Colour your mood

How you work with colours in your garden can create diverse effects. Some people do not bother with colour and just let things happen, while others like the idea of spending a bit more time and planning in more detail. Designing colour themes is easier than you might think if you have a couple of hints.
Marketers use colours to motivate us subliminally. Why not apply it to our own backyard to create the mood and atmosphere we want? Understanding what the colours really do for us is a good start. It allows gardeners to obtain the maximum from  their flower beds. Your selection of  colour can create an illusion, making some flowers appear closer or further than they really are. Planting bright colours in the distance will make them appear closer if lighter shades are planted nearer the viewer. And if darker shades are added instead nearer the viewer, it will make bright colours seem more distant.

Some colours, like orange, yellow and red, can make you feel warm. Coolness can be achieved with blues and greens. If these colours are used in the shade, it will seem even more refreshing. If you plant compatible colours, like pastels, they will create a gentle and peaceful mood. Monotonous colour will create a calm sense, and strong and contrasting colours will induce energy and excitement. Interplanting white and soft yellow  can help you to soften excessively strong areas. Strong colours get your attention and the viewer will be attracted to them, so plant accordingly. One bright and vivid container of red geraniums at your door will be spectacular, but too many in your yard will confuse the viewer’s eye.

Yellow is the colour of joy and sunshine. It is a colour of clarity and one that the eye is drawn to. It is filled with energy and illumination. A true yellow is cheerful and vibrant in the garden.

Orange is exciting and dynamic. Warm and cheery, orange flowers are best set against clear blues and pinks but suffer against purples and dark blues, which create dullness. To create a soothing mood, combine pale shades of orange with greys, pinks, or silver-blues.

 Shades of red may be hard to use in your garden. Many are almost too strong and stimulating to comfort your senses. Red delivers a punch of energy, so plant it strategically and sparingly. When planted with red, peach, pink and violet shades will make an interesting mix. Silver or gold variegated foliage goes well with red. Mix deep-dark reds with true reds to create a great combination of comfortable tones.


Exterior of the Home

The exterior of your house is the face of your home and shares its style and personality with the neighbourhood and those just driving by. It is the last thing you see of your home as you head into your day, and the first thing that welcomes you on your return. The exterior details and materials are just as important as the inside, even more so than the bathroom tiles or your kitchen’s back splash. Materials such as stone, copper, wood, steel and brick can be used to finish a specific architectural style or create a new one. Your house’s exterior paint colour may be the most visible design decision you make especially if showcased with exterior lights. The landscaping of the front and side lawn offer both a welcoming transition from street to door and a buffer between your home and the public spaces it shares. Outdoor areas are often the last to receive design attention, but they shouldn’t be. What surrounds your home is just as important as what is in it. Whether it is the manicured front lawn, the infinity edge pool in the back or flower beds and potted plants, These spaces benefit from the same attention to detail as any bathroom or kitchen. Well designed landscapes complement the home’s architecture and design, giving the home a story that can be read inside and out. By carrying your design style outdoors, you can turn a patio, deck, or even a balcony into another room of the house. Plan space for your lifestyle by incorporating ample seating, outdoor tables, cushions upholstered in outdoor fabrics, play areas, dining areas and sunning areas. Many outdoor spaces have become quite elaborate, including seating areas, fireplaces , barbecue facilities, kitchens and dining areas. Even if your space isn’t that elaborate, you can still create a relaxing spot for lounging and entertaining. Exterior Lighting not only helps to beautify the home, but also enhances the safety. and helps to change the complete aura of a house, as it lights each and every corner. Lighting in the exterior spaces can facilitate people to enjoy the weather for longer and make them look spectacular. Entrances, decked areas, gardens, lawns, staircases and many other exterior corners can be brightened up with lights and made a center of attraction for the home.There are various kinds of outdoor lights and they can profuse your house with an air of elegance, charm, sophistication and aristocracy. The various models of outdoor lights include: Victorian five lamp-post, palm tree uplighters, garden torches, archway lights, French style lanterns, hanging and patio lamps and others. Apart from households, outdoor lights can also be installed in your workplace or any other public area to make that place look beautiful and decorated. They also add security to the place by providing adequate lighting. As a transition space, your porch should feel like an extension of your home’s interior. There are no formal rules, so decorate your porch to reflect your lifestyle. Don’t forget, this can be done for apartment balconies and high-rise terraces. A popular trend which looks appealing is the use of outdoor curtains around seating areas, offering some shade or wind protection. As you are outside keep in mind materials like metals and fabrics can rust and absorb moisture. Materials are available for terraces and gardens that are sun and mold resistant at reasonable prices to ensure your decorative items remain in their original condition, fabrics produced for the marine industry are also a good choice for exterior garden use, and a new edition is specialist outdoor curtain fabrics too.

