Color Therapy For Your Home

Remember the first time you watched the Wizard of Oz? Think of that moment when Dorothy opened her black and white door and stepped into Technicolor® Oz with its brilliant yellow brick road, blue skies, and a very scary green witch.

That scene evokes all sorts of emotions, even many years later. That’s in part due to the power of color, and Sherwin-Williams® knows a thing or two about every hue in (and over) the rainbow. To help you navigate the many paint choices, our KB Home Design Studio team offers you a guide to

color therapy.

Spinning the Color Wheel


First Things First

The best way to approach color is to take a spin through the Color Wheel so you can see how the colors relate to each other. Here is a basic breakdown:

Primary colors: red, yellow and blue

Secondary colors: orange, green and violet (created by combining primary colors)

Tertiary colors: red-orange, red-violet, blue-green, blue-violet, yellow-green, yellow-orange (combination of a secondary color and a primary color next to it)


Who Created So Many Hues of Blue?

Ever notice how many different versions of a primary color are offered in a paint store? With names that range from Oceanside to Vast Sky, how did the color blue launch so many offerings? Enter the neutral colors – by adding white, black or gray to a pure color, we end up with different hues of the same color.

To make a color lighter (tint): Add white to a color and the result is a lighter tint of the original color.

To make a color darker (shade): Add black or gray to a color and you’ll end up with a darker shade of the original color.

Click here for a peek at the extensive colors offered by Sherwin-Williams.


The Color Wheel in Motion

Color combinations inspired by their placement on the Color Wheel can spruce up your home décor. Consider the following color scheme options:

Monochromatic. You’ll accomplish this scheme by choosing shades and tints of the same hue.

Analogous. Choose colors that are located next to each other on the color wheel.

Complementary. Choose colors that contrast and complement; these colors are directly opposite each other on the wheel, such as red and green.

Triad. Choose three colors that contrast and complement. These colors will form a triangle on the wheel, such as green, orange and purple.

Looking for some expert advice? “Neutral colors are always timeless,” says Karrie Hodge, a senior designer for new residential market segment at Sherwin-Williams. “Shades of white and gray are trending right now and will go with many of the accessories and furniture offerings that are available today.” For more daring décor, Karrie suggests, “If you are looking for something more dramatic than a neutral, think about classic colors like blue, gray and white. For example, Faded Flaxflower (SW 9146) used in a bedroom would pair great with a warm white like Shell White (SW 8917) or Agreeable Gray (SW 7029).”

When choosing room colors, also keep in mind the immovable objects already taking up space. In a kitchen, for instance, ““Look at permanent fixtures in the room such as flooring, appliances and cabinetry,” advises Karrie. “These items will help steer you into a color family.”

Whatever your approach, there’s no need to stress about finding the perfect color for each room. “No one specific color works best in any one room or space,” Karrie says. “A starting point is to look to color theory or color psychology to help determine which colors best facilitate the type of activities a space is used for.”

And color psychology takes us back to the Color Wheel.


How the Color Wheel Makes Us Feel

Choosing the best paint colors for each room first starts with understanding the powerful emotions we attach to each color, and then deciding which emotion you prefer in each room. With color therapy, there’s no one-color-fits-all scheme. For instance, some people prefer blue’s calming effects for a home office, while others would choose a warm, energizing color to inspire their work. The following color hints are offered on the Sherwin-Williams website:

Cool colors (like blue, turquoise, green, and purple) are soothing and promote peacefulness and concentration.

Warm colors (red, yellow, orange) are energizing and promote cheerfulness.

Light colors (off-whites, light tones) can make areas seem more spacious and can be psychologically uplifting.

Dark colors (deep tones) can make areas appear smaller and can feel monotonous or depressing.

Bold colors attract attention and create excitement.

Whites reflect more light; they can unite spaces and create a feeling of cleanliness.

Karrie offers these final tips to keep in mind when choosing paint color, “What type of overall feeling are you seeking in a finished room? Are you looking to brighten up a room with a light color or make the room more dramatic with a darker color? These are all factors to take into consideration when selecting a paint color.”

Get to Know Sherwin-Williams

Sherwin-Williams has been brightening our homes and lives for 150 years, and they offer over 1500 vibrant colors. You can see them in action during National Painting Week, May 19-29, when Sherwin-Williams and a slew of partners, including KB Home, host painting projects that revitalize local communities.

And we’re not the only ones impressed by Sherwin-Williams. “Compatible Cream,” “Essential Gray” and “Wool Skein” were recently included in a Good Housekeeping blog as three of the top 10 colors for home. Find “The 10 Paint Colors Designers Always Use,” by Lauren Piro, here.

To view the paint selection available from Sherwin-Williams, please follow the link below. And don’t forget to check out the Color of the Month!


Photo Credit: Sherwin-Williams