The Effects and Perceptions of Color

Cool colors are greens, blue-greens and blues, the coolness of water, whether still or flowing in a water display. Cool colors appear further away, a wall will appear to recede. The more saturated the color is, the more intense it is. For instance, new parents might want to paint their new son’s room blue; so in this case they would use a much muted blue, a “tint: of blue. A tint is a color mixed with white. A highly saturated blue or shade of blue would be too cool for a baby’s room.

Warm colors are yellows, oranges and reds. They exude warmth and are inspirational and have great emotional impact. Physically and mentally they seem to give you a glow and warm inviting feeling. In colder states this is a welcome respite in the winter months.

The perception of color is affected more by lighting than anything else. It’s not just the amount of light but the type of light. LED’s which are widely used today are available in different colors, aka temperature measurement in degrees Kelvin. The range is 2700K which is Warm White to 3500K Natural White and 6500K Daylight White. When we want to know if a bulb creates a warmer or crisper, cooler light we need to look for the Kelvin number. The lower the number, the warmer the light will be and the higher the number the more cool/blue the light will appear. Keep in mind the color of your walls, if they’re blue, you probably don’t want a high K bulb.

The truth about paint chips. Trust them but no too much. Tiny squares of color are never a good indicator of how a color will look in a room. So, here’s what you need to do. Buy sample jars of the paint you’re interested in using, then paint a good-sized swatch (not patch) directly onto the wall or on a board or other stiff material that can be moved around your room so that you can see the paint under artificial light and natural light coming in a window. You want to see the color(s) in all shades of lighting during the course of a day and night.

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