Warm Colors at Home

Being a recent convert from white walls to colored, I am here to tell you that I love the one wall painted a deep, warm terracotta. The room is now so grounded and earthy yet serene, and offsets other colors in an interesting way. Here is inspiration about painting with red, orange and yellow, from Color at Home: Creating Style With Paint, by Meg and Steven Roberts.

Red is the color of conquest. Of fearlessness, love, and seduction. Like stop signs and brake lights, red grabs your attention. Even tiny hummingbirds prefer to hover over red flowers. As strong as red is, it is a primary color and therefore is appealing to both men and women, young and old. It is as American as apple pie. But like an irresistible impulse, it can also lead the imagination to faraway places such as India, China, and Turkey. Red with black and white, whether in the shape of a piano or a series of framed black and white portraits, is elegant and timeless. For a blaze of excitement, try a tomato red with other strong colors–yellow, green, violet, or blue. High-gloss lacquer reds have an exotic Asian quality. Barn reds, hennas, and crimson bring a touch of fall and earthiness. Like savoring a sip of vintage Bordeaux, stepping into a den painted in warm wine or maroon, it is a perfect end to a day. Red is a color that generates power and passion; it won’t be overlooked. Delightfully defiant, it is well worth the risk.

A fierce intensity of being.
Love at first sight.
Refreshing as tropical punch.
The color of seduction.

There’s endless possibility in the juicy allure of orange. Like the fruit it is named after, orange is refreshing and bold. Bright, sun-kissed orange is not for the faint of heart. But it can be a genuine delight, open and gregarious. Between yellow and red, orange takes the best qualities from each parent, mixing the dynamic heat of red with the carefree optimism of yellow. The more red and rosy the orange, the more comfortable it becomes; the more yellow and acidic, the more adventurous. Salmon has a softer, less edgy feel than a citrus, kumquat orange. When used full force, orange can be tamed by white trim or rich leathers. Move towards peach and create a honeyed glow in any room. Peach can be sweet but mixed with dark, stained wood, it becomes worldly. Dip into the glorious colors of autumn–browns, rusts and clay–and the color orange becomes earthy, organic. Modern design is infatuated with orange; when combined with brown it is the height of fashion chic. From pumpkin to pomegranate, amber to apricot, tangerine to terra cotta, the moods of orange are as infinitely varied as our own.

Intoxicating joy of autumn.
As vital and glowing as hope.
A shocking wash of light.
The warmth of smoldering fire.

Like a rain slicker on a stormy day, yellow brightens even the smallest, darkest room. Just think for a moment of an armful of spring forsythia. Or a field of daffodils. Brave, even playful, yellow is also enormously versatile and popular. From the palest French vanilla to the deepest gold, it radiates a magical, cheerful light. A swath of sunshine yellow, stretched like e canvas and studded with white polka dots, looks like a piece of modern art in an urban loft. Maize clapboard, inside and out, is as friendly as it is familiar. Dark shutters deliver a crisp sense of dignity to a yellow exterior, while a touch of green mutes the effect and blends in beautifully with natural surroundings. Only when yellow leans toward green does it require a bit more audacity. Deep yellow ochre and antique golds cast a lush, aged beauty to any room. There is something extravagant about the color yellow, about the way it illuminates a space and brings such warmth and daylight into our lives.

A certain clarity of light.
The color of sweet butter.
The beginning of a new day.
The slow drip of honey.

Adapted from Color at Home: Creating Style With Paint, by Meg and Steven Roberts (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2008).


.3 years ago

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Murat K.
Past Member 7 years ago

Only just started konteyner reading "the long tail" book after hearing it mentioned in a BBC documentary, but kabin pretty much covers alot of factors relating to how things have shifted over past prefabrik villa decade. when I started out was alot harder to do stuff, but now can be done in half the time which film indir allows for the development creativity aspects...

Katrina Schumann
Katrina Schumann10 years ago

I live in a mobile home; I love to have yellow kitchens; but since I do not have here, I have bright curtains, sunflower pics, & great wall paper; I could not live with RED walls; to busy & noisy for me; I would rather go with accents, paintings, etc & change often; I have put quilts on walls, etc; at times; which I love; but prefer more serene colors than these.

Victoria S.
Past Member 10 years ago

I love colors these are my colors, yellow red and orange, super cool...

Denise Nereida
Denise Nereida10 years ago

Great article! It made me feel even better about my color choices. I have my odd shaped den painted red, and it is a joy to work and play in it. The other north facing rooms are a warm yellow which changes with the light each day. I live in a rainy city, and I am so happy with these colors, especially in winter.

Stana Hudson
stana H10 years ago