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7 Home Color Tips from a ‘Color Whisperer’

7 Home Color Tips from a ‘Color Whisperer’

Jeanette  Chasworth is a designer who specializes in color and the author of the newly  published book, What’s Color Got To Do With it? She is often called a “color whisperer.” She can go into a room and communicate with it, intuiting the  colors that are needed based on the client’s desires and the messages she picks  up from all of the objects in the room.

Having worked with energy in my own Feng Shui practice for many years, I love  the way that she sees color as a way to energetically shift the room so that her  clients feel as if the room is embracing them. She likens it to the way you feel  in your favorite outfit…”as if you can do anything. That’s what you should feel  in your home,” Jeannette continued, “empowered, relaxed, happy. What does a hug  feel like? Safe, warm, and comforting.  Your home can do that for you  too.”

Jeanette’s most asked question is how a client can change their space for the  least amount of money. The answer is always color,  which is often something that can leave people feeling stuck when working on  their home.

I asked Jeanette to tell me about the emotional and physical effects  of color and to talk about color do’s and dont’s:

“Color affects us every day. It can drain you, make you  hungry, calm you down, or invigorate you. We all have color in our homes and how  we use it affects our lives. We all have unique personalities and so does color.  Every color can create a certain “energy” in a room and it needs to match the  people in it.

I often get clients that are in a place of change…new home, new career, or  even someone who has died. Our homes are a mirror of who we are and when there’s  a change in our lives, we need to reflect it in our home.  I have found it  really helpful in people dealing with the last stages of grief. They are  rediscovering who they are and have to make some changes in order to find that  person. Some take the opportunity to finally get a piece of furniture they  always wanted or to create their dream kitchen or bathroom. Combining old  memories and making room for new memories is really important.”

What are seven color do’s and don’ts that you run into most often  that might help us in choosing color for our own homes?

1. Don’t Paint Your House White Because You Don’t Know  What to Do: Somewhere, somehow we got the idea that a white house was perfect. It made the house seem bigger and look fresh and  clean. Well, maybe, but it’s also hard to keep that way, and most  people like a little more color in their lives. Do you dress in all white every  day, or eat all white food every day? Most likely not; as humans, we want  variety. Your home is no different.

2. Don’t Pick a Color Because it’s Trendy: You need to pick  a color for YOU!

3. Don’t Paint for Resale: Too many people paint with the  idea of resale in mind. This works if you are actually selling the house  immediately but often that’s not the case. Would you go out on the street and  give the next person walking buy all the money for your remodel project? That’s  what you are doing if you design just for resale. You don’t know  what the next person will like or who they are, so how can you pick something  that they will buy? Look around your home — how much have you changed from the  previous owner?    Typically people live in a house for several years.  It’s important that it fits who you are and your needs first, not the next  people who may buy it.

4. Don’t Play it Safe Just to Be Safe: Many people will  select light colors or pastels because they think they will make it look bigger.  This is a huge myth. It’s not how dark or light a room is but it’s how much  light the paint reflects. A barely off-white blue can suck light out of a  room.

Always get a sample and always paint a large sample on the wall, particularly  in doorways where you can see into the next room. See how the color changes  throughout the day because it will. Test it to see how much light is reflected;  the one that reflects light is the one that will make your room look bigger.

5. Do Be Bold: Don’t be afraid to go into the middle of the  paint sample strip. Most people play it safe with the lighter colors at the top – the first or second sample. Don’t be afraid to look at the third, fourth, and  fifth samples. Don’t be afraid to have accents of the darkest colors at the  bottom.

You are an amazing and unique person and it’s important that the colors on  your walls have as much character as you do. Are you bold? Go bold! Don’t  be afraid. Reach into that inner you and ask… what color am I?

6. Do Look Up at the Ceiling: This is the  forgotten element of most homes. Most people think it needs to be white, and  when asked why, the answer is always, “It’s supposed to be white.” Says who?  Start really looking around you when you are in public places and you will see a  lot of other colors. You can paint it a lighter shade of your wall, the same  color as your wall, or if you want, something really bold – darker than the  walls. Just think about doing something a little different and see how much it  changes your room.

7. Do Think About What Mood You Want to Create: Color  creates a mood and each color has specific moods that it creates. Think about  how the room will be used, how you want to feel in it. Do you want to relax or  do you want to re-energize? Color can influence all kinds of things from how  much you eat to how much you sleep. Use it as your friend to improve your  life.

