Creating a Happy House with Light and Color
June 21, 2007 § 4 Comments
Unless you’re holed up in a dark room to write a novel, most people like light and airy spaces. They like the feeling of open windows, tall ceilings, and good energy flow. Even if you don’t have a large space, you can achieve that good feeling with a few tricks.
1. Let the sun in. Open the curtains and raise the shades all the way. Push the curtains all the way back so they don’t cover the windows. You’ll feel better instantly. There’s nothing more depressing than a room without adequate light (dark-colored rooms with light are a different story).
2. Call the electrician. Look around the room for your artificial light sources. Do you have one bulb in the ceiling and a couple of lamps? It’s time to invest in additional lighting: recessed cans, track lighting, halogen spots, wall sconces, pendant lights, a chandelier, or whatever you need. It’s one of the best ways to update your house and make you happy at the same time.
3. Paint your ceiling. Is it a drab gray? Then it’s not reflecting enough light. The best solution is to paint it bright white. (There are exceptions, of course. See the blog about what color to paint your ceiling.) Bright white looks fresh and clean and enhances the wall color.
4. Paint your walls. Are they supposed to be white? Look again. Do they appear gray instead? White walls reflect the colors in the room and consequently can look anything from gray to green to pink. If that look is draining your energy, it’s time for color.
- For a light and airy feel, choose a palette of three or four hues (colors) and select a hue value on the light end of the paint chip. You can now paint those colors anywhere in your house and they will blend together creating an open feel.
- For a happy yet dramatic look, try painting the rooms all the same hue, perhaps a soft warm gray, and then add explosions of happy color throughout. A big modern art piece on the living room wall, bright pillows on the sofa, a big multi-colored shag rug on the floor. Nothing screams happiness like color!
- If you have architecture to highlight, paint color in selected areas: the side of the staircase, the risers on the stairs, a focal point wall. Your eye goes to color so pick areas that you want people to notice.
- As long as you have enough light in the house, both natural and artificial, you can have cappucino walls in the living room, a navy blue kitchen, or a moroccan red dining room and still create a warm comfortable feeling. If you have very limited natural light, try a light creamy yellow on your walls to add a little sunshine.
I had a client once whose one request was to create for her a “happy house.” The remedy? Light and color.