The Magic of Color


Color. Our world is saturated with it, from the bright yellow of fresh daffodils to the dark rusty red of an exposed brick wall. We often take color for granted, not bothering to notice the subtle hues, tones and intensities that surround us. To see how important color is, try this: look around the room you’re in, and imagine it without the color, everything just a slightly different shade of grey.

Pretty grim, right?

In a room, color can change the entire look. If you’ve ever painted a wall from stark white to a color, even a cream, you know that the mood of the room changes a little more with each stroke of the brush, until the whole room feels different by the time you’re done.

You probably already know that a small room painted a light color appears larger, and that a large room painted a dark color appears cozier. But did you know that you may actually concentrate better in a room with dark colors? Did you know that historically, different colors have been popular, so painting a Victorian-style living room with modern colors would wreck the harmony, even if everything else is suitable?

Here in Designer Monthly’s “The Magic of Color” section, each month we’ll look at a different color. As you learn in the first unit of the Sheffield Complete Course in Interior Design, the designer has available an infinite range of hues, both natural and man-made. When painting, you can combine colors to form other colors, in an endless array of shades. Manufacturers of everything from throw pillows to lampshades can also produce this vast palette. And then you also need to consider the colors in any artwork that will hang in the rooms you design.

So you don’t get overwhelmed thinking about all those possibilities, each month we’ll discuss the uses of a particular hue, from how it plays with other colors to which historical periods it fits.

And we won’t only be talking about wall color here, although we will always address how the color of the month would play on a wall. We’ll also talk about the color for use in accents, or as a slipcover choice, or as a choice for flooring. We’ll take into account a room’s entire function and mood, and see how the color in question harmonizes. And of course we’ll look at photos and analyze how the color is used in each example.

Welcome to the world of color. Everywhere we turn, there it is: the deep indigo blue of a favorite old sweater, the glossy green of rhododendron leaves in a rainstorm, the rich brown of the soil as you begin to plant your spring flowers. We hope you’ll come with us on this exciting journey.


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