If you’re doing any amount of decorating or remodeling, you probably have heard colors referred to as active, neutral and passive but what does this mean? Sure, someone can tell you that your space needs more active colors but if you’re like most people, this is probably pretty confusing.
As the name suggests, active colors are bold and have the ability to wake up and stimulate emotions. Red, orange and yellow are all considered active colors. Red is passionate, affects the nervous system and can be too intense when overused. Orange is also a fun color but is suggested that when used too much, it stimulates appetite, an important note to keep in mind. Then there’s yellow, a color that simply promotes happiness.
Colors such as blue, violet and green are considered passive as they calm the nervous system. Green is a dominating color in nature and the right shade will enlarge your room while violet calms and increases creativity. Blue is one of those colors that you have to be careful with. Used properly, it will promote a tranquil environment, but when overused, it can come off quite cold.
Nearly everyone is familiar with neutral colors. No, they do not have to be boring! Earth tones are considered neutral and can include anything from creamy light shades to black and rich chocolate. Black is nice to add in with neutral shades but can be depressing when if it is permitted to become the primary color. Neutral colors are ideal to work with as a base because they pair well with both passive and active colors.
When done properly and with colors that combine well, sponge painting can make a rich, dynamic impact on a room. Suddenly a wall goes from flat to being deep and mysterious. Grant it, there are times you will see a wall sponged and it looks all wrong. There are also instances when it can be too much like if more than two walls are done in a small room.
Really, one wall of a harmonic blend of colors is all you really need to liven up a room, especially with contemporary decor. If you have minimalistic flow through your home, three colors should be all that you need to use. These will color and blend without becoming too busy.
Think it’s a hard process?
Sponge painting is super easy! All you need to do is pick three colors that blend well together and get yourself a can of glaze and a few different sea sponges. Begin with the darkest color first. Pour some in a paint dish and add glaze so the ratio is about 60:40, being paint to glaze. Dip your sponge in water so it’s damp and then the paint mixture. Sponge the entire wall without leaving any large gaps and allow it to dry completely before moving onto the next color. Repeat this process until you have used all of your colors. Always make sure the lightest shade ends up on top.
Sponge painting is a great way to add a focal point to a room and really accent a great piece of art or water fountain. Just remember, less is more. Even if you want to do two walls, start with one, give it a week and see if you still feel the same way. This is also a great way to make an extra-large room appear a little more cozy!
There’s a common misconception that neutral has to be boring but it certainly does not! If you’ve been contemplating losing those white walls for a more neutral shade, you should! Just a hint of color brought in by a neutral shade will totally revamp your room and give it warmth.
- Cream – If you’re not ready for too much color, cream is the perfect solution. It works well with virtually any decor and it will make the space appear larger, which makes it a perfect color for a small room. You don’t have to worry about buying new furniture or changing your theme either because the color is so versatile.
- Pale Green – This is a soft, cool shade that is quickly becoming popular because of the calming environment it creates. Moss or sage shades are preferred because they contain less yellow.
- Bluish-gray – If your home has warmer tones, this shade is probably not a good idea however, if your decor is made up of white, neutral or black, this is a perfect color to compliment what’s already in the space.
- Smoky Lavender – Not only can a light grayish-lavender shade compliment a neutral room, it’s kind of sexy and mysterious too. This is the color to watch for this year!
- Grant Beige – While beige always gets the bland word associated with it, this is a color that can look spectacular in a modern room. Alternatively, if you keep your palette very clean with creams, white and a pinch of black, Grant beige can appear very architectural.
If you’re looking for a quick, easy and inexpensive way to give a room a facelift, consider adding a bit of neutral paint to your walls. If you’re someone who has had white walls for a long time, it can be scary to make a commitment to a new color but paint is never permanent so if you find that you’re not in love with it, you can always change it back!
If you are like many others, when spring is in the air, the decor you have loved so much, starts to look a little dull. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank to redecorate your home. There are a few easy changes you can make and things you can add to brighten your space for the season.
