Having thought about and discussed the exterior of different styles of homes, let’s give some thought to the interior. This is where people tend to have a lot of fear about color even though they do not seem to have the same fear about wearing color! If we could transfer the feeling of wearing color to living with color it would create wonderful rooms to enjoy.
What I find is that people are really not afraid of “the color” but of the intensity of the color. Intensity is the “value” of the hue, meaning how dark or how light, or the grades of color in between. A client may like a color but they just are not sure of the correct value. So fear of color is more than just using color but comprehending the light to dark ratio of the color.
Without getting into the weeds of color philosophy let’s keep this simple and think about color used for different styles of homes. Remember this is a general discussion because other elements of your home important in choosing color are hard surfaces, like stone and tile; color of the wood in cabinets and flooring and fabrics. These other elements have colors that you may want to enhance by putting that color on the wall. Laying out samples of these elements helps locate the color that will work in that room.
Also, color is a reflection of our personality. We all have favorite colors! Here are a few ideas based on styles of homes that might help in selecting interior colors.
Mediterranean—The interiors of Mediterranean homes are sometimes a unified color throughout the interior. But one is not limited to this concept. There are so many lovely colors that can play off the decorative tiles and terracotta. Mediterranean color palette is influenced by the earth and sky and water. If you want to create a little more drama in a dining area a darker richer color makes a lovely focal statement for the room. Here are a few ideas for this style home.
- Rich Ochre tones (KM Red Ochre)
- Siennas (KM Point Sienna)
- Terracotta (KM Potter’s Clay)
- Umber (KM Flax Seed)
- Earthy Golds (KM Botanica Gold)
- Terra Greens (KM French Clay)
- Watery Blues (KM Lake Como)
- Warm Whites (KM Pathos)
Craftsman—Reflections of nature are the influence of the Craftsman style. Beautiful nature inspired colors playing off the architectural features of the prairie style, or bungalow styles of the Craftsman. Natural earth tones dominate this style home.
- Natural Wood Tones (KM Wildwood Bay)
- Red Clay Tones (KM Sunbaked Earh)
- Muted Plum Colors (KM Plum Island)
- Muted Golden Colors (KM Gold Promise)
- Leafy Greens (KM Colfax Pine)
- Soft Warm Whites (KM Semolina)
California Ranch—This style home is a reflection of many styles influenced by theCraftsman prairie style and mid-century modern it opens the door to many color families. Here are a few ideas for the interior of this style.
- Soft Whites (KM Sandpiper Place)
- Aqua (KM Iced Teal)
- Warm Yellows (KM Summer Sherbert)
- Golden Yellow (KM The Outback)
- Yellow Greens (KM Frontenac Hills)
- Deep Olives (KM Aged Olive)
Traditional—Classical and elegant, the Traditional style is formal and refined with balanced and proportioned rooms and strong architectural features. Today’s Traditional style can blend into the Transitional, which melds the modern with the Traditional.
- Soft Whites (KM Antique White)
- Soft Blues (KM Quiet Refuge)
- Yellows (KM Pale Pollen)
- Muted Rose (KM Lida Rose)
- Cool Grays (KM Parlor Games)
- Salmon Reds (KM May Fair)
Victorian—Today’s Victorian can be influenced by a Transitional look as well as the luxurious Victorian style. Complementary colors mixed with harmonious shades with emphasis on the architectural features create a beautiful interior. Here are a few color directions for a Victorian style home.
- Deep Plums (KM Purple Pansies)
- Sky Blues (KM By the Bay)
- Bright Greens (KM Little Green Frog)
- Dusty Rose (KM Lady Like)
- Tans (KM Baked Biscuit)
- Warm Whites (KM Dover Tint)
- Soft Peach (KM Simply Sunset)
- Taupe (KM Avorio)
When choosing colors for your interior be sure to reflect or complement the colors of upholstery, cabinets, stone and tile. Another important tip is to always, and I do mean always, take the time to get samples, roll it out in the room you plan to paint and be sure to put it several places to see how light will affect the color at different times of the day.
Color can change as light changes throughout the day. Take the time to do this and you will have more confidence about the color you have selected.
Don’t be afraid it is only paint!