By Erica Sofrina

Erica Sofrina

Erica Sofrina is a  motivational speaker, author and life coach specializing in connecting people to  their spiritual essence. She is also an Internationally recognized Feng Shui  speaker, green living columnist, teacher and the author of the book Small  Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World and the Founder of  the West  Coast Academy of Feng Shui.  She is also the founder of Earth Spirit  Adventure Travel which takes people on retreats to powerful energy vortexes such  as Bali and Hawaii to facilitate their deep earth/spirit connection. Find out  more at

Yin and Yang: The Key to a Balanced Home

Yin and Yang: The Key to a Balanced Home

Have you ever been in a room that didn’t feel good to be in but you couldn’t figure out what was wrong? Chances are the Yin/Yang components were out of balance.

Yin and Yang is at the foundation of the Ancient Practice of Feng Shui. It has to do with the recognition that the universe is made up of opposite forces of energy, which cannot exist without each other. They are finely balanced and, like polar sides of a magnet, are innately attracted to each other.

The Yin/Yang symbol (picture at top) depicts two fish gliding together in perfect balance. Each carrying components of the other; the black fish with the white eye and the white fish with the black eye. The two swim together in perfect harmony creating a circle, the most ancient symbol depicting wholeness.

Feng Shui acknowledges that we are ancient creatures who naturally seek balance. If our living spaces are not balanced, our lives feel out of balance as well. By learning to work with the Yin and Yang components in our homes, we create supportive spaces that bring our lives back into harmony as well.

The concept of Yin refers to the feminine principle, which is passive, dark and yielding. Yang refers to the male principle, which is bright, active and extroverted.

In physical environments Yin objects would be reflected by circular shapes, darker more muted colors, lower darker rooms, upholstered furniture of soft chenille, velvet and corduroy fabrics, carpeting and area rugs,  and smaller detailed prints. In building materials adobe, brick and stucco would be considered more Yin materials. In design history, the eras that incorporated Yin qualities would be the Victorian era, Louis IV and VI and the Baroque period.

In architecture the Bauhaus period in Germany from around 1919 – 1933 was the beginning of modernist design utilizing more Yang components. Slick glass and mirrors, metal and plastics, high, vast ceilings, bright angular spaces, bold stripes and geometric patterns, square, hard angular furniture without detail, flooring of hard woods, cement and tile, all reflect Yang design materials and features.

In balancing a home we want to first determine the use of the space and then incorporate the Yin and Yang qualities appropriate for it. Passive spaces should incorporate more Yin features and active spaces more Yang features. The key, however, is to make sure we always have some of both qualities and not an over abundance of either.

Yin rooms are the places you want the energy to calm down to support rest, relaxation and rejuvenation. Yin rooms would be bedrooms, dining rooms, living rooms, possibly family rooms and bathrooms.

Yin Bedroom Example
This is an example of a Yin bedroom which is designed for rest and relaxation

In these rooms we would want to bring in more Yin features such as comfy furniture, more muted colors and lighting, plush fabrics and more detailed patterns and accessories. Having a bright, light ultra-modern bedroom with high ceilings and slick fabrics would not serve the occupants and will often translate to sleep disorders.

Yang spaces are the more active spaces such as children’s playrooms, kitchens, gyms, home offices, laundry rooms, family rooms (depending upon the use), hallways and garages. These spaces should incorporate more Yang components with brighter lighting,  whites and/or bolder colors, more angular shaped furniture and accessories with less detail.

This is an example of an active Yang space. Although we don’t want sharp-edged furniture anywhere in the home.

In using modern Yang qualities make sure to choose furniture with more rounded edges. Sharp-edged furniture is considered weapon-like in Feng Shui. It may be subtle, but you will never fully relax in a space that has objects that can injure you. Our homes always need to be ‘people friendly’ no matter the style of decor you are drawn to.

We also want to bring in all of the Five Elements, which include plants and things that are either from the natural world or represent nature.  Ultra modern homes devoid of nature will never allow us to feel truly ‘at home’ because of our deep innate connection to the natural world.

The key is to have a balance of both Yin and Yang qualities in every room, emphasizing more Yin or Yang features depending upon the use of the room. Yang features will make the space more active and Yin features generate a more restful atmosphere. Make sure your design choices and styles are serving the people who need to occupy the space, and not the other way around!

Once we have achieved an appropriate Yin/Yang balance in each room, we will be well on our way to creating a balanced and harmonious home that supports, uplifts and nurtures our lives!

*Another powerful component of Feng Shui is working with balancing the Five Elements in our home. For those of you who would like to learn more, I am offering a free color Five Elements map to all of my readers. Click here to receive your free copy (pdf).

Healthy Highway also offers the opportunity to learn more about The Five Element Theory.   

by Erica Sofrina

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