Have you ever noticed how when you walk into a room, its colors can make you feel a certain way? It turns out that a room’s color has a profound influence on our moods and emotions. Color is more than just a visual experience; it can be psychological as well.
Different colors evoke different responses. Warm colors are associated with feelings of comfort, excitement or even aggression, while cool colors can be calming and relaxing.
Below are some smart tips for how you can use the psychology of color to transform your home.
According to Feng Shui, red creates strong energy. Red tones are associated with drama and excitement. Believed to stimulate appetite and heart rate, ruby reds are luxurious, indulgent and has grown popular for dining rooms. Many people like the color red for its bold statement as a front door color. In Scotland, homeowners painted their front door red to signify that they had paid off their mortgage. In the United States, a red front door simply says ‘welcome.’
Yellow tones are associated with happiness. Walls that are painted in sunny, bright tones can easily lift dreary moods, and are a clever solution to a north-facing room with little natural light. The palest, purest yellow tones are popular, especially in kitchens, breakfast nooks, and in living rooms. Neutral golds can also light up many spaces. (Watch out for green undertones, however). If you’re looking for some pointers, our friends at The Spruce have a good roundup of the best yellows.
The symbol of prosperity, green is a restorative and soothing color, with many of its shades evoking nature: lush fields and forests. In healthcare interior design, the color green is often used to create an atmosphere that is relaxing, both in residential and medical spaces. The more neutral greens are the most popular, as green can easily appear harsh with certain undertones. Sage gray-green shades contribute to beautiful, earthy living rooms and family rooms.
The color blue — which has been shown to lower blood pressure and heart rate — can easily create an atmosphere of purpose and meditation within any room in your home. Because many people associate blue with water, blue tones can evoke the ocean or even lakes and rivers. Sky blue is the most calming shade, bringing serenity to interior spaces. Very dark blues are a growing trend in home offices, studies and bathrooms. Pale blues work well for bedrooms and nurseries, but can come across as a little too cold — so it’s best gravitate towards the warmer shades. For inspiration, see 8 Top Designers Share Their Favorite Blue Paint Colors from One King’s Lane (we love the intense Cerulean blue!)
We don’t ordinarily think of neutral colors as colors at all, but they are very popular in the home — and a favorite of savvy interior designers due to their ability to balance and ground a room. Neutral tones can include beige, cream, ivory, white, gray, and brown. Whites are known for making smaller spaces seem grander and more spacious. For a few ideas, see Not-So-Boring Neutral Paint Colors from Better Homes & Gardens.
There are so many options to choose from when it comes time to pick your paint colors. Enjoy the process, and just take it one room at a time. Remember that the #1 mistake people make when choosing a paint color is selecting one that is too saturated. So follow our final pieces of advice: 1) Always test out your paint colors on a small area. 2) For the sample, be sure to use the exact finish you plan to use for the entire room. (Glossy, matte and eggshell don’t look anything alike).