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  • Writer's pictureDesign In Motion

Colour Connotations

Finding what colours best suit you and your home can be an extremely stressful and an overwhelming task, especially at the start of a project. Knowing what colours to use to best represent you and give your home your own personal edge can be tricky and is something we at Design in Motion want to help you with.

Each colour has a variety of connotations, which when broken down, could help you decide what will best suits your lifestyle and your own personal flare. Throughout this blog post we will take a journey through the colours of the rainbow, looking at the pros and cons of using each colour which will hopefully help influence how you decorate your home.

Firstly, let’s begin with red. Red is one of the strongest colours on the colour wheel. It is associated with strong emotions including anger, passion, love, fortunes and warnings. When using red, due to its strength, it is important to use it in the right places. Red works better in downstairs rooms as it raises energy levels with its warmth and strong tone, so using it in your bedroom does not coincide with a good night's sleep. Using it in either a dining room or kitchen would be much more suited as it stimulates conversation, appetite, energy levels and a positive atmosphere. There are many different tones of red to choose from, with some being more muted in vibrancy than others, but as a general rule of thumb, we recommend using red as an accent colour.

Moving onto the fun and optimistic colour of orange. This colour was widely used in the 1970’s, but since then has faded out to more neutral, modern colours such as grey. This is not to say that orange can’t be used in interiors today, but finding the perfect location for this bright colour is the key to success. Orange is often associated with appetite, so using this colour in a dining room or kitchen where you eat and prepare food may be the perfect solution. This colour is also a playful colour and can be used best in children’s rooms or play rooms to encourage fun. On the contrary, the colour orange has the tendency to not be taken too seriously, so avoiding using this colour in the workplace or a home office where you need to be more serious and focused. Orange works well being paired with neutral colours such as whites, greys and creams, but can also be used alongside certain blues as they are complimentary colours.

Next on the colour wheel is yellow. Although yellow is a bright and happy colour, it is also used often to grab people’s attention and it used a lot on warning signs, making this colour appear bold and something you may not think of using internally. However, there are many shades of yellow that can be used, with the lighter shades of yellow being associated with grandeur. You often find yellow used in beautiful stately homes in the living areas which brighten up the rooms and give them a high-end look. Using these lighter yellow colours in your home could create the same look with the right space and accessories to match the expensive looking colour. Brighter colours of yellow can be used as accent colours or in rooms such as entrance halls and porches. These brighter colours welcome people into your home and allow the smaller rooms to look bigger and airier.

Onto green. This colour is often associated with nature and creates a peaceful and tranquil room when used. The lighter colours of green work well in country homes and cottages to bring a soft feeling to rooms and to connect them to their surroundings. However, that’s not to say you can’t use a lighter green colour in your city home if that’s the look you want to go for. The darker tones of green, such as emerald green, can be very bold and really make a statement. These darker tones look great in rooms such as bedrooms or home offices to make the room feel cosy and high-end. Green works well with a lot of other colours and can be paired quite easily to the other items you have in your room. If you are using a lighter tone of green, pairing it with an off white, cream or grey colour works really well to create that outdoorsy cottage feel. Mixing these colours with wood, natural materials and darker furniture works really well and creates a cohesive room. If you’re using a darker tone of green, pairing it with an off white or light grey works really well to contrast the darker colour and to make the darker green the focal point in the room. Combining the darker green with gold or copper accessories looks beautiful, but you can also pair the darker green colours with wood and natural materials to create a more rustic feel.

Now we move onto blue. Blue is recognised as the world's favourite colour. Blue connotates both calmness and rest, but it can also symbolise sadness and coldness. Pale blues work nicely in bedrooms or places of rest due to their calming nature, and stronger blues work well as accent colours in many different room settings. Blues are becoming increasing popular in kitchens, with royal blue kitchen cabinets with gold or copper accessories being the style to have. This is understandable as blue is a timeless colour, which when you’re spending a lot of money on a kitchen, is always a good thing to go for. As for what to pair the colour blue with, complementary colours will help take away those cold qualities of blue. Yellow will add a splash of warmth against the colour blue and using orange with the darker colours of blue can look stunning and create a nice balance of colour. If you have gone for a softer, paler blue in a room, pairing these colours with soft whites and creams looks very elegant. For a pop of colour with a paler blue palette, why not try adding accessories and pops of colour in a deeper, darker blue. This creates a cohesive look and really emphasises the colour theme.

Moving onto purple. Purple is very similar to the colour blue, in that the lighter colours of blue represent calmness and can be very tranquil. On the other hand, purple can create an intense atmosphere, is one of the coldest colours and can make you feel disheartened and sad. Looking at the positive connotations of purple, this colour is said to provoke creativity, making it suitable for an office space or a room you want to be creative in, such as a craft room or play room. Violet and lavender can really help with relaxation which makes this colour suit use in bedrooms to help you wind down before getting a good night’s sleep. Darker purples are very strong colours and should mainly be used as accent colours to help not overwhelm a room.

Coming to the end of the rainbow now, we also have black and white which are both crucial shades used to work with colours. Black is associated with mourning and of course, night time. It also connotes mystery and secrecy. Black has slowly been used more and more in interiors, with one example being kitchen cabinets which are seen more and more in black. Black can help bring sophistication into a room and provides an anchor for every other colour. The key to making black work is using lots of lighting, for instance mood lighting with lamps, and bringing texture into the room to break up this strong colour. White on the other hand is the opposite to black and helps reflect light around a room and can be used in all and every room. White has connotations of innocence, purity and cleanliness. Although white signifies cleanliness, using it on your walls can actually do the opposite as every mark will show. Using too much white may also create a cold atmosphere, so pairing it with lots of natural materials and other colours will help bring more of a warmth alongside it.

After looking through a lot of colours on the colour wheel and discussing their connotations you will notice each and every colour has its good and bad connotations. There is no right and wrong way to use colours as decorating your home is such a personal thing, so if you love it, then go for it! However, if you are someone who struggles with choosing colours and aren’t sure where to use them, we hope this blog helps you pick and choose the best colour to use in certain rooms to create the best effect in your home.

Still not sure about a particular colour or want some in person help? Get in touch on the contact page of our website, or follow us on social media for more tips and tricks.

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