Color, like music, while subjected to positive rules of harmony, appeals to natures according to the responsiveness of their nerve sense, and the practical decorator in dealing with a customer should discover at the outstart the character of that nerve sense. Some natures respond to the normal colors, barbaric colors. Some respond to the softer tints and are disturbed by the sharper tones. A dulled sense requires sharp contrasts; a quickened sense is satisfied with the soft gray tones.
A demonstration of four examples in color may serve the purpose of determining one’s color sense.
First. Combinations of normal primary and secondary colors, (a) arranged in contrasts, (b) in analogies.
Second. Combinations of tones of the above colors, (a) arranged in contrasts, (b) in analogies.
Third. Combinations of tints of the above colors, (a) arranged in contrasts, (b) in analogies.
Fourth. Combinations of the gray (tertiary) tones of the above colors, (a) arranged in contrasts, (b) in analogies.
95. Do not allow your personal color-sympathies to dominate your work. All colors have their usefulness, for there are occasions when it is proper they should be used, apart from any question of harmony; one must consider always the uses of colors, the lights, and the purpose of the room under treatment.
96. Nature gives to the dark forest depths great brilliancy of floriculture, and dark-skinned people indulge unconsciously the same bright scale of color. But as we come out of the forest and advance in civilization we use barbaric colorings more discriminately.
97. We employ gold, orange or yellow for the north room not for inherent beauty, but for the sense of warmth which they convey to an atmosphere chilled by the absence of sunlight. We employ receding colors in a small room that the room may look larger. We employ cold colors in a sunny room, especially in the summer home, for reasons psychological rather than æsthetic.