Again, if the ceiling be low a striped paper, where stripes extend from baseboard to ceiling, will make the ceiling appear higher than it really is.
The apparent height of windows may be changed by their drapery.
The opening of a door in the opposite way or the closing up of it altogether, may materially improve the wall spacing of the room.
After lines and proportion comes color, and here one meets many difficulties because so many factors enter into the problem. The quantity and quality of light that enters the room, the use of the room, the "livable-ness" of the color, all are to be considered. For example, a pink or lavender ribbon may give just the finishing touch to a young girl in a white muslin dress, but a living room in pink or lavender may prove something of an undertaking "to live up to" three hundred and sixty-five days in the year. The psychology and physics of color are not easily given in set formulae. A few general principles may prove helpful.
White light may be separated into what are known as the seven primary colors, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, although there are a great number of different shades of these colors. In a stricter sense red, green and blue are the primary colors because they can not be resolved into any others.
Complementary colors are those colors which when combined produce white light. Rood in his "Textbook of Colors" gives the following Table of Complementary Colors:
Red ........................ Green blue.
Orange.................. Cyanogen blue.
Yellow................. Ultramarine blue.
Greenish yellow................... Violet.
Green .......................... Purple.
A knowledge of complementary colors is important because these colors furnish the strongest contrasts. Again there are the "cool" colors - blues in various grades, grays, apple green; warm colors are reds, golden browns or pure gold, olive green. Colors are also classified as grave, gay or somber.
Harmony and appropriateness are to be carefully watched in the selection of color schemes. Harmony is secured by the skillful blending of colors of somewhat the same tone. Contrasting colors emphasize each other and should be used with care. For example, in a room in which the walls are colored bright red and the floor covered with a bright green rug, the contrast between the two colors will make both stand out more plainly. Where the background of floor and walls is so striking it is difficult to have the furnishings blend with the colors already present. In simple furnishing it is better to choose some one prevailing color as the predominant one rather than two contrasting ones.
The quantity and quality of light which enters the room will prove a potent factor in selecting its color schemes. A room with a southern or western exposure is likely to be well supplied with brightness and sunshine and needs to have its brightness modified by cool blues or greens, so a west dining room in red is apt to seem too warm most of the year, while a sunless north room needs the yellow and gold to be brought to it in the colors of its walls and draperies. Golden browns and rich reds have their place in such rooms.