- Easy Accents – Adding just a few bright accents can quickly lift the spirits of a dark room. A new vase, decorative pillows, lamp and even a different rug can dramatically change the aesthetics without spending a lot of money. In the fall you can box it all up for next spring.
- Spring Cleaning – Some white vinegar and water will go a long way in making your windows crystal clear to welcome in the sun. Spring cleaning always makes your home appear brighter!
- Fresh Flowers – Nearly ever supermarket sells bouquets of fresh flowers for a few dollars. Stop once a week on your way home and get yourself a spring bouquet.
- Paint – Have you been considering a new color of paint in your home? Now is the time to do it! You can always change it later. Paint is the easiest way to give your room a makeover.
- Clear the Doorway – Do you have an accumulation of boots, coats, hats and mittens at your door? Clear it all away and replace it with a few bright umbrellas!
Spring is the time to play with color. By making just a few decorative changes, you can have fun for a few seasons without the long-term commitment!
Have you ever noticed how you can watch a movie and see a very modern home decorated primarily with white and a splash of color and it looks so chic yet when you try to copy the look in your home it makes it feel very cold and vacant? White is a tricky color to work with but with a few helpful tips, you can bring life into your space.
- Focal Point – You must have some WOW factor in the room that provides color. This could be a vibrant canvas, a sculpture or even a large, brightly-colored rug.
- Eggshell and Cream – Don’t be afraid to add a hint of eggshell or cream in the room somewhere, just to create a little depth.
- Flooring – White-washed wood, cork or a honed travertine are ideal. If you must have carpet, choose a wheat, moccasin or tan shade.
- Metal – Chrome, copper, nickle and stainless steel will all add elegance to white and should be used in decorative accents.
- Furniture – Keep furnishings clean with strong geometric lines. A stuffed white couch may look spectacular in a room with color but it’s just too overwhelming for a white room.
White can be a fabulous color to decorate with when used correctly. Always be sure to balance your space and any color you use other than white should ideally show up a few times, spread throughout the room but not all in one area. Bringing everything together is important in a white room because there aren’t other colors to cause a distraction if you get it wrong.
Do you know that a Missouri jail once painted blue teddy bears all over their pink cell walls to create a soothing environment and a large number of drunk tanks in jails across the country are pink to help calm intoxicated prisoners. If you find you are always in an unpleasant mood when you come home and you don’t know why, your color palette may be to blame.
Your mind naturally finds many colors more warm and inviting than others:
- Blue – Tranquility, reliability and harmony are represented by this color of the sky and ocean and can calm and promote creativity. Blue has even been found to lower heart rate.
- Green – If you want to invite feelings of freshness and rejuvenation, green is a color that symbolizes good health.
- Yellow – One of the most peaceful colors is yellow. It promotes enthusiasm, optimism and happiness. The softer the better!
Want to add vibrancy to your space, there are colors that naturally invoke excitement:
- Orange – This is a color that expresses friendliness and energy but choose your shade wisely or your home could just look like a pumpkin patch.
- Red – Here is a color that demands attention and it is proven that red can increase memory retention.
- Purple – Once reserved for only royalty, purple is an exotic and passionate color that promotes an elevated quality of life and wisdom. Purple can be brash so watch your hue!
If you feel as though you lack energy and excitement in your home or even have signs of depression, anxiety or stress, a paintbrush may be all you need to change your mood for good!
Green is the color of nature, of life, and powerful organic energy. If you want to incorporate green into your home, remember that it represents harmony and growth so that you can balance its calming aura with surrounding colors.
One of the best places to start with green is the bedroom. Because it is organic and natural, it will help you fall asleep embraced by the sensation of nature. You can try painting your walls in a lush cream green, and pair this with a linen beige comforter and accents. This look is reminiscent of a tropical resort on the beach, especially if you add bamboo and other natural elements.
