Men and women differ in many ways, as we know all too well. Viva la difference? Absolutely. One of the ways we differ is in our preference of color. For example, a study by Guilford and Smith in 1959 revealed that men were more tolerant toward achromatic (colorless) atmospheres than women. With that in mind, Guilford and Smith deduced that women might be more color-conscious.
Well, since those two researchers got the ball rolling, McInnis and Shearer picked it up in 1964 and found that blue-green was more a favorite of women than of men. They also discovered that 57 percent of men and 76 percent of women preferred cool colors. The bright-color preference ran a close race, with 51 percent of men choosing bright colors and 45 percent of women opting for the brights.
In a study in 1990 by Radcloff, it was found that more women have a favorite color than men.
The point is, we all have color preferences and they might differ within a family group, but the combination of the right colors will make a happy home, or at least a happy-looking home.
There’s no hard and fast rule that insists that all the same colors flow throughout a house. Yes, there should be coordination and flow, but if the family room wants to be more masculine, let it. Dark and bold colors can be used there, with softer counterparts employed in the living room.
For example, dark green and burgundy might color a sofa in the family room while a softer green coupled with raspberry could complement that scheme in the living room. There’s continuity and flow since the hues are related and only the shades are different.
Let’s try another combination. This time we will assume that both parties love bright colors, as the study above indicates. Blue seems to be welcome by most people, so how about a bright blue with teal in one room and that same blue color value mated with fuchsia in another room. The continuity and flow are obvious here, with bright blue being the common denominator.
It is best to have three colors in a room for visual pleasure. Take one or two of those colors and repeat them in other rooms. This allows for flexibility and continuity at the same time.
An in-home office can be totally different in theme and color scheme from the rest of the house since its purpose is removed from the typical home atmosphere.
For example, the main part of the house might be on the contemporary side while the office décor tends toward a more traditional look. The main house could be bright and colorful while the office is wood-toned with black and tan upholstery and accents.
Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of “Mystery of Color.” For design inquiries, write to her at DsgnQuest@aol.com.