuits. This radical new policy was immediately found to create calmness and drastically reduce aggression and violence amongst inmates.

So, if you live with noisy excitable children for example, it might be a suggestion to use shades of pink in your house for reduced levels of anxiety and greater calmness for individuals in the house.

Otherwise, if you’re the type of person who gets easily bored and is not short of ideas for decorating, you might redecorate rooms frequently, then using a base colour on the walls like white or cream, will enable you to more easily change furnishings when boredom strikes.

Point 4. Neutral creams provide the perfect foundation for using splashes of colour highlights.

But if you’re a true fan of white, you might like to create an elegant fresh clean look for your home or office. Some people decorate their entire homes using white.

Is white really a colour?

In fact, scientists believe white is the essence of light – which is the presence of all colours. Black is technically not a colour because it’s the absence of all colour – total darkness.

As an artist, I love using white, intermingled with other colours on the canvas. The subconscious influence of white upon other hues in the colour spectrum tends to create a calm soothing effect, like in the painting commission I recently completed below.

'Tennis in the Skyline' painting by Simon Brushfield

‘Tennis in the Skyline’ painting by Simon Brushfield Oil & Acrylic on Canvas 1.8m x 90cm (Sold: Corporate Acquisition)

When producing abstract paintings, I often use white as a finishing colour, because it helps to unite elements, refine and gives a polished appearance to the artwork. White generally appears more elegant and professional.

Likewise in a room, white can help create a professional appearance for a home, office or surgery environment.

Point 5. White creates a feeling of purity, cleanliness and gentleness

Matching the walls to a painting, or vice versa, is also a very effective eye catching decorating tip. In the picture below, the painting and the wall compliment each other beautifully, creating a deep royal feel to the room.

‘Abstract Blue’ by Simon Brushfield Oil & Acrylic on board 80cm x 60cm (Sold: Corporate Acquisition)

There are an infinite variety of colour schemes available to the amateur and professional interior designer. Colour schemes are interdisciplinary, but actually began from the discipline of fine art.

Johannes Itten was the first to formally label colour schemes derived from his famous colour wheel. The names sound very difficult but they are actually quite simple once you understand Ittens colour wheel diagram.

Point 6. Technical names for colour schemes include; monochromatic; split complimentary; analogic; triadic and accented analogic

If you want to get a little more detailed with the colours in your home or office , you might choose colour schemes that are more complex on the colour wheel. For example an ‘accented analogic’ colour scheme (pictured below) can look great depending upon the base colour chosen.

Accented analogic means that on the colour wheel you will first choose your favourite colour. Plus the opposite complimentary colour and two neighbourly colours. To understand this more easily in practical terms, have a play around and experiment on the colour scheme website .

I would love to hear your thoughts or ideas for decorating in the comments box below. Also, if you liked this article, please leave your email address by subscribing below and get similar creative articles delivered free to your inbox.

About Simon Brushfield

Simon Brushfield is an artist whose work has been described as ‘poetic, enigmatic and dreamlike’ (Michael Berry, "Selected Contemporary Artists of Australia" book). His paintings have been exhibited and sold across Australia and internationally. If you enjoyed this post, sign up to Simons VIP list and have posts sent directly to your inbox.

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