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Creating Mood with Color and Paint

Vivid Colors
Color has the power to transform a room.
Color has the power to transform a room.
Digital Vision/Thinkstock

If you want to inject some energy into the atmosphere, these colors are worthy of consideration.

  • Red - Warm and energetic, red can be an overpowering color in design when it's used too prominently. Red is dynamic and exciting on a single focus wall or in art or accent pieces. If you love modern design, have a lust for life, enjoy lively conversation and a passionate atmosphere, rely on red, but tone it down with a cooler color like blue or green.
  • Yellow - Considered happy and upbeat, yellow can be a design challenge. A little of it can energize a room, while too much can make the space seem harsh and grating. Yellow can inspire strong responses either for or against the hue. It's also hard to tune out. If you're using yellow, treat it like red and employ it as an accent with cooler colors, or in the palest sorbet shades. Babies may cry more around yellow, so avoid using it too conspicuously in a nursery or playroom.
  • Green - Humans have an affinity for green because it's so common in nature. It's a popular color in interior design, too, so much that some designers consider it a new neutral. Naturally calming, green works well in rooms where people go to relax and unwind. Green is luscious in a family room, media room, kitchen or den.
  • Orange - Warm, flamboyant and often associated with a retro look, orange is that kinetic cross between red and yellow that you'll either embrace or loathe. It isn't restful, subtle or neutral, but it is energetic. Avoid leading with orange in your d├ęcor. Use it as an accent in a sun lover's oasis like a lanai, sunroom, screened deck or southern-facing family room.