Colour is a multi-faceted decorating tool, that can be used in about a thousand different ways in our homes. Perhaps you want to make your space feel bigger, or brighter, more modern or warmer. Perhaps you want these feelings to translate into your life, too. Here are three ways you can use colour, where and how to do it!

Use colour to evoke emotion. The theory behind why we’re drawn to colour is quite amazing. Different colours are proven to stir certain emotions, and oftentimes the effect is subtle or even subconscious. For example, reds may evoke passion and power, a perfect choice for a kitchen or dining room. Whites and blues are known for being fresh, restful and relaxing – a common palette for living rooms, bathrooms and bedrooms. Yellow is enlightening and inspiring, while green represents nature and life. When choosing a colour scheme, consider how you want to feel in your home, the activities you’ll be doing, and how colour can help you achieve that vibe.

TIP: Choosing a colour theme doesn’t mean you have to fully commit. Colour can play a dominant, secondary or tertiary role in the space; it’s all about hitting the right proportions. Ask a certified designer like myself about the 60-30-10 rule!

Highlight focal points with colour. Colour can naturally attract the eye to key areas in your home, or in the absence of a focal point, it can become one! When using colour as an accent, choose a contrasting hue that “pops” against the principal palette, like rich mustard accents against a dark blue backdrop. This decorating trick is especially impactful in a monochromatic room. For example, a neutral room with bold, black accents to highlight focal points or an unusual architectural feature. On the other hand, colour blocking is a great way to create a focal point in a space, like a feature wall.

Make an impact with monochromes.  A monochromatic space can appear bigger and brighter, making the walls, corners and ceilings recede (visually, at least!) and setting the stage for those highlights we just discussed above. White is the most popular single-hue palette, but the look can be achieved using variations of any colour – white, black, red, green, or anything in between. The trick to creating a monochromatic space that isn’t flat is by layering different shades, tones and textures of your chosen hue to create dimension and add warmth.

TIP: When adding to your monochromatic colour palette, be sure to keep a consistent colour temperature. Every colour leans to either the blue (cool) or yellow (warm) side of the spectrum. Mixing temperatures creates a clashing effect.

Scared yet? No need to be. Colour can make a great impact in small doses. In fact, some might argue that smaller hits of colour make an even bigger impact, especially when set against a neutral of monochromatic backdrop. This is an especially useful tip if you’re drawn to trendy hues that start showing their age before the year is through. Add measured hits of colour through accessories such as an accent chair or stool in a living room with corresponding-coloured pillows on the sofa, to tie the look together.

Colour can be subtle or it can be “in your face,” and its emotional and aesthetic impacts on your home and life and very real. Colour is so much more than a paint swatch, so don’t make it an afterthought.  Take a moment and get educated on the power of colour, and find out what it can do for you!

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