Colour Theory

To use colour boldly can be a challenge, colour theory is really a science and there are many different looks or tones a colour can create. Some colors are very soft; think pastels, colours that are mixed with white paint to get a lighter, softer colour. Some colours are dark, rich jewel tones and others are bright, young like primary colours.

You want to pick one look for your entire house. Not that you can’t have different, unique colors in every room, but pastel pink in one room, primary red in the next and deep, dark purple in another will not flow well. The idea behind using colour well is it should give continuity in your house.
If you love colour and are going for bold colour throughout your home, pick one look. It could be all light pastel colors or all jewel tones, which are rich, saturated colours like actual gems ie emerald-green, sapphire blue or ruby-red.
Those not quite as adventurous with bold colour bring in one boldly coloured accessory, fabric or rug. It is often an easier way to incorporate bold colour without going over the top or without making a costly mistake.

Yellow-green tones such as pea green are associated with both nature and growth. Often considered by designers a difficult colour to use, pea green is most successful when paired with other earth tones, particularly brown or orange. To encourage growth, designers turn to pea green as a gender-neutral choice for kids’ rooms. When combined with turquoise, it takes on a masculine feel but when used with pale pink, it becomes more feminine

The colour of money, generosity and fertility, green is considered calming and pleasing to the senses. In fact, health spas and doctors’ offices routinely use pale shades of green on walls and furniture to keep their guests and patients relaxed. Bolder, saturated shades of green can brighten up the darkest of spaces

Blue-green is often used by people who consider pure blue to be too cold. It is a popular colour choice for bedrooms because it creates a serene and restful environment. On the other hand, studies have shown that blues and blue-greens are excellent for keeping people focused; therefore, this hue is an ideal choice for rooms meant for study or sports

Aqua, canary yellow and white can convey many different moods for interiors. Often associated with feminine, youthful or coastal styles, this combo can be toned up or down to achieve a look that varies from sophisticated to youthful. If both aqua and canary yellow are used as dominants, a space can become garish. But by emphasizing one colour over the other then incorporating white or black furniture, the outcome is both energizing and balanced

Studies have proven that blue is most often chosen as the favorite colour of people worldwide. This is due in part to the fact that simply looking at this colour causes the body to produce chemicals which calm the nerves. Wisdom and loyalty are associated with this hue, which is why many military and civic uniforms sport shades of this colour. The colour of water and sky, blue is a popular designer choice for bathrooms and spas.

The colour purple combines the dependability and wisdom of blue with the royal richness of violet. Deep purples are sometimes considered overwhelming and even associated with putting on airs, making blue-violet a great alternative. To keep it from appearing garish or even juvenile, pair with dark tones and metallics

Plum, fuchsia and black may not be every manly man’s favorite colour list, but when properly balanced the outcome is suited to male or female. The key to mixing these colours correctly is to vary the intensities of the pinks and purples, then use black to break up the two similar hues

Combining violet, dark chocolate and bronze blends regal, metallic and masculine tones. For this combination to work harmoniously, the proper brown must be chosen; opt for black-brown instead of red-brown. The black undertone will allow violet’s intensity to stand out while bronze aids in toning it down.

