When people talk about what scares them, many are quick to mention the usual fears: spiders, snakes, flying, heights, clowns, windchimes (ok, maybe the last one is just me...). One you don't hear mentioned is thefear of colour.
While “chromatophobia” is an actual fear of colours, the fear I'm talking about is really not so much a fear of colour as it is the fear of making a mistake. Many people stick with a very neutral colour scheme not so much because they like it, but because they're scared to add colour, or more accurately, the wrong colour.
Here are a few tips to help overcome that fear of adding colour to your home:
- Use Colour in Small Doses
If you don't think you can handle boldly coloured walls and furniture, you can add smaller hits of colour with your accessories and accent pieces. If you think you want to try red, for example, but aren't ready for red walls, go neutral on the walls and furniture, and add your red with throw cushions, vases, and artwork.
A positive side to this is that you're generally less likely to tire of a coloured pillow than a brightly coloured sofa, and a cushion is much easier to replace or re-cover.
- Balance It With a Lot of White
If you don't want to be overwhelmed by a colour, you can tone down a vibrant shade by making sure the rest of the space has a lot of white or neutral colours. Try a collection of large white vases, a mainly neutral area rug with small splashes of colour, or slipcovered white sofas.
- Test Paint Colour First
If you're hesitant about using a bolder paint colour, the best solution is to test it first. A $5 sample pot can save you a lot of trouble and gives you a chance to see how a colour performs before you commit. Rather than painting the sample directly on the wall, paint a large piece of bristol board or foam-core. This way you can move the colour around to different walls and see how it reacts in different light, at different times of day, and with different pieces of furniture.
Once you've seen that you like the colour on the large sample in the different scenarios, and see how it works with the rest of the things in the room, you'll be less afraid to try it on the whole wall.
Studies show that a colourless space can have a negative effect on our mood, so adding colour can do more than just make a room look good – it can help you feel good, too! Try one of these tips and see what colour can do for you.