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Our sight is our most important sense when we enter a room. The atmospheres that the colors convey instantly make us feel relaxed or uneasy. Because colors play an important role, you should take time to decide which colors will be best for you.

First, you want to decide how you want the room to feel. Check off the descriptions that apply.


Here are some typical descriptions for different rooms in a home.

Bathroom: clean, refreshing, bright, cool
Living room: warm, cozy, dim, calm
Bedroom: calm, snug, dim, intimate
Dinning room: intimate, dim, warm
Kitchen: clean, bright, warm or cool

After defining the desired atmosphere for the room, you need to associate the description with colors. This should get you started.

Clean: whites, creams,
Refreshing: whites, blues, yellows, greens
Calm: blues, blue-greens, lavenders
Cool: blues, greens, lavenders, greys
Warm: orange-yellows, tans, peaches, reds, browns
Cozy: browns, tans, reds, oranges
Snug: reds, oranges, greens
Intimate: reds, yellows, dark blues
Bright: yellows, whites, greens, light blues
Dim: creams, tans, reds, dark blues, olive greens
Modern: whites, blues, greys, bright colors
Contemporary: pastels, light greens, yellows, peaches, light blues, lavenders
Country: blues, yellow, whites, reds, greens
Victorian: dark colors, reds, greens, whites
Sleek: greys, white, blues

To help in deciding which colors will create your desired atmosphere, think of situations that match your descriptions. Color is very personal, and your perception is based on your past experiences. Here is an example.

Clean: Can mean sterile like a hospital with lots of white walls. White walls makes it easier to see how clean it is.

Calm: Can mean the sunset over an ocean. You are sitting on the beach with the lavender sky and the blue ocean at rest. Or it can mean a sunset over the pasture. You see the greens in the grass and the pale blue and lavender sky.

Cozy: Can mean a cabin in the woods with lots of brown woodwork and a glowing fire in the fireplace.

After choosing some colors that meet your described atmosphere, ask yourself if you like the colors that you have chosen. If you are painting a room in your home, you are the one who will see it every day.

If you are unsure of some of your chosen colors, only use them as accents. Here is an example.

You have chosen tan, brown and red for you color scheme. You have a small room, so you don't want to paint it red or brown for fear of making it appear smaller. Paint the walls a light beige color. Divide your trims into major trims areas and minor areas. Paint the major trim areas with a tan color about 3 shades darker than the light beige color. You get the tan color by moving 3 shades darker on the paint chip card that you selected the light beige color. Paint the minor trim in a brown. Now complete the room with red accessories. You can use red rich paintings or pictures. You can use red throw pillows or other accessories. If you are daring, you can buy a red chair or ottoman. Even simple red flowers will help.

Here are 4 important reminders…
1. Paint is cheap, and it is easy to paint over a bad color.
2. Chose colors that you like.
3. Paint appears darker on the wall of a room than it does on the paint chip card. When in doubt, buy the next shade lighter.
4. Take into consideration the pictures that will hang on the wall. A red wall doesn't look so red, if you have a lot of large black and white pictures on the wall. The red will act as a border.