Design Recipes: Using warm colors can transform a space

Cathy Hobbs
Tribune News Service

It sure is cold outside, and what better way to warm up your space than with color. Warm colors not only help to add a sense of coziness but indeed warmth to a space. From warm oranges, to reds and yellows, warmer tones can help to transform a space that may be cold and cavernous to one that is warm and inviting.

Here are some of our top tips if looking for ways to infuse warm colors into your space.


1. Do use black. Black is not only a warm color, but one that is neutral as well and can instantly add warmth and depth to a space.

2. Do incorporate color and warmth through your use of artwork. Infusing color and warmth through art can really help to warm a space and adds a finishing touch.

3. Do use small decorative items such as books and florals to bring warmth and color into your home.

4. Do mix warm tones together such as yellow, orange and red, the result can be appealing and cozy.

5. Do use metallics. Brass remains one of the hottest finishes in home décor right now and is a wonderful way to incorporate warmer tones into any room of the home.


1. Don’t overwhelm the space with too many warm colors as it may appear to be overly dark or “muddy,” instead sprinkle warm accents throughout a space.

2. Don’t paint ceilings dark, warm colors, this will instantly close in a space and make any space feel smaller. Instead, ceilings should be light and bright, preferably white.

3. Don’t forget accessories. Accessories are an easy and affordable way to infuse warmth into nearly any room.

4. Don’t use too many wood pieces in the same room. Too many will add visual “weight” to a space. Instead, consider mixing heavier wood pieces with those that are lighter such as pieces that are made of glass.

5. Don’t forget to use mirrors. Mirrors are one of best ways to open a space and can serve as a key design element. These days frames also don’t have to be generic in nature. Instead of a frame that is plain, try one that is painted in a warm color or finished in a warm tone metallic finish.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert. Contact her at or .