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What Your Paint Color Says About You

If your walls could talk, here's what they would reveal.

By Real Simple Magazine May 31, 2012 6:17PM
By Sarah Stebbins
Dominic Blackmore/Ideal Home
Look around the rooms in your home and you'll probably pick up on a theme (or two). Perhaps you're gazing out at a sea of blues and greens-or a spectrum of sunset shades. "Paint color is an expression of your personality," says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute and author of Pantone: The Twentieth Century in Color. "We branch out occasionally, but most of us have a proclivity for certain types of shades." Read on to discover the meaning behind your favorites and tips for creating looks everyone can live with.


If You Gravitate to Soft, Warm Shades… Adrian Briscoe/Homes & Gardens
Associated with sunshine and roaring fires, yellow and orange (and close cousins peach and pink) have a cheerful, welcoming personality. And most likely, so do you. "People who use warm tones tend to be friendly and nurturing-they love having others over," says Eiseman. The fuzzy feeling we get from these colors isn't just symbolic. Because of their brightness, warm shades appear to spring forward, literally making a room feel more intimate; cool hues, on the other hand, seem to recede, expanding a space.
Related: Update Your Decor with Easy Paint Projects


Dan Duchars/Ideal Home
The luminous quality of the colors is also energizing, stimulating conversation and appetites, says Eiseman. Still, to some, warm can be cloying: Eve Ashcraft, author of The Right Color, had a client who compared a buttery yellow room to "cholesterol." To "bring the temperature down," she recommends mixing in cool blue gray or green furnishings. Also consider less saturated versions of your favorite shades.

See more about what your paint color says about you

Photo: Courtesy of Real Simple.

Related:
How to Pick Paint

5 Ways to Create a Cozy Home

23 Decorating Tricks for Your Bedroom


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