Decorator's Corner: About Paint Colour

When you move into a brand, new condominium residence, one of the most pressing questions you will ask yourself is; what colour should I paint each room? The use of colour is the key consideration to interior design. The colour of a room is one of the room's more significant design elements. With proper planning you can use colour to create a mood, add height or bring warmth to dark and cool spaces.

The most popular colour choice of all is white. White’s versatility means it adapts nicely to any home. It works well with nearly all styles and decorating preferences. White has several advantages. White makes small spaces seem larger. Even a very tiny room may appear to have more square feet when white is applied to walls. Another advantage is white’s ability to add light to a room which is welcome if your room has no windows or does not receive afternoon sun. White is a good choice for rooms used more often during the summer months when a cool retreat is a welcome break from the heat.

While white is often an excellent paint choice, it does have a few disadvantages. Too many white walls can make a house feel sterile or clinical and worse, unfinished. It is also a difficult colour to keep clean and looking brand new.

One design idea is to add an additional color to white paint before putting it on the walls. Try a small hint of red or blue to the paint mixture. This can soften white’s sometimes stark effect.

Another very popular colour today is off-white or light brown. Light brown is a good colour to use in a large space. Unlike white though, it won't make the room seem larger. However, the extra hint of warmth is a good way to add a subtle masculine touch to a room. This colour works well with many other colours, particularly shades of blue and pink. Avoid using it in a small space because it can overwhelm the space and seem oppressive.

In addition to white and shades of light brown there are several other popular interior paint colours. A shade’s popularity often depends on the room's function.

For example, yellow is a warm shade that is frequently associated with happiness and good cheer. This colour is used frequently in bathrooms and kitchens. It can also be used for effect in a room in smaller quantities, like a second bedroom you use a den. Painting the wall behind your computer monitor yellow, for example, can help stimulate creativity.

Another popular warm colour is red. Red is very vibrant colour so many people prefer to use it as an accent colour rather than for an entire room. Adding small touches of red in the form of seat cushions or a bowl of apples to a kitchen can give the high traffic area zing. Red is prized because one can adjust the hue in many ways. Add a bit of orange and you have a brighter shade that stands out even more. If your colour preferences lean towards the cool side of the colour spectrum you can choose reds with a hint of blue in them and still have a shade that works well with the rest of your colour choices.

On the cool side of the colour spectrum there are also many popular choices. Blue is frequently used in bedrooms because of its calming, soothing effect. Blue is a popular choice for a little boy's room because it is the colour most associated with their gender, however a lighter shade of robin’s egg is appearing more and more in little girl’s rooms because of its ethereal quality. Blue is also a popular choice for adult master bedrooms. The colour has many shades so it is often a good way for a man and woman to compromise on their decorating preferences. Light blue suggests the warmth of a sunny day to many observers while darker tones like navy and midnight bring in sophistication and elegance. Accenting blue with white trim gives any room a finished, polished look.

People choose interior paint colours for many reasons. The wonderful thing about paint is, if after it’s applied to the wall you don’t achieve the look you’re going for, you simply paint over and voilá; you have a new environment.

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