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Interior Paint Colors: Cool & Warm Tones

Interior Paint Colors: Cool & Warm Tones
Interior Paint Colors: Cool & Warm Tones
Interior Paint Colors: Cool & Warm Tones

Color is more than what we can see with our eyes. Happy, sad, antsy, calm; the colors that surround us in our environment help create and influence our mood. Simply put, color makes us feel. The color and tone choices we make when we think about interior painting have enormous power to influence how we live, work, play and feel in our homes everyday.

Think about your home and how you want to feel there. Are you looking for a relaxing respite from the world in your master bedroom? Do you need a home office that revs you up and fills you with creativity? Here are a few tips to help you select the colors that will get you there!

Cool tones, warm tones. What does it all mean? Design talk, color theory and the color wheel can be a little tough at first, especially if you aren’t used to thinking about color in that way. But it’s easy enough to get through! The color wheel is divided into two sides: one half is warm and the other half cool colors.

Cool Tones

Cool tones are the blues and greens; this color palette includes the deep navies and royal blues, saturated emeralds and teals, lavenders and eggplants, and even silvers and greys. Interior designers use cool tones when they want to create a space that is calm and quiet; an oasis of serenity for a homeowner. Drawing from the palette of cools sets a tone in a room that is restful and relaxed. Strategically applied, professionally painted cool tones can also help smaller rooms feel larger. Colors from the cool side of the color wheel trick the eye and appear to be receding, or moving away resulting in the appearance of a bigger space.

Warm Tones

Warm Tones on the other hand, are the rich reds, rusty oranges and lively yellows. This side of the color wheel gives us spicier, more vivacious colors. Using warm colors and tones can create a more intimate feel in a room. Strategic use of a lusty red shade can make a conversation area in a very large living room feel close and inviting. Layering different but similar warm shades can help create a master bedroom that draws you into its cozy embrace, making a space that might otherwise feel too big, feel just right.

Be careful here though, too much of these strong colors can be too much! I’ve seen designers choose palettes that blend just a pop of the warm in with a cool palette to create a balance in a room. Starting with a warm color on the walls as your base, perhaps a subdued yellow, you can easily add more intense reds and oranges as accent walls or accessories without feeling overpowered.

Colors on the warm side of the wheel also inject spaces with energy and pep. We remodeled our offices at MB Jessee HQ a couple of years ago and chose a palette of vibrant oranges and sage greens. It makes for a space for us that is creative and energetic, perfect for our busy office!

Once you understand the basics of the warm/cool color wheel, it can be easier – and more fun! – to start pairing colors together. If you’re drawn to cool greys and silvers, take a peek at the other side of the wheel and try pairing it with a pop of orange. Using the orange sparingly lets it be the star against the more simple, cool grey tones. Or if a bold bordeaux speaks to you, try using it on the wall and ceiling only and use it with similar shades that also have a bit of grey mixed into, to keep it calm but still exciting.

Colors bring emotion to our lives. Find the ones that speak to you and enhance your living space.

MB Jessee is a commercial and residential and commercial painting contractor serving San Francisco, East Bay and Contra Costa County. Call us today at (510) 655-7000 to request your free estimate.

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