Choose Wisely: Colors
- Color Meaning
Color Language: Most colors have strong associations that everyone seems to share. This subtle “language of color” is an important consideration in color selection.
Red is viewed as an exciting, dramatic color. Red also has passionate feel. The darkest reds, such as burgundy and maroon, have a rich stately feeling.
Orange gives off an aura that is cheerful, bold, and exciting. Orange has a friendly, informal feeling that makes it a great choice for a family room or relaxed living room. Rust, a dark muted orange, is a quiet color that conjures up misty autumn days, while the paler peach makes a cheerful, warm but understated, impact.
Yellow is the most visible color—that’s why so many road signs and school buses are yellow. Gold and ochre tones of yellow create a formal, antique atmosphere. Soft yellows have been a popular exterior paint choice since Colonial days, and these warm, inviting shades can do justice to virtually any room in the house.
Green is nature’s favorite color. Perhaps because of this strong associate with nature, green is a very soothing color to most people. Because green is easy on the eyes, it has long been a popular color in the work place. Green is a versatile color that can look good anywhere inside or out.
Blue is America’s “favorite color.” The universal appeal of blue skies and blue water create a feeling of serenity and openness. Aqua blue is a more frivolous and sunny color. As an exterior color, blue works beautifully as either a trim or a whole-house color.
Purple brings to mind of wealth and pageantry. Purple and violet are indeed luxurious shades. Lavender, a tint of violet, is gaining popularity and conveys a feeling of low-key refinement. The skillful and unexpected use of violet as an interior color makes an instantly eclectic impression.
Like green, brown is known as a nature color. This relaxed neutral is a great color to live and work around. Red-browns look very informal. Dark browns look more refined. Brown works well with green as an exterior color scheme for a home that’s surrounded by trees: the house will seem to disappear into the landscape. Beiges and tans are familiar neutrals you can use anywhere.
White symbolizes freshness, purity, and cleanliness. You can’t go wrong with white: it offsets any color you use it with. As an exterior color, white is tremendously versatile and will beautify almost any surface.
Black is an authoritative classic color that conveys sophistication. Black provides a neutral yet dramatic counterpoint to any color you choose. Black is a great color for exterior detailing such as shutters, trim, doors, and wrought iron.
Gray is an elegant neutral that has enjoyed a lot of attention. Gray has a definite business-like, urban feel to it. Because gray is so neutral, you can accent it with any color you please. Gray with white trim is a classy exterior color scheme that works on a wide variety of homes.