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Blue Iris is the trend color for 2008; according to Pantone, it will appear in fashion, cosmetics, and home products. The paint manufacturer has selected Pantone #18-3943 as the color of the year from a color forecasting perspective. Blue Iris is billed as a combination of the stable and calming aspects of blue with the mystical and spiritual qualities of purple.

In order to figure out how to change a living room or bedroom to incorporate this lovely, trendy hue, let's learn a bit more about color in general.

Why is it important to understand the color?

It is widely recognized that colors have strong impact on human moods and emotions. Color surrounds us and defines our world. Color is one of the most important – perhaps, the most important element – of interior design. We may not always choose things for their color, but ultimately we select every item by its color.

A successful interior invariably includes color that creates a strong, satisfying impression. The depressing effect of "institutional green" in offices, hospital rooms, and classrooms is well known. Changing the color scheme is one of the easiest ways to improve a space. Even if one existing color element is retained, the intelligent selection of new colors for other items will often transform an unattractive space into something much more pleasant.

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Color and space:

One of the important aspects of color in relation to interiors is its ability to affect space visually. Color can make a small room look larger or can camouflage a bad layout. Using color to define or alter space is really about creating illusions. The traditional thinking is that light, cool colors enhance the sense of space, while dark warm colors make a room seem smaller. In other words, low-intensity (saturation) colors are thought to make a room seem more spacious, but more intense colors have been known to contract the space. One example would be when a strong red or green is interpreted as exciting and stimulating, while softer pastels of any hue have implications of calm and restraint.

In real life, many other factors limit these visual effects. Painting the walls a light color will not transform a naturally dark room into an airy space. Sometimes it helps to evaluate and enhance what you have rather than trying to fight it. In our example above with the small room, why not highlight its coziness with warm color on the walls?

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What are the tricks to alter the apparent proportions of the room with color?

Painting an end wall in a long, narrow living room a warmer, darker color may create an illusion of a better-proportioned room. In a square room, painting one wall a more intense color can diminish the boxy look.

What about adjacent rooms? When you hope to create a smooth visual flow from room to room, consider carrying the same color and flooring throughout. If you like the look of layered color and sense of separation or visual assignment of the function to a space, use different colors.

You can link different colors by using similar values – for example, all light colors go together because they share a similar value. That's why willow, maize, and lilac are pleasing together, as they are all light-value colors. Use clear colors with clear colors, and grayed colors with grayed colors. For example, burgundy and hunter, versions of red and green, are congenial colors.

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How do we make the fresh 2008 color work for our place?

Blue Iris, in its simple translation, is a Blue-violet color. It pairs beautifully with yellow-orange, its complimentary color on the color ring. If yellow-orange is hard to visualize, try to imagine "mango" or "cheddar".

Intense versions of blue-violet are elegant in combination with gold and creamy white. Although, it's considered a cool color, iris is still warmer than blue, which may explain its popularity. Teamed with salmon (a light value of red-orange) and apple-green (a bright yellow-green), it forms an exquisitely balanced triad. It will be a pleasing room that combines in the right proportions, blue-violet with blue and blue-green or iris with violet and red-violet.

 

If you want your bedroom to be a quiet and restful sanctuary, try a slightly tinged bluish white, like "bit of blue" or "barely blue". As their names suggest, there is just a mere touch of blue as an undertone as you don't want the atmosphere to be too cold or sterile. Place a dozen irises in a clear vase for a fresh 2008 touch.

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