Monthly Archives: October 2010

Interior Decorating 101 – Choose Wall Colors to Create Good Feng Shui

Creating a fresh feel and tone in a room can be easily accomplished by a change in color.  You can create warmth or coolness, expansion or contraction, and formality or casualness with your color selection.  The right wall color positively influences the Feng Shui or energy you feel in a space.  

Taking an inventory before you get started will help you pick out the color(s) that will create the feeling you want in the room.

Here are the First Steps:

1 – Determine your budget. If you’re on a tight budget, consider which changes will have the most impact for the least investment.  Generally, these are paint, accessories, and simply re-arranging furniture.

2 – Make a list of the key elements that will stay in the room such as flooring, rugs, furniture, and window treatments.  You’ll want to pick colors that tie these elements together.

3 – Ask yourself, what is the room’s purpose and how do I want to feel in the room? In Feng Shui terms, the question is “Is it an active area (Yang) or a quiet area (Yin)?”  Select colors that support the room’s purpose.  Warm colors support activity and cool colors support rest.

4 – What are your unique color preferences at this time?  Preferences change with time.  Honor your preferences at this time because they’ll make you feel good in the space.

5 – Look at photos in magazines and cut out colors that inspire you – from nature, from interior décor, and from anything else that gives you energy (energy is a key to knowing when a color is right for you).

6 – Stand back and view the room from another room.  Remember that the color you choose should relate to the rest of your home so your space feels connected and flows easily.

 Next time – where to go from here – Creating Your Color Palette!

Feng Shui 101 -Three Ways Your Home Affects Your Health

Your home directly influences your health. Like vitamins, annual exams, and exercise, a home has a significant impact on your health. Addressing the following three attributes of a home can act as insurance against ill-health.

1- Too much clutter. Clutter creates a blockage which restricts the flow of energy in your home. Clutter is life-deadening rather than life-affirming.  It inhibits your ability to feel vibrancy in your life. Like “too much clutter in your head,” too much clutter in your home weighs you down physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Clutter comes in many forms – too much furniture, accessories, paperwork, and clothes. 

The solution?  Clear the clutter!  Take to a thrift-store, give away, donate, dispose, or re-purpose.

2- Inadequate natural light in your environment.  The quality of light affects the quality of life you feel in your home.  When a space is dark, it creates Yin energy. Yin energy translates into quietness, constriction, and lack of movement. (Its opposite is yang energy which creates movement). If your home is too dark you may suffer from a lack of energy and/or motivation to engage with the world.

The solution? Open your drapes and/or blinds, install a skylight or a French door, place mirrors in dark corners facing windows to reflect light, paint walls in soft white or yellow, remove outside screens, and ensure you have enough man-made lighting in each room.

3. Lack of a balance of colors in your home.  Having too much of one or two colors creates imbalance. When energy is imbalanced, you can feel the results both immediately and long-term. Short term, you may feel irritation. Long term, irritation can develop into disease.  A balance of colors and shapes will create Soul, the key to feeling comfortable in a space.  And when you feel comfortable, you are naturally more relaxed and focused.

The solution to bringing balance in a space is to ensure there’s a variety of colors and shapes. (You may not realize it but shapes, like colors, transmit energy.  For example, a triangular shape creates a vibrant, fire energy and a square shape creates a more grounded, earth energy).

You can paint the entire space just one color as long as you balance it with by adding color in other ways. Think of how you’d feel in a beige and white space and then how you’d feel in a beige, white, green, and red space. Odds are you feel more comfortable when imagining a space with a variety of color. To create a space which supports health, use a moderate amount of fire colors such as red, orange, terracotta, or pink in your color palette.

The one key to maintaining good health through your home, is creating Balance!

Interior Decorating 101 – Using the Color Wheel

The color wheel is a terrific way to understand the relationships between colors.  You can use it as your guide for selecting color schemes for your home.  And it can give you inspiration for you next room makeover. 

There are 12 colors in a standard color wheel.  They are divided into three designations – primary, secondary, and tertiary colors.

Primary Colors: red, blue and yellow. 

Secondary Colors: these are combinations of two primary colors – orange (red+yellow), green (yellow + blue) and violet (blue + red). 

Tertiary Colors: These colors are a combination of a primary and a secondary color; such as red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, and red-violet.

Color Intensity describes the brightness or dullness of a color.  Color Value refers to a color’s lightness or darkness.  Tint is what you do if you add white to a color.  Shade is what you do if you add black to a color. 

Warm colors are oranges, reds, and yellows.  These colors create intimate, cozy rooms.  They make a space feel condensed so use them thoughtfully in small rooms. 

Cool colors are greens, blues, and violets.  These colors are soothing and create a feeling of expansiveness.  They’ll make a room feel larger. 

Color Schemes

Color schemes are based on the color wheel.  These four color schemes provide guidelines for selecting colors for a room.  Using these guidelines helps you have a cohesive, pulled-together look.

Monochromatic: Just one color, but add tinting or shading to that color to create different versions of the color in the room and using neutrals (black and white) to add contrast. 

Complementary: Two colors that are opposite on the color wheel.  For example, red and green.   

Analogous: Using adjacent colors on the color wheel.  For example, red, yellow and green. 

Triad: Using three equally-spaced colors from the color wheel.  Pick one dominant color, a secondary color, and then an accent color.  For example:  blue-violet, yellow-green, and red-orange. 

Using the color wheel helps take stress out of making color selections.  And finding photos in magazines of colors that make you smile is another good tool to make your color selections.  Once you paint the walls the rest of the design of the room will start coming together based on the feeling you’ve created by your selection of wall-color.  You can take it step-by-step and change your mind along the way if things don’t feel right to you.  Trust your intuition!

More on selecting colors next time!  Please feel free to leave me a question or comment.