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Warm Colors and Cool Colors

Know the Difference Between Warm Colors and Cool Colors

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Sunset Image

A sunset contains both warm and cool colors.

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Designers are always throwing around terms like warm colors and cool colors. But what do they really mean? Gaining an understanding of these terms will help you determine what to look for when choosing colors for your home décor.

Warm Colors

Warm colors are made with orange, red, yellow and combinations of them all. As the name indicates, they tend to make you think of sunlight and heat. Warm colors look as though they come closer, or advance (as do dark colors), which is why they're often used to make large rooms look cozier. If you have a huge bedroom that you want to look more intimate try painting a warm color such as terra cotta or brown to make it feel cozier

Cool Colors

Cool colors such as blue, green and light purple have the ability to calm and soothe. Where warm colors remind us of heat and sunshine, cool colors remind us of water and sky. Unlike warm colors, cool colors look as though they recede, making them great for small rooms you want to look larger. If you have tiny bedroom or powder room that you want to visually enlarge try painting a color such as light blue to make it look more spacious.

Create Balance

An important thing to remember when dealing with warm and cool colors is that no room should have just one. If you want your room to be cozy have warm colors as the dominant colors and then add a few elements that incorporate cool colors (and vice versa). Like with all elements of decorating it's important to have some balance and contrast.

When choosing colors to use for your home décor projects it's important to think about the mood you want to create and whether you want it to feel light and airy or cozy and intimate. Knowing the difference between warm and cool colors is the first step.

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