Ebony wood library shelves, white upholstery, colors from books and accessories. Varying textures to reflect and absorb light.

Color must be an integral part of room design and never an after-thought.  Colors that you choose are dependent on the adjacent colors. All colors have three parts, hue, intensity and tonal value.

Hue identifies the color, intensity is the brilliance of a hue, tonal value refers to the lightness or darkness of a color.

Light colors reflect light, dark color absorb light. Color is never experienced independently, but in combination with one of several textures, in different material types. For example, a glossy satin will have luster and light, while rough textures with its shadows will appear darker. Textured fabrics appear darker than smooth fabrics in similar colors (hues). Smooth surfaces that have a glaze or sheen reflect maximum light causing colors to appear lighter than fabrics with a dull finish.

Most rooms have natural and artificial light. Natural light is white, but in comparison to artificial light, it has a bluish appearance. Today artificial light comes in many choices, from encapsulated incandescent and fluorescent (white to warm tones if dimmed) and LEDs (white).

Mark Hampton sunny space with upholstery and draperies that reflect and absorb light.

The amount of natural light in a room depends upon window placement, the size of the windows, and the window coverings. Rooms with sunny exposure will be warmer than those with no sun, as in a northern exposure. In a room where natural light is not plentiful, the colors for walls and ceiling should be light in tonal value, on a scale from 1 (darkest) to 10 (lightest), use an 8 or 9 value. Upholstery and color accents may be slightly darker and brighter in intensity.

Mark Hampton dark walls, tall windows, natural light

Darker tones on the walls (value 4 or less), depending on the character of the room, can be painted in a semi-gloss or satin finish for light bounce. Paint in a semi-gloss gives light reflections that help to maintain the luminosity.

What do you think? Did this color talk arouse your curiosity, would you like more. How do you think artificial light affects color?

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