Interior Decorating with Reds, Oranges and Yellows
These warm colours will make a room seem cosy and intimate but, if the colour values are too strong or bright, the result can be overpowering, almost claustrophobic.
Red is the colour of vitality and energy — it is bright, exciting and dramatic. As it is also the strongest advancing colour it can be overpowering and will make a room seem smaller if the stronger hues are used. The strength of its warmth works well in cold bathrooms and kitchens, and, because it is a welcoming colour, it is good for halls. Red is also an appetite-inducing colour, and because it makes food (especially meat) look appetizing it has long been a favourite choice for the dining room.
When red is tinted, it becomes pink — a feminine colour, associated with love and romance. Pastel pinks and deeper rose will help you to create a really romantic bedroom. A hint of blue in the pink will turn it a pinky-mauve, a mysterious, sophisticated colour, ideal for bedrooms and bathrooms. Deeper tones and shades of red are more subtle, such as rose, plum and claret. These create an elegant look in traditional sitting rooms, hallways, dining rooms or studies.
Orange is almost as strong and advancing as red, and can be used in a similar way. It can be highly stimulating, especially if combined with black or grey, white, or with its complementary colour, blue. These are combinations that can work very successfully in children’s playrooms, bathrooms and kitchens.
Tinted oranges become peach, coral or apricot, delicate, feminine and romantic colours that work well in bedrooms. When it is greyed down, orange becomes terracotta, tan or chestnut brown, producing very versatile decorating colours that can be used with white or cream to create an elegant, warm, inviting scheme for a hall, living room or home office.
Yellow is a joyful colour associated with sunshine, warmth and summer. It is also the colour of the mind, intellect and creative energy. Bright yellow will bring light and sunshine into the darkest room, but as it is highly stimulating, use with care. Neutral backgrounds, and the classical Scandinavian mix of yellow with blue, will help to ensure it is not overpowering. Yellow is a good colour for children’s rooms, hallways and bathrooms.
Greyed yellow becomes mustard, rich gold or subtle honey brown. These are the colours to use in sophisticated schemes for more traditional drawing rooms, bedrooms and studies. A yellow with a hint of olive green can be elegant— but take care as it can look grey under artificial light. Pale yellow has a highly reflective quality and will make a small space seem larger and brighter. When it goes towards green it becomes lime, which can be stimulating and is a good accent colour.