Strong or bright colors are not appropriate for use in large masses, such as wall or floor coverings, because they are too insistent and aggressive and they do not easily harmonize with the furnishings in the average home. These strong colors may be used in small masses, such as a bouquet of flowers, books, or a textile, to add a note of interest or to accent a color scheme. Dulled or grayed colors are in general appropriate to use in large masses, such as wall or floor coverings, because they are restful in effect and keep their place as background. A greater variety of these grayed colors may be used harmoniously in the same room than would be possible with a combination of bright colors.
Light colors in general tend to increase the apparent size of a room, to make a room seem lighter, and to produce an effect of daintiness, of cleanliness, and of cheer; they also are more luminous and, therefore, very effective in artificial light. Used to excess, or inappropriately, light color may produce an effect of bareness or aloofness.
Dark colors in general tend to diminish the apparent size of a room, to produce an effect of dignity or richness. Colors that are too dark are likely to be oppressive or to produce an effect of gloom or dinginess, and are very difficult to illuminate by night. Middle values, that is, colors that are about half-way between the extremes of light and dark, are in general more appropriate for the furnishings in living-rooms. Strong contrasts in light and dark, such as light woodwork with dark walls, or dark woodwork with light walls, dark figures on a light ground, or the opposite, produce a distracting and unrest-ful effect.