Or, green in the bedroom can start with something as simple as plants. Adding one or two potted plants to your bedroom will increase the oxygen flow and give you a better rest at night, as well as truly reflect the natural beauty of green.
Green accents in the living room are wonderful touches of natural style too. How about a pair of green accent pillows on a chocolate brown sofa? Green curtains in a softer shade will also look stunning.
The brighter you go with green, the more energy it will bring into your home. Emerald green is a powerful, forward-looking color, while pastel green will give a calming, balancing sensation. You’ve got to examine your room – considering its size, shape, and the emotion you want to evoke – to decide which type of green is best for you.
Red will always be part of modern interior design – it represents passion, love, excitement. However, 2010 and 2011 reds seem to be more content to be on the periphery as accents and scattered here and there around the home.
If you want to add some red to your bedroom, avoid the walls – for other rooms, red can make a space feel cozy, but it is usually too overpowering for a bedroom. However, red can be incorporated into a bedspread (often with gold, taupe or blues running through it to break it up), curtains or pillows.
To pack a powerful punch with red, you can pop a red leather couch into an all-white room…or go the other way, and use white accents against a red wall. This is a retro throwback, but it looks stunning in a modern home.
If you’re looking for something even bolder, you can paint your front door bright, firetruck red. This suggests opulence and daring – think about the Draper’s home from Mad Men, and you’ll get the idea.
Kitchens can get a spark of red in the form of glossy red cabinets or red dinnerware.
Curtains are another area that red can shine without overpowering. Thick curtains, gauzy curtains… red can give a minor facelift to any room if you want to use it to adorn your windows.
Try adding a splash of red here and there to your home, if you are looking for some action and excitement in your modern interior.
If you’re struggling to find a color palate for a particular room, you don’t necessarily have to reach for the beiges, taupes and off-whites. These can be great starting-points, but they tend to be a little boring, especially if your home relies too much on their unassuming neutrality.
Instead, why don’t you go grey?
Grey is a wonderful neutral color that can be combined with almost any color to fabulous effect. Take a look at the image above: the purple pops, because of the dark but not overpowering grey.
Grey also looks fantastic with yellows, greens, blues, reds, oranges, pinks… you get the idea.
As a base, grey is much more powerful than traditional neutrals. It has the intensity of black without the severity. And with grey, you can explore the whole spectrum: light grey with a pastel pink, or dark grey with a glossy canary yellow.
Grey is a monochrome, and you can try experimenting with the options it provides. Different rooms can feature different shades of grey and a complimentary (read: any) color.
Your home will experience a boost of energy and your guests will ooh and ahh if you have a grey neutral rather than a bland beige. Try it out in a small room like a powder room first, but we guarantee, you’ll love its pop!
The modern home can be dressed up in nearly infinite ways, but one of our favorites here at Padstyle is by using flowers. Floral interiors are naturally more bright, organic and fresh in their appeal. We’ve compiled a list of four ways you can incorporate floral into your home, but there are hundreds more – so why not get a little creative?
You can add a floral touch to your home by choosing floral wallpaper. Just be sure that the design is modern and updated, or that it matches its surroundings. There is nothing worse than falling in love with a pattern at the store only to find that it clashes with your couches!
Floral patterns on furniture is another option. Although you probably want to avoid dated patterns, there are some modern geometrical florals out there that are simply stunning. Think thick lines, geometric shapes and lots of color.
Wall decals can also add that floral appeal. There are many types of black and white or colored wall decals that will give a blank wall some character. Wall decals are especially popular in small doses, as a subtle border of roses along the bottom of your wall or a single bird in a tree beside your sofa.
And finally, add a touch of floral with the real deal: flowers. Bunches, bouquets, vases, or pots – flowers look fabulous in almost any container. Don’t be afraid to choose hot pink posies or looming yellow sunflowers, as the color will be a welcome splash of life in almost any modern home.
patterns on furniture wall decals etc