The choice of color depends on whether you want the room to feel warmer or cooler, more spacious or more cozy. It also depends on how much emphasis you want to place on the floor.
- Are your furnishings and accessories really interesting? If so, you will want to draw attention to them and soft-pedal the background walls and floor. You can underplay the floor by making it plain and having its color be neutral, or dulled with gray.
- Are your furnishings sparse or uninteresting? Then you can draw attention away from them by doing something dramatic on the walls or floor. You can emphasize the floor with a patterned carpet, or with bright or bold colors.
Choosing Warm, Cool or Neutral Colors
What's the climate? What's the exposure of the room? Northern and Eastern exposures are complimented by Warm colors. Southern and Western exposures are complimented by Cool colors.
- To make the room feel warmer, choose a color in the fire family - anything from yellow-orange to a bluish red.
- To make the room feel cooler, choose a color that reminds you of water - anything from blue to yellow-green.
Do you have a pleasant view of the outdoors? If you bring the colors of the outdoors in, you will create an indoor/outdoor expansive effect.
Will this room be seen from another room? Do you want a sense of connection with the adjacent room, or a sense of separation? One continuous floor covering will link adjacent rooms, make them flow into one another. Different flooring or different floor colors will serve to separate the rooms even more.
Who will use the room? What colors are flattering to them? What colors do they like?
Do you have a pet? Does it shed? If you choose a carpet in a color similar to your pet's hair, you won't have to vacuum as much.
What furnishings do you have that you will use in the room? Wood tones swear with some colors, and swing with others. Before you make any final decision about the colors of your room, hold swatches or chips of the colors you're considering next to your woods to see how they look together.
Choosing Light, Dark or Medium Colors
- Light colors create a spacious effect; dark colors, a cozy effect. Medium shades don't alter your sense of space.
- Is the room too light and bright or too dark? Dark or dulled colors will absorb light; light ones will reflect and multiply light.
- How much wear will this room get? And what kind? Medium colors are easy to clean. Light colors show soil easily, and dark colors show lint. It would be frustrating to do your sewing in a room with a dark rug.
- It is normal to put on the floor a color at least slightly darker than the walls. It's simply observing the weight of gravity.
A cautionary note: A large carpet will look darker at home.
A floor is a large area, and a whole floor of carpet will intensify the color, making it seem darker than the small sample. You may wish to select a carpet color one shade lighter than your target color in order to compensate for this.
Choosing Bright, Muted, or Dull Colors
What will go on in this room? How long will you stay in this room at a time? Do you see this room as a restful retreat, or as a play space? Do you want the mood to be stimulating or calm?
Of course, bright colors are stimulating. Colors dulled with a little gray are softer, easier to live with for extended periods of time.
How much wear will the carpeting get? Muted, dull, or neutral colors will camouflage dirt.
Article by Cathy Crane