Color Psychology for Home Staging or Decor
How to Choose Soothing Home Decor
Spending as much time in your home as you probably do, soothing home decor will make it easier for you to unwind and relax. You can use soothing furnishings, like plush furniture and items that imitate nature, to create this effect. You'll also need to select a soothing color scheme by doing things like choosing cool tones for your base color and toning down colors that are too bright. Last but not least, you'll have to account for existing factors in your home, by doing things like integrating your design with its intended function and balancing design choices with lighting.
Using Soothing Furnishings
Decorate with plush, inviting furniture.Hard, spartan furniture can look uninviting from the very first glance. Furniture that is elegant, well upholstered, and luxuriously stuffed will make you, your family, and visiting friends want to sit down and relax.
- Some examples of plush furniture might include things like comfy upholstered chairs, well-stuffed couches, inviting love seats, fluffy ottomans, and so on.
- These kinds of items can sometimes be expensive. If you're not ready to make this purchase, buy soft, cozy throw pillows to add to your furniture.
- Many pieces of gently used furniture can be bought at a fraction of the price at secondhand stores, though you might have to patiently search these for these until they come in stock.
Use items that imitate nature.As appealing as sleek, futuristic designs can be, natural features encourage happiness, comfort, and well-being.To accomplish this, add some houseplants or a living wall to your home. Some other ideas for adding a natural vibe to your living space include:
- Choosing wood-accented furnishings and decorations, especially dark colored wood. This will create a warm feel while adding contrast to the room.
- Art from natural scenes can also add to the organic atmosphere of a room. Art can sometimes be pricey; find inexpensive art at secondhand stores and thrift shops.
Avoid too many sharp edges.Sharp edges give a clean, geometric, well defined impression to a room. It's only natural for the furniture of your room to have some edges, but too many of these can make a room feel aggressive, in a manner of speaking.
- Furniture with flowing lines and rounded edges can really soften the character of a room and make it feel more relaxed.
- Some examples of furniture without sharp edges might include rounded edged bookshelves, seating with softened edges (like couches and chairs that don't come to a point at the edges), coffee tables with blunted edges, and so on.
Account for lighting.Natural light has a direct positive effect on your mood.Use curtains that decorate your windows without cutting off too much natural light. Add mirrors to a room to encourage the spread of natural light throughout the space.
- The "temperature" of lighting refers to its tone. Light that is very white is said to have a "cool" temperature, while light that is somewhat orange is said to be "warm."
- Light that is too cool can make a room feel stark or clinical. Use warm temperature lighting to cozy up rooms you are decorating.
Install a water feature.Water is associated with a sense of calmness, clarity, and meditation.You can bring these feelings into your home when decorating by adding a water feature, like a small bubbling fountain or a trickling water wall.
- If buying a brand new water feature is outside your budget, you might opt for a noisemaker that can make water effects or even a CD with water sounds playing in the background.
- Similar to the regular, metrical noises water makes, the sound of ticking can also have a calming effect. If this is true for you, a clock may be a soothing alternative to a water feature.
Selecting a Soothing Color Scheme
Utilize cool tones in your color scheme.Cool tones are green, blue, and violet. These colors, and shades of these, generally promote a soothing feeling. By choosing one of these colors for the base of your color scheme, you can replicate this soothing effect. Avoid overusing too many cool tones, otherwise your room may feel cold and lifeless.
- Use green as a base if, in addition to a soothing impression, you also want to convey a sense of rejuvenation or growth.
- Blue, when used as your base color, will add a light and refreshing feeling, especially lighter shades of blue. Darker shades communicate a calm sense of dignity.
- Violet is the warmest of the cool tones, giving it a vital feeling. It also carries the impression of serenity. Avoid overusing violet to prevent its warmth from detracting from its serene aspect.
Tone down bright colors according to your taste.Bright colors carry a sense of energy. Using bright colors is a good way to balance cool tones so that the overall effect isn't cold and drab. However, you may need to tone down some bright colors to prevent them from throwing off the balance of your color scheme.
- When painting, you can soften colors that are too vibrant by adding a little white to them or dull them with some black. Be sure you only mix together the same kinds of paint. Different brands/types of paint may be impossible to mix due to their ingredients.
- For example, you can create a cool, refreshing atmosphere with a base of cyan, dark blue, and black. Accent these with beige and a muted red. The red should give this color scheme an upbeat feel.
Accentuate a soft, open feel with pastel colors.Whereas bright colors can be softened with the addition of small amounts of white, adding a substantial amount of white creates a "washed out" effect in a color. This is the basis of pastel colors.
- These soft colors create a wide open effect that's useful in smaller spaces. Pastels also impart a comfortable and airy atmosphere.
- For example, in a child's play room, you might use a pastel blue as the primary color to give the sense of being under a soft blue sky, and then combine this with pastel green to add a vital feeling to the color scheme.
Create depth in your color scheme.Neutral colors, like white, gray, and black work with most other colors, when used as accents, and are great for adding definition to your color scheme. Earth tones, like beige, brown, and shades of umber and ochre are also sometimes considered neutral colors.
- Earth tones tend to add sense of warmth to a color scheme. Beyond this, the natural sense evoked by these colors can bring with them a feeling of tranquility.
Accounting for Existing Factors
Balance design choices with lighting.Rooms that have good lighting will clearly reveal the colors used in it. For this reason, bright rooms might need to be toned down a little with darker colors. Soft, light colors, however, work better for darker rooms.
- The direction the windows in the room face also can have an effect on lighting. For example, if a room only receives evening light, this will generally be deeper in color and have a golden tint. This can give colors a muted tone.
- Shadows may be cast by trees or outdoor features into the space you are decorating. Generally, you can expect shadows to have a darkening effect on your color scheme. Use lighter cool tones in this case.
Integrate your design with its intended function.Matching your decorating choices to suit the function of a place can make them feel more fitting. For example, even though red isn't traditionally considered soothing, it stimulates appetite, making it an excellent color to add to restaurants, dining rooms, and so on.
- Green and shades of this color are great for sitting rooms, family spaces, and even offices.
- The natural, soft feeling given from earth tones make these a strong choice for places like bedrooms or rooms without windows.
- Dark colors, like blacks, grays, and earth tones can add definition to a room without becoming distracting. These are great colors to use in an office or reading room.
Coordinate with the existing features of your home.You'll likely have to plan your interior decorating around some existing features of your home. For example, re-flooring your home might not be an option, so you'll have to make design choices that match well with your current flooring. Other features you may have to integrate with your design include:
- Cabinetry, wall color, fixtures (includes outlets, sink fixtures, door knobs, and so on), countertops, sills, and more.
Video: 6 tips for creating a relaxing sunroom in your home
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