How to liven up your home with a splash of color
As an interior designer I often encounter clients who ask, “How can I introduce bright colors to white walls without making the place look smaller?” They tend to think that having solitary white or cream walls is their only option. But not to fear, because painting on a bit of color is a fantastic way to create ambiance and maintain airiness in a space—even in a 300 to 400 square foot flat! Just remember to keep a few basic keys in mind:
|1.||Choose a wall that is prominent and noticeable to apply the color. If the chosen wall is right beside a window, avoid choosing colors that are too bold, such as bright cherry red, because chances are the red will reflect off the window and appear to spread the color to other walls. When the sun is shining your whole place may end up being overwhelmed with red.|
|2.||Choose a color that speaks what you want to say about yourself. Keep in mind that dark, cool tones such as charcoal grey or ink blue help create the illusion of an elongated space, and that warm hues like soft orange or citrus yellow imbue a place with an uplifting and positive mood. Bright colors like turquoise are a delightful surprise, while warmer shades like taupe and olive are popular, adding density and taste to an overall space. Paint suppliers such as ICI and Nippon provide special color charts. You can browse and choose from their master color charts at local paint shops that offer computerized formulation services.
|3.||To create a more dramatic effect, try to stay away from pure pastels. If you are inclined toward pastels, though, choose a couple of shades darker than the swatch you want. Primary colors—i.e. basic red, yellow, blue and any combination of those—are hard on the eyes. Try to choose a softer shade instead. And avoid glaring, neon-like colors, such as fuchsia and glowing lime green—they’re more difficult to apply and often require more coats of paint to make the color look even.
After your wall is painted, decorate it with a large mirror, monotone photo frames or objects of a single, contrasting color. Now the look is complete: Sit back and enjoy your new space!
Iris Wong is an interior designer whose experience includes high end corporate, residential and commercial projects. Based in Hong Kong, she is co-founder of Orbis Studio, which specializes in residential and F&B design aspects.