Should You Stay In Your Color Comfort Zone, or Should You Explore New Possibilities?

A thought that goes through almost everyone’s head while attempting even the simplest decorating project. Colors are very powerful, and the possibilities and combinations are endless. For many people, choosing color combinations can be a very scary process. You will wonder if you want to commit to a color. Will you still like it in a few months, a few years? Will it go out of style? Will it go with existing furnishings? Will you have to change other things in your home if you add this new color? So many questions often lead to being paralyzed, and you retreat to what your color comfort zone might be.

So how do you decide if you should take the plunge and explore some new color possibilities or if you should stay where you are most comfortable? This is something that designers deal with daily. Every client brings with them a new set of feelings regarding color and a new standard of what they might be comfortable with when it comes to color selection. In my experience, there are numerous reasons that someone is comfortable with color. Exploring why someone is comfortable with specific colors could provide some answers and some guidance.

broken floor tile
Add rich color.

Why are you comfortable in a certain color range?
Possible reasons might be…

• Color creates a strong psychological effect you might be drawn to certain colors for that reason. For instance, green can be very comforting and soothing; this is why you see it in many doctor’s offices. So, it’s no surprise that you might be drawn to these colors because of how they make you feel. Red can be a very exciting color and can stimulate the appetite, so it is usually seen as being used in fast food company logos.

• You have a particular memory or experience that has given you personal feelings about color. Perhaps you have a strong aversion to a particular shade of green because it reminds you of a tile in a specific kitchen where are you may have spent a very unhappy time in your life. By all means, do you want to avoid colors that tie in and remind you of bad experiences? As a designer, I’ve learned to ask the right questions while creating a color scheme for someone, sometimes knowing what colors people hate can provide me more information than what they like.

• Are you comfortable with a certain range of colors because you are afraid to make another choice? This is often the case for many people. They might’ve gotten used to a small range of neutrals not because they love neutrals but because of the fear of committing to another range of colors. Suppose someone does want to explore the possibilities and likes the idea of breaking out of the comfort zone of neutrals. In that case, this is great information for me as a designer as to what type of color scheme they would be comfortable with and how to use color for their project.

• Look at your closet for inspiration. If your closet is filled with clothing and accessories that are brightly colored, and your home is filled with safe neutrals, you might just be intimidated about how to use color in your home. Using color in a room design can be much more complicated than putting together an outfit, as there are so many dimensions and surfaces that make up a room that requires particular color choices. All of these surfaces have different textures, and so any attempt at matching these colors is exactly always falls flat on its face. Therefore, a thorough understanding of the color value and color undertones is required to pull together colors on so many different surfaces harmoniously. Unlike when you’re pulling together an outfit, and you only have a few pieces to coordinate.

• Do you really love the color selections in your comfort zone? Sometimes you will find that you really do love the colors that are in your comfort zone. If you find that you love a color palette of neutral tones, then by all means, if you love neutral tones, use them. Neutral tones can also be tricky to combine, you might have a room filled with neutral tones, but they still do not work well together because of the undertones, so not all neutral tones work together well.

A well-developed color scheme can genuinely make or break the finished look of a space. I hope these tips will help you decide if you should stay in your color comfort zone or explore some new possibilities.

Until Next Time,

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