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Ask Casa: A Color Palette Query

Hi Casa,

I am moving into an apartment soon with roommates and want some help decorating. I get my own room and can style it any way I want but can't decide on the color palette.

I love dark moody lounge type colors (dark grays, reds, purples, etc.) and bright bold colors for furniture, but the room is not that big. I'm scared the dark colors would shrink it even more. Not a big fan of light pastel colors since most of my rooms in the past has been light blues and such but I love different shades of white. I'm aiming for a space where I can dim the lights and put on some music and chill but at the same time can transition into a workspace. Any suggestions? Thanks, Tiffany

To see my suggestions for Tiffany,


Hi Tiffany,

What a great question for Color Theory month! If you remember my post on cool colors, the hues that range from blue-green to blue-violet, including gray, you know that cool colors tend to recede, which has a calm and relaxing effect. Warm colors, the hues from red through yellow, browns and tans included, on the other hand, advance, with a more stimulating effect. So to achieve the effect you're looking for, you should paint your walls in cool colors.


Take note, cool vs. warm is not the same as light vs. dark — it's about the actual hue. That's not to say you can't use dark colors. But if you do, just pick one that's more blue, green, or gray, or a purple that's more violet, instead of a dark red or brown.

Then, you can use lighting to turn your dark and moody bedroom into a stimulating workspace. Obviously your workspace should be bright, whether your set your desk near a window or just have proper overhead lighting. But you can actually purchase tinted bulbs, for instance soft pink, to bring warm colored (stimulating) tones to your workspace.

I like your concept of using bright bold colors on furniture. Whatever dark moody wall color you choose, just choose complementary colors (on the opposite side of the color wheel) for your bold furniture pieces.

Hope this helps!



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Join The Conversation
ella1978 ella1978 7 years
Tiffany, I tried to send you the links, but I guess that "sugars" aren't happy with the links. I'll try it once more.. here we go..;vgnextoid=23c9ea6621ca5110VgnVCM1000008119fea9RCRD;channel=INSPIRATION
Monaco2279742 Monaco2279742 7 years
Hi Tiffany: Please keep in mind that although the room is small, I don't think the darker colors will make it smaller - cozy might be a better description. I found a fabulous paint by Martha Stewart called 'Shantung Gown' - its a gorgeous purply-gray I think you should check out (Valspar MS047); it was used in a New Orleans living room in House Beautiful by designer Hal Williams this past year -that's where I fell in love with it. I am using it for a project right now in a bedroom. Good luck!
ella1978 ella1978 7 years
Behr has the perfect color pallete for you. It starts with bright white, pale grey, and charcol grey, adds in a deep turquoise and accents with a deep red. It's beautiful. Go to their website and click on the "color inspirations" in the left corner & check it out. There are several to click thru, I think it's on page 4 - but it sounds like it might be right up your alley. I love it, and have considered it for our bedroom.
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