gray themed living room with orange pop of color for accent
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How to Add a Pop of Color in Your Home

August 26, 2021

Add a pop of color in your home and watch as your rooms come alive

What comes to mind when you think of "red?"

How about "blue?"

Psychologists have studied the effect of various colors on the human brain, and what they've learned is that color is a language all its own. You might be surprised to learn that your favorite colors are most likely due to your life experiences and are directly tied to positive events!

But if one man's red is another man's blue, how can you best choose the colors you introduce into your home? If you are ready to set the mood by adding a pop of color to a room, color theory can help you!

Read on to learn all of the color theory essentials that you need to add color and style to your space and live in bliss!

relaxing bedroom with periwinkle walls for a pop of color

Brightness and Saturation

If you have ever played around with the sliders while adding filters to photos on social media, then you are probably familiar with the concepts of brightness and saturation. These two elements are key to understanding why the eye is drawn to some colors over others and how colors evoke mood.

A highly saturated color is pure color - think of the greenest greens in nature or the blue of a cloudless sky on a clear day. If you reduce the saturation, your green might start to look more like olive, and your blue might tend toward gray.

Likewise, brightness refers to light. If it's bright out, you squint - if you see a bright color, you might be inclined to squint, too! The brightness of color can affect its energy, making it more or less calming.

For example, let's start with blue. If we reduce the saturation but increase the brightness, you might get a relaxing periwinkle. If you take that same color and increase the saturation, it becomes a pure blue but reduces the brightness; you might get an energizing, athletic shade that is a little harder to look at.

Why is this important when you want to add color to a room? While you may be drawn to one color over the other, both colors have their place in your room design!

The periwinkle shade might make a nice, relaxing bedroom wall color, while the athletic blue in the same space might keep you up all night! A color pop, however, can be as bold as you please. The periwinkle might come off understated, while the athletic blue will draw the eye immediately!  

Interestingly, light and dark colors also skew our perception of distance. This is important if the color pop you are considering will be on an accent wall or a small space like a hallway.

A lighter-colored wall gives the illusion that it is further away, while a darker color will often appear closer. The magic of room color, when utilized thoughtfully, can actually change the shape of the room itself! If you want to make a narrow room wider or a huge space more intimate, a little paint can help you out!  

Color play is a trick that home stagers will use when preparing for an open house. If you're moving in and a room seems a little smaller than it appeared when you first saw it, paint is a much cheaper option than demolition!

color wheel separating out warm and cool toned colors

Warm and Cool Colors

Here's another area of color theory that you might be familiar with because of photo editing apps. If you've ever put a filter on a selfie, then you know that the color tone of a photo can completely transform the mood.

A warm tone is any color in the red or orange family, while a cool tone tends toward blue and green. We name these groups after temperatures because of their psychological effect.

Yes, painting your room burnt orange might actually make you feel warmer! Likewise, cool shades can have the effect of making a room feel colder. That might make it the right choice for a hotel lobby on a tropical island! 

Warmer colors draw the eye and have the effect of leading you somewhere. A red couch is welcoming because it will be the first thing visitors see when they enter the space. It's almost like a giant sign that says, "This is a place to get comfortable!"

Use color to teach your visitors how to interact with your home. You can use warm colors to lead them to communal spaces. That can make navigating your home comfortable and intuitive.

relaxing grey living room with a pop of color featuring orange curtains

How to Add That Pop of Color

Are you already dreaming up ways to use color to transform your space? If you are moving to a new home and have a blank slate to work with, these tips are for you!

One way that you might consider adding color is through items that you might already need for your home. Consider buying appliances or everyday objects in bright or unique shades. A vacuum cleaner can go from an eyesore to a conversation piece when chosen with visual interest in mind!

Consider adding temporary color, too. Lean toward cooler colors in the warmer months, and keep things cozy with warm shades in the winter. You can accomplish this using throw pillow shams, blankets, window curtains, area rugs, and other smaller accent pieces.

Color is also fun in an unexpected place! A boldly colored set of stools in an otherwise neutral kitchen adds a sense of fun and play to a utilitarian space.

Don't underestimate the value of wall art when considering pops of color for your space. Even if you seek to go a more traditional route and show off family photos, a bright frame can draw attention to the moments and memories you're eager to chat about with company!

bright orange accent wall in living room

Don't Underestimate the Power of Paint!

Color theory is the language that professional designers use when they're trying to communicate something to their audience. If you are ready to take your home decor to the next level, a little extra knowledge about how colors work can make a huge difference! That pop of color can change the way you feel about the room and set the mood when you have guests over to visit!

If you already have some beloved accent pieces and you need help transporting them to your new home, we can help with that, too! Reach out today to schedule our moving services. We'll help you add some color to your life without breaking your back!