How to Create a Mood With Color

Pick the perfect color scheme to enhance your mood at home. Plus, discover how color plays with your emotions, and how to manipulate color to your — and your interior's — advantage.

  • If you don't think about mood, you may design an impressive-looking room that makes you vaguely uncomfortable.
  • Cool colors are relaxing and warm colors promote activity.
  • Light quality can also vary dramatically throughout the country. Just compare Phoenix, Ariz., with Portland, Ore.
  • Muted browns produce a soothing, suede-like backdrop. Shades of gray can have the same serene effect.
  • It's good to know color theory basics, but you'll know how a color will make you feel in a room just by living with it.
  • For a dramatic mood boost, consider painting one wall — or even the ceiling — a vivid color.
  • When used deliberately, a white palette can produce a light, airy oasis, which is why high-end spas are often done in off-whites and pale earth tones.
  • To balance a strong color scheme, add variations of the same color, just as you find them in nature.
  • Just because you've painted a room doesn't mean you're stuck with one mood or a static color statement. (Photo by Sam Gray)
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