Interior Design – Choosing Colors Based on Room Function for your Home

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 38,183
    Interior decorator Denise Willard demonstrates how to choose colors for your home based on room function.

    Denise Willard

    Denise Willard is the president of Decor by Denise, a full-service interior decorating firm based in Vienna, Virginia. For nearly a decade, Denise and her staff have transformed the homes of clients in the Disctrict of Columbia, Maryland and Northern Virginia. With her talent in color selection, space planning, interior arrangement, window treatments and fabric decor, she helps her clients transform their homes from ordinary to extraordinary! The combination of her southern roots and urban lifestyle can be seen in her transitional design style, which combines the comfort and hospitality of the south with the flair of the big city. Denise has been professionally trained in all aspects of interior decorating, including the newest trends in redesign and feng shui. In addition, she is a certified real estate staging professional, as designated by Realty Enhancements International. Denise and her staff take a hands-on approach to every project, providing each client the personalized attention he or she deserves. Denise maintains professional memberships and affiliations with the Interior Design Society, Realty Enhancements International, the Interior Arrangement and Design Association, the Washington Design Center, eWomenNetwork, the Interior Design Directory, the Redesign Directory and the Better Business Bureau.

    Hi, I am Denise Willard of Decor by Denise. Today I am here discussing the psychology of color and how best you can utilize that information to build the best color palette for your home. Right now we are going to discuss room function and how that plays into color selection. If you think about a home there are certain key elements or key rooms in every person's home; that includes a living room or family room or possibly a den, bedrooms, kitchen, a dining room, and sometimes a study or an office area. We are going to talk to each of those rooms and discuss what kinds of functions are accomplished in those rooms and how that plays into color selection for your home.

    Let's first start with the living room/family room or den. In those rooms we typically are watching TV, conversing with family and friends, maybe there are children that play, maybe we have a game table, where we are actually playing various games. It's a room of activity, so we are out and about, moving around, talking, watching TV, laughing, etcetera. So, naturally that kind of activity lends itself towards a warm color palette, where you have got your reds, your oranges and your yellows, because those colors evoke moods of activity, excitement, joyfulness, playfulness. So, that doesn't mean that you have to pick a color palette from that end of the spectrum, but it just is a natural sort of fit for that type of room. Now, let's move on to like our bedrooms, for instance. In the bedroom what are you typically doing? You are relaxing, you are starting to wind down your day. You are going to go to sleep and hopefully be refreshed for the next day. So, that's the type of situation where you want to pick a color that's going to help evoke that kind of mood. That's where we look to the opposite end of the spectrum to our cooler tones; our greens, our blues, our indigos, because those are the kinds of colors that evoke that kind of emotion; one of relaxation, taking it easy, and kicking back for the rest of the evening. Now, let's take a look at a room such as dining rooms or kitchens. Those are rooms typically filled with activity, but also eating and conversation. In those spaces, again, we typically see people use more and more warmer tones, because they are more indicative of that kind of activity. They again evoke activity, emotion and also conversation, especially with the oranges. They really are more of a conversation kind of color and therefore we see them used a lot in those particular areas. Another room we are going to look at now is like our study/office area. Most of us do find the time to work from home these days, and so that's a really key room to consider as well in terms of function. In those rooms what we find often is we are reading, we are working on our computer unfortunately, we are spending a lot of time in intellectual activities, and so the best colors to select for that kind of scenario is something in the white family, but white is often way too stark for that kind of activity. So, what you will find is more often people select something in the beige or the tope family, which plays into the white family and still evokes similar emotions and moods but isn't as harsh or as stark. Lastly, let's talk about a room that's starting to become more and more prevalent in homes, and that is a meditation or a yoga or spirituality room. More and more people are starting to incorporate this into their homes. Again, in that room the functions that you will be accomplishing are things like meditation, thinking, sitting, maybe performance and yoga moods, etcetera, so they are more quiet and rustle kinds of activities, and therefore tend to fall more on the cooler end of the spectrum. Most often we find the indigos or the deep purples being used in those spaces, because they really help with the meditative and the spirituality aspects of those rooms. So, that's just a quick synopsis of the various rooms in your home and how best to pick colors based on the functions that are accomplished in each of those spaces. Now, what we are going to do is turn our sights to the do's and don'ts of selecting colors for your home interior design.