What is colour?

I want to start these blog post about interior styling out with talking about colour as a whole. What is colour? It's both one of the easiest ways of creating a new interior style - but can also be a bit of a jungle for someone trying to decide on a colour for their house. 

Colour is an important part of our life, it influences the way we live and feel - sometimes without us even noticing. It's present everywhere - in the clothes we wear the art on our wall and the colours we choose unknowingly to surround us, as the colours of the flowers you pick for a vase - people are drawn to different colours and colours can have different meaning to each of us. 

Certain colours are used to indicate different things, as e.g RED is often used to signal danger or warning, GREEN is often used to signal nature - as biological food products are often marked with green.

I always ask my clients

"what are your Happy Colours" and this is where we start from. 

Colours is an important part of our house too. It adds personality and gives individual style - as mentioned in my earlier blog, colours are very much about the personality of the family living in the particular house. Colours create ambience, they can make a room bright and airy or calm and soothing, they can be used to create dramatic or grand statements or just provide a subtle touch of fun. 

There are of course trends and fashion in colours, which dictates the different shades, but there are always basic colours to stick too, if you find it all a bit confusing:)

Personal reaction to colours:

Colours do mean different things to different people, some might find red dominating and others find it invigorating - some find cream boring others peaceful and serene. Therefore, when choosing colours for your house - talk to the members of you family and find all your happy colours and go from there. If opinions differ too much it's best to stick to a neutral colour scheme. 

( In my coming blogs I will provide you with some Colour guidelines, but first a little background knowledge of what is colour. )

Colour wheel.

The traditional colour wheel is a great way to see how the different colours relate to each other. There are 3 primary colours red, yellow and blue. by mixing these you will get secondary colours. When equal amount of primary colours are mixed e.g. red and yellow then the secondary colour orange will come, and yellow and blue creates green and equal parts of blue and red will make purple. 

From here the third and tertiary colours will form, depending on the amount of each colour used. 

- Colours next to each other on the colour wheel are referred to as harmonious colours and they will be compatible. e.g Green and blue colours work well together because they share a common blue element. Opposite colours are know as contrasting colours putting contrasting colours next to each other will create a more dramatic effect - where as harmonious colours will create a more subtle and flowing effect. 

- Black and white are technically not colours as they either absorb the light or reflect it instead of breaking it down in its component colours. However, they are used in tints. In interior styling they are very important in their 'pure' form as well as in tints. e.g white will make for a brilliant bright look, and black is a dramatic addition to a colourful wall to help 'pull' in the style. 

- Another thing to consider when talking about colours is temperature and balance of colours. The temperature of a colour is determined by the amount of red or blue in it. Red is perceived as a warm temperature and blue as cold. - e.g colours in the vibrant pink, orange etc. is thought of as being warm colours where as turquoise and mint greens are classified as cool colours.

- The Balance between the two is often seen in e.g. the coolness of blue will cool down the lively orange and vice versa the orange will give some warmth to a cool blue. 

This was a little background knowledge of colours, whether used in a large or small room colour will make a significant contribution to the room - the secret is to understand how colour works and use it in a balance way. 

So to start off using colour - have fun !! try and put together different harmonious colours with their opposite contrasting colours and see how they make you feel. 

Have fun !! 

Linda 

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