more than storage and desk space – using color in your home office

The colors with which we choose to surround ourselves affect our lives.  Think this through as you work with a designer to create your home office Cabinet Systems.  The color of the cabinet finish that you choose, the paint, the artwork, even whether or not you incorporate plants into the space will all have an affect on your well-being and productivity. Closed Shoe Rack

In your home office, there’s more to it than just the storage and the desk space …

Most of us know that natural lighting is better than fluorescent lighting.  Many of us understand that real plants help clean the air and faux plants bring an air of the outdoors to our spaces, even if they don’t provide the viral health benefits.  The ergonomic design of our work spaces is important and our ability to be organized (or not!) affects our productivity.

But, so often we ignore the benefits (or negative effects) of color.  Think about the aura that you’d like in your home office. How do you want to feel in the space? If others will be in the space, how would you like them to feel when there?  Does your work demand intensity or serenity? Do you need to be serious or playful to succeed at your job?  Each color evokes certain emotions. Try to match each color to the associated emotions in the table below (answers at the bottom of the table).  What color fits you and your space? Helpful tip:  Think about this before you choose your wood color!

1          White               A          Passionate, aggressive, important

2          Grey    B          Luxurious, mysterious and romantic

3          Black   C         Gloomy, neutral, formal

4          Brown  D         Clean, virtuous and healthy

5          Pink     E          Earthy, sturdy and rustic

6          Purple  F          Playful, energetic, cheap

7          Blue     G         Happy and friendly or full of caution

8          Green  H         Serene, trustworthy, inviting

9          Yellow I           Feminine, young and innocent

10        Orange            J          Powerful, sophisticated and edgy

11        Red     K          Natural, stable and prosperous

1D, 2C, 3J, 4E, 5I, 6B, 7H, 8K, 9G, 10F, 11A

Whether you choose wood or veneer storage pieces, your product will have an overall color tone.  That tone may be yellow, orange, red-brown, bluish-brown, dark brown or white.  Pay attention to these tones when considering paint colors.  The goal is to choose a background color that will compliment and enhance your space and your wood.  Consider whether you lean toward creating drama through high-contrast or if you prefer the richness of low-contrast.

Will your woods have dark finish, such as walnut, mahogany or cherry?  These will stand out against any light color. You can choose green, blue or yellow tints.  Keep in mind that the red-toned woods and stains are most enhanced by a green background. With the medium-toned wood finishes, consider keeping the wall color soft and light. Truly brown woods/stain look best against paint with yellow undertones, especially buttery yellow.  This will create as much difference as possible between the medium-toned wood and the wall.  If you’re looking for a more muted look with your brown wood, try taupe, mushroom or khaki.  On the other hand, if your wood has a lighter finish, it will look beautiful against dark, strong colors.  Golden/yellow woods look fabulous against warm red or earthy green paint. Contrasting dark and light calls more attention to the cabinetry.

Once you’ve selected a color, go to the paint store and look at the available palette.  Choose your favorites from the possibilities (golden yellow or light, buttery yellow?  Kelly green or mint green?) and take the sample paint chip home.  As you think through your cabinet finish selections, don’t forget to put your color samples next to the cabinet finish samples!  Sadly, a light birch wood finish and a butter yellow paint do not compliment each other, although each is beautiful on its own.  If you’re set on a very light cabinet, consider medium toned colors.  If you’re set on dark cabinets, shelving, and desktop, then consider a medium to light color tone.  When you pair the cabinet finish with the paint, keeping in mind your preferences for the emotions you want to evoke and your desire for high-impact contrast or muted richness, your space will aide your productivity instead of impeding it.

Well-designed storage and work space, wood color, paint, lights – they all work together to help you work better!

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