A Darker Shade of Gray: How Light and Dark Play on Interior Spaces

A Darker Shade of Gray: How Light and Dark Play on Interior Spaces

Some of the most difficult choices that a person may have to make in their lifetime are as follows: should they go to college or a trade school, if they really want to have children and what color they should paint their walls. It’s a choice that a lot of people dread because there are so many colors to choose from.

On top of that, knowing how to pick the right colors and shades can really affect how the final product looks and even how you feel. So, knowing where to look for inspiration and how to match different shades and colors with each other can really help get you “unstuck” on what color you want your walls to be.

The list below is a collection of tips that can help you learn how to choose color schemes, the psychology behind how colors affect us and how different shades and colors work can off each other to make your interior look fantastic.

Search Catalogs and the Internet for Inspiration

This solution to your “wall color conundrum” is pretty simplistic, just go look at a catalog or interior design article and you’ve got your choice for your walls. Catalogs and magazines have had tips and tricks on how to decorate since the dawn of time (before the internet was a really big thing).

There’s a boatload of pictures and images that will actually show you how different colors and shades work off of and coordinate with each other. Speaking of the internet, you can always go check out HGTV or Pinterest for some colorful encouragement too. The ultimate goal of this is to not only pick what colors speak to you but to observe how professionals compare and contrast different colors and shades with each other.

Pick Your Favorite Color

This method is probably simpler than looking up photos in magazines and online. From a purely psychological perspective, it can be a lot easier to work on pretty much anything if you really like what you’re working with. If you start working with colors you like, then traditional color schemes are pretty much thrown out the window. It opens you up to a larger sense of creative freedom as you can just start with the color you love most and then you can build a color scheme around it.

Use Color Theory

If magazines, catalogs, Pinterest and even your favorite color aren’t successful in helping you find out what color your walls need to be, then use a color wheel. You don’t have to be a master of color theory to use this method, either. Get a color wheel and turn it, find the colors that interest you and from there you can see how those colors relate to others or just how colors relate to each other in general.

Make Focal Points

This method is a little different than the others that we’ve discussed so far. The point of this technique is more so about where you want people’s – and you own – eyes to be drawn to in the room. To accomplish this, you can add contrasting colors to the walls and trim by making one wall a darker shade.

If you want the room to look bigger then make the walls themselves a darker color and paint the trim a lighter shade in the same color scheme. Making a room appear smaller can be done by painting only one wall a darker shade. The most interesting feature within a space really stands out when it’s highlighted by a darker shade than its surroundings.

Pick a Color that Complements Your Ceiling

Choosing the perfect wall color can have a dramatic effect on your ceilings too. For a ceiling that you feel is too low, pick a wall color that’s a shade lighter than it. For low ceilings, the inverse works well to make them feel higher; use a wall color that’s a darker shade than whatever you choose for the ceiling. If you aren’t the type that likes the idea of a too colorful ceiling, then you can paint it, the door trim and floor moldings the same shade. It’s an effective technique for adding elegance and a sense of transition throughout the space.

Pick Colors That Will Make You Feel Good

So, before, we mentioned psychology as a reason for using your favorite color for your walls – you know, you’ll like working with it and it can make you more creative? Well, this method of picking room colors works somewhat along those lines in that the color you choose can actually affect your mood.

Red, for example, is probably not a great color for a room. While it is bold and makes a really strong impression, studies have found that red can raise heart rate and blood pressure so it’s probably a no-go.

Yellow can make people feel more energetic, happy, and cheerful. It’s a good fit for smaller, more enclosed spaces, but is a bad choice for larger areas as people are more prone to rage, anger and it even seems to upset babies to the point of crying, as well.

Blue is a good color for rooms as it seems to have the opposite effect of red; it lowers blood pressure and heart rate. It can be calming and tranquil, which it’s why it’s good for bedrooms. It should be noted that this works only for lighter shades like turquoise or cerulean, darker shades can invoke feelings of sadness.

Green is a combination of the relaxing qualities of blue and the bright cheeriness of yellow. It’s easy on the eyes (literally) and brings a sort of coolness in areas that it’s used in, while being comforting.

Neutrals (grey, white, brown and black) are a bit of a given in any decorator’s repertoire because they’re so flexible. They can be used as accents, they can add brightness, or they can reduce some of the loudness of any particularly radiant color. Black is a neutral that you should use sparingly as it works best when it’s used to ground a color scheme instead of as the dominant color.

While choosing what color your interior’s walls will be is ultimately subjective – indeed, you can make your room(s) whatever color you want regardless of conventional design – we hope this compilation of tips was helpful to you in some way. If there are any tips or tricks that you feel we’ve missed, let us know! Your shared knowledge can only help us all improve.

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