Choosing Interior Design Colour Combinations
by: Jackie De Burca
Many people are not fully conscious of how important colour is in their lives and both in interior design and buying clothes some people will opt for whatever current fashion trends dictate.
For interior design purposes going with the current colour trends could be a mistake and it could even affect your health.
I know that this sounds quite dramatic but without an appreciation of how certain colours make us feel, people can be convinced that the latest trendy shade of yellow will be gorgeous in their child's bedroom.
With yellow your child is unlikely to have a good night's sleep and over time this is not much fun or good for his health!
In this article I have described each colour and its qualities, followed by its complementary colour and its qualities. Additionally these qualities have been corresponded the chakra system which are the wheels of spinning energy some believe lie at certain points around our bodies.
Each colour also has a complementary colour, which on a colour wheel will be the colour that sits opposite to it. The complementary colour will make a striking effect when added to the same room, and depending on the structure and purpose of the room you can do this either quite subtly or add more to create a stronger look and feeling.
For interior design you will still achieve these results by using variations of shades which correspond to the colours. If you wish to have the balance that is created by complementary colours but would prefer to make the room less dramatic, then choose paler shades of the colours.
Before choosing the colours remember that form follows function, and the "form" or energy of the colour should be appropriate for the purpose of the room.
Yellow is a colour which stimulates mental activity and is therefore the last colour you should choose for a bedroom. It also is good for studying or reading, whilst promoting self confidence at the same time. So actually yellow is the perfect colour for the room where your children do their homework or for a home office.
Yellow is the colour for the solar plexus chakra which relates to our feelings of self worth, so how we feel about ourselves and how we think others feel and think about us. This chakra is about the personality, the intellect and the ego.
Yellow's complementary colour is violet.
Violet is calming for the mind and body, and is a colour that heightens awareness and makes us feel like doing our best. It is a purifying colour and can strengthen feeling of dignity and purpose.
Violet is ideal for entrance areas, especially into clinics, and places of worship or meditation. It can be used in a pale version in the bedroom, but if you wish to use yellow to complement it you need to be very careful to use only a subtle amount and shade.
The crown chakra is violet and this chakra relates to self-knowledge and spiritual awareness. With this colour in balance a person has an increased respect and love of life, can be extra helpful to others and is idealistic.
Orange is a warm and energizing colour, and is great for sociable areas and creative/active areas. It is best avoided in the bedroom as it encourages liveliness.
It is the colour of fun and sociability.
The chakra it relates to is the sacral chakra which is about giving ourselves the freedom to be ourselves respectfully. It is also for the ability to give and take with others.
When balanced it is creative, sociable and joyful.
The complementary colour for orange is indigo.
Indigo is a quieter colour and therefore perfectly suited to bedrooms, and areas that should ideally be calm. It also helps us feel intuitive.
It corresponds to the brow chakra, which is also known as the third eye. (Not literally a third eye, this is a term for the intuitive channel between the two "real" eyes).
The positive aspects of this chakra are being tuned into your true life path and responsibilities. It means having an organised mind, integrity, being loyal and seeing things clearly.
Red is a great colour for any activity area, but you need to be choosy about the shade so the room does not feel smaller or oppressive. If it is used well it will make a room feel cosy.
Red relates to the base chakra, at the base of the spine, and this area is about survival the most basic human instinct of them all.
Used positively it should make a person feel courageous and with strength of will. It promotes assertiveness in the right measure.
Red's complementary colour is blue.
Blue is a calming colour and makes people feel relaxed. It can be used in any room except for one where you wish to stimulate physical activity. It is also the colour of communication. So for example it is perfect for a lounge or sitting room area.
The chakra for blue is the throat chakra and this relates to self-expression. So it's all about communication, the ability to speak and communicate our needs and wishes. If balanced it helps us to be trustworthy, calm and loyal.
The eighth colour of the spectrum is magenta which is a mixture of red and violet. This is a combination of the physical and the spiritual put simply. It is not suitable for play areas, but is good in lecture and study areas.
As a combined colour it picks up from both the base and crown chakra qualities.
Magenta's complementary colour is green.
Green is very harmonising and encourages tolerance and understanding. It would of course be ideal for negotiations between politicians...
Green is a colour that you could use in any room really, and the tip here is to be aware of the shade. So you wouldn't choose one with too much yellow in it for a bedroom.
It is important to balance out green with another colour, or colours as too much green may lead to inactivity.
The heart chakra is the one that relates to green. This is the energy of being able to give and receive love, including self love.
When in balance it will make you feel compassionate, loving, generous and well-balanced.
Different people will at different times of their lives be attracted to certain colours, and this can change as your life circumstances change.
To add some flexibility into a colour scheme there are a wonderful range of colourful glass door knobs by Bombay Duck. These can also be used to spruce up wardrobes and furniture.
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