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San Clemente Journal


Apr 29, 2007 10:01PM ● By Don Kindred
by Cinthia Kummer

Lisa Garcia and Gail Marino, partners in their one-year-old home redecorating firm, “I'm Gorgeous Inside,” shared a “high-five” after their first client gave them a standing ovation.This is the one you were dreading, isn’t it? Mention decorating with color, and you have conjured up pictures of an interior decorator flouncing around your abode waving a waif-wristed hand at the walls. 

“Honey, a chiffon lemon base with saffron trim when you’re obviously a fall person? O, look, you’ve wrecked your feng shui!” 

In a world where we’re not always sure if this tie goes with this jacket, we now have to pick colors for our home which, barring tornadoes, we will have to live with for a decade. One wrong color choice and Martha Stewart will be ringing your doorbell at 6a.m. Sunday to whack you upside the head with a copy of “Better Homes and Gardens”.

Despite the stress of changing wall color, choosing color palettes is actually very easy to learn and, in spite of their apparent inscrutability, major paint stores can educate you in minutes. Most of them offer a computerized software service for free and all you do is take a picture of your interior. Voila! What you see, is what you get! Saves time and money with your painting contractor.

The Color Mood Accomplishment
Of course, we’re not speaking of the colors themselves having moods, but the moods that are evoked in you. It’s like long division; you may not understand the process but you know you’ll get an answer from the formula. However, it has been established that different people don’t react with the same intensity to color schemes – but all react in the same kind of mood.

The three moods are active, passive and neutral.

Active colors are also called warm colors and they’re all the hues of yellow, orange and red. These colors are energetic and inspire action and alertness. Red is the ‘panic color’, the one that gets all the attention. Yellow and orange are ‘sunny’ and are good for inspiration and cheerfulness.

The passive colors are also called cool colors and they’re all the hues of blue, green, and purple. These pacify, staying quietly in the background to calm and restore the mood. Green and blue are the natural and serene colors, while purple is just a little bit edgy.

Neutrals are brown, beige, gray, white and black. The earth’s basics, muted and restrained, helping other colors blend into each other or having a low impact effect on their own, but a great impact on serenity.

Now, along with all of the above, here comes some general rules of thumb about colors and the mood characteristics of each one. To make the color’s effect stronger, use a darker shade; to lessen its effect, use a lighter shade.

Red: empowers, stimulates and dramatizes; symbolizes passion. It’s the color of fire, stop signs and Valentine’s hearts.

Yellow: expands, cheers and empowers; increases energy. It’s the color of gold, generosity and ambition.

White: purifies, energizes, unifies; complementary in combination with other colors. It makes spaces feel bigger and seem brighter.

Orange: cheers, commands; stimulates conversation and charity, provokes imagination. Orange is also known to stimulate the appetite.

Green: balances, normalizes, refreshes; encourages growth. 

Blue: similar to Green, relaxes, refreshes, cools; produces tranquil feelings, suppresses appetite and stimulates peaceful moods.

Purple: comforts, imbues with a soul; creates mystery and draws out intuition. Purple and violet hues are found wherever there’s a mystic or artistic person that had a say in the decorating.

While we all have different tastes, color is one of the most effective tools that can be used to make an impact in the way we live. Imagine enjoying the daily space you’re in. Be creative and don’t be afraid to “Rock your own world”. b 

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