With a few exceptions, I don’t recommend bold colors for interior walls. They’re just too in-your-face and dramatic. Dramatic can say “drama” — leave that for the soap operas. In a store, a bold color might compete with the merchandise. What I do recommend to anyone who owns their home is pigment. Pigment is what the person at the paint store adds in to the white base to create the color you want, and it costs no more than white and can bring years of happiness, if it’s the right color.
But don’t make that pigment too bold. You can make it close to bold, but it would have to be duller than actual bold. You usually get that by graying-it-down a notch. The color you pick can be right next to bold, but just shouldn’t be bold. I often recommend variations of tan, yellow, and green. I also use the bagua map to pick interior colors.
Here’s an example of a color that’s too vivid for an entire room:
This color could easily work for entire room (although I’d warm it up with some yellow or orange accents in the room):
Since these examples are computer-generated “paint chips,” I should say this: Never make your final choice of color from a computer screen — use a physical paint chip. (Designers will tell you the same thing.)
So what about the exceptions? There are only two that I can think of. One exception is only for offices (not retail stores) and other exception is for homes with a particular location (and door orientation) of the master bedroom.
I’ll discuss the second exception first. If the master bedroom is in the Wealth Corner of whole home, and the door to that room is in the same orientation as the front door, paint the far wall purple—any purple that you like. Page 73 & 74 of Feng Shui for Love & Money contains an email that I got from a client (Lynn Forrest, who is now a feng shui consultant herself) who followed my advice on this.
You came to our house to do a consult right after we moved in and suggested that I paint a wall in my bedroom red or purple—it was the wealth corner of the house and also the wall that connected the wealth and relationship corners in my room.
Well, I painted the wall a deep, vibrant purple and a number of things happened:
- We sold the house for almost three times what we paid for it
- I became romantically involved with a friend
- My son-in-law got an offer to work
For offices, especially offices with several rooms, paint the back wall of the main room red. My client, Barbara A. Welsh, is the owner of Apex Mortgage in Kailua-Kona. A little over ten years ago I consulted for her business and recommended green for the back wall of the main room. (Confession: I was too timid at that time to recommend red.) Ten years later she called me again and said she had loved it but was ready for a change. And I was ready to recommend red. She said the magic word— “yes” — and before the paint was even dry there were people looking in the window and coming inside to say how much they loved it. We left the rest of the walls white and used a pale almond for the trim color around the baseboards and doors.