Moody colours to set the room's tonePublished on March 25, 2011

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Deciding on the underlying colours for your design is a process that many people find very challenging. While each of us respond to colour differently, there are some basic principles you can use which can take a lot of the pain out of the decision.

You'll often hear decorators talk about "warm" and "cool" colours, with warm colours being in the red, orange, yellow range, and cool colours being towards the green and blue end of the spectrum. These ranges of colours actually alter how you perceive your space - a yellow painted room just "feels" warmer than the same space painted in blue, for example.

Colours can change your perception of room size. Warmer colours seem to "advance" towards you, making a room feel smaller and cozier, while cool colours "recede", making a space feel more open and airy.

In addition to the "hue" of the colour - red, yellow or blue, for example - you'll also want to consider how light or dark the colour is. Again, darker shades generally advance towards you, making a space feel more compact, while lighter tints recede.

An interesting aside is that certain colours have been shown to have very peculiar effects on people. The most famous of these is red, which in many people can actually increase your appetite!

In the next post we'll talk a little about how to combine colours, where to get inspirations for your colour schemes and we'll also introduce the wonderful world of neutral tones.

Thanks for reading and speak soon!


Graham is the owner of Blueberry Interiors, an interior decor consultancy, specializing in modern design themes. You can keep up with him here at Ottawa at Home, on Twitter by following @grahamcowen, or you can reach him directly at

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