Historically, the robes of kings and queens were created from this rich colour, associating violet with wealth, prosperity and sophistication. Scientifically speaking, violet is known for stimulating brain activity used in problem solving. When used correctly, controlled doses of violet can bring a sense of mystery and wisdom to a space

Red-violet tones are a bit less serious than violet and blue-violet hues and are excellent for informal or playful spaces. The red undertones make this colour somewhat feminine and youthful. Studies have shown that young girls are inclined to choose shades of purple, especially red-violet, for their bedrooms.
Red, the colour which the eye most recognizes, is associated with movement, speed and excitement. Studies have proven that viewing red results in an increased heartbeat, sometimes leading to shortness of breath. When used correctly, red interiors inspire romance, encourage the appetite and heighten emotions. To incorporate red into your home, it is best to use it sparingly. Just a few pops of red in a dining room will encourage dinner guests to make their way to the table and get seated.

Red-orange is the epitome of intensity; there is nothing calm whatsoever about this tone, making it an excellent choice for spaces that are meant to encourage creativity, activity or playfulness. When paired with white, red-orange rooms achieve a sense of balance

Charcoal and red-orange is a colour combination often found in modern interiors; however, it works just as well in transitional and traditional spaces. This gender-neutral pairing is also an excellent choice for contemporary kids’ rooms.

Of all the colours in the colour wheel, orange is often considered the most flamboyant. Orange spaces are fun, happy and unapologetic. People who use this colour for their interiors can be characterized as warm, confident, carefree and ambitious. To tone it down, designers often pair it with earth tones such as chocolate-brown and olive-green.
Pumpkin, medium gray and dark brown is an excellent combination for orange lovers too intimidated to use red-orange or tangerine for their interiors. Adding medium gray to the mix prevents the otherwise autumnal palette from being labeled as seasonal

Often used by designers and architects to capitalize on the availability of a home’s natural light, white also symbolizes purity. While all-white interiors can be impractical to live in and for some evoke a feeling of sterility, the colour is truly the ultimate neutral, offering endless colour pairing possibilities within a space

Although black symbolizes both power and authority, it is usually the colour least likely to be used on interior walls. This stems from the fact that black also implies submission. Similar to the way a black outfit slims figures, it can be used to accentuate a home’s architectural assets; try using black on walls and white on trim and floors.

Associated with romance, pink has long been a preferred colour for the feminine, certain shades of pink, when paired with otherwise masculine colours can create a gender-neutral space. Hot pink is a great way to add a feminine touch to more masculine hues such as navy blue and black.

Many men choose brown as a favorite colour. It is also a go-to choice for designers looking to create an organic or earthy aesthetic. Depending on what it is paired with, brown can be clean, rich and classic. For a sophisticated look, pair brown with gray then incorporate metallic finishes through accessories and details. To achieve a bold, energetic look, accessorize with vivid colours such as blue, orange, green or pink.

Gray is often thought of as timeless and practical classic; however, too much gray leads to a feeling of old age or nothingness. To decorate with gray successfully, use it on walls and floors then add some excitement with colour accents. Depending on the accent colour, gray interiors can be masculine, feminine or both.

Complementary Colours

Complementary colours are any two hues that sit opposite each other on the colour wheel. For instance, red and green, yellow and purple and blue and orange are all complementary colours. When creating a complementary palette, look beyond the primary colours

Analogous Colors

Analogous colours sit next to each other on the colour wheel. Neighboring colours create a striking contrast when used side by side

Using the 60-30-10 Rule

Three isn’t a crowd when it comes to choosing colours. Three is a really good rule for formulating your colour palette. More than three colours can feel too busy.
After chosing three shades, break them down into the 60-30-10 rule for a cohesive look — 60 percent dominant color, 30 percent secondary colour and 10 percent accent colour.

Contrast Warm and Cool Hues

When choosing colours for your space, you may also want to consider contrasting the warm and cool hues on the colour spectrum. Warm colours are yellows to red violets on the colour wheel while the cooler colours are blues to greens.