Cool and Warm Colors

You have undoubtedly heard of warm and cool colors, but how can you differentiate between colors that are warm and those that are cool? What does it really mean? Can a color actually have a temperature? Let's look to our environment for the answers. Close your eyes and think of the hottest things in nature. A roaring fire, the mid-day sun, a glowing ember. These things are yellow, red, orange and they represent warm colors.

Now picture some very cold things, such as the blue of an Alpine glacier, the green of the deep frigid ocean and lips turning purple on a freezing-cold day. Blue, green and purple are the colors that represent the cold in nature.

When you look at a color wheel, you'll notice that half of the colors are cool and the other half are warm. When selecting colors for paint, furnishings and window treatments you should first decide on the effect you would like the room to have. How do you want to feel in the space? Would you like to feel warm or cool? What's your personality, is it warm or cool? Do you live in a warm or cool climate? These are some of the points to consider when choosing a color scheme.