Color for Context
Whether you're moving into a new home or freshening your current one, choosing interior paint colors can be a daunting proposition. After all, there are so many from which to choose. Naturally, you'll want to choose colors that complement your furnishings, décor and style. But also think about how color evokes emotions and gives context to a space.
In "Design A Healthy Home: 100 ways to transform your space for physical and mental wellbeing," Author and Interior Designer Oliver Heath — a practitioner of biophilic design — writes about color:
"Imagine a room filled with soft, natural blues. These bring to mind clear skies and cool, calm pools of water, so they help you feel relaxed. Shades of vibrant green — these remind us of the energy and calm we experience in the middle of a natural meadow or forest. Yellows — they remind us of warm summer sunshine, ripe crops and sunflowers. They are warming and welcoming and create an energized social atmosphere."
Color can also come into play when a home has been introduced to the real estate market, as well. A beautiful, appealing or striking room color can make a property stand out online and make them more memorable to buyers as they're considering options.
Welcome Home reached out to several local Realtors to hear their thoughts on how color sets a mood in a room or throughout a home. Some of their current listings offer great examples of how to choose and use color.
Take, for example, the mid-century ranch at 18-22 Hemingway Road in Niantic. This five-bedroom home is the result of two "separate and original structures" being cleverly joined in the 1960s, according to Tim Boy, the listing agent for the property and a Realtor with William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty in Essex. The asking price is $1.295 million.
The home is located in the Old Black Point community of Niantic, and it's sited on a 0.28-acre lot, with an expansive deck, lawn and gardens.
The 3,826-square-foot floor plan features striking interiors with beamed ceilings, nearly entire walls of glass, and louvered screens that separate living spaces, painted an eye-catching red, and an accent wall in the same color.
"There are a lot of Eastern influences, both indoors and out at the property — the result of the owner's extensive travels to Asia," Boyd explained. "The red louvered panels with gold medallions represent classic structural colors in Chinese architecture."
"Colors certainly set the tone of a room and a residence, as well. Colors can be as evocative as music to the senses — powerful, timeless, current or calming," Boyd added. "They often tell you something about the owners, as is the case with the red panels at 18-22 Hemingway."
Asked if during his travels as a local Realtor he's encountered examples of interiors where the interior wall color choices "made the room," Boyd recalled, "There is one home I know of where the decorated worked with her clients to first choose art from a single artist and then decorated the room in light pastels to complement the coloration of the art. I certainly hope, after all that, the room was memorable."
The contemporary-leaning colonial at 56 Stony Brook Road, Stonington, was built over the course of two years, from 2017 to 2018, by a builder-owner. The front porch and great-room fireplace are still being completed. This four-bedroom home is currently listed for sale. Melinda Carlisle, a sales associate with Randall Realtors-Compass in Mystic, is representing the seller.
This home has oak hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings and a must-see chef's kitchen with a huge island; it opens to a breakfast nook and a great room-style living and dining room.
Carlisle said that new coats of paint always make a home look fresher and nicer. The right color choice can "warm up" a large space or "cool down" a smaller one, she suggested. She also appreciates a well-applied accent wall — for example, adding a rich color to the wall behind the kitchen sink or just the one wall behind the bed. An accent wall "makes the whole room pop," she said.
The asking price for 56 Stony Brook Road, Stonington, is $1.2 million.
Subtle, softer colors can keep a space bright and allow furnishings, artwork or even the outdoors, as seen through windows and glass doors, to stand out. That's the case at 6 Mott Avenue in New London, a 1905-era home that sits waterfront in the Neptune Beach community.
Jill Bach, a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, New England Properties' Mystic brokerage, is the listing agent for the property, for which the seller is asking $1.997 million.
This eight-bedroom home is sited on a 0.23-acre lot located at the mouth of the Thames River, where the river meets Long Island Sound.
Many of the interior rooms among the 5,608-square-foot floor plan have water views, so a more neutral color palette allows the views to be better showcased.
"In my experience, if the property has beautiful views — and this definitely has incredible water views — then you do not want to be distracted with bold colors for the interior. Let the outside be the focal point," Bach suggested.