The Psychology of Color: Picking A Paint Color According to the Institute for Color Research, people make a subconscious judgment about an environment or product within 90 seconds of initial viewing. Between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on color alone. Color is all around us and it impacts our mood, emotions, and other psychological reactions daily, which makes finding the perfect shades to surround yourself with at home an important task.
If you’ve ever found it difficult to choose a paint color for your home, you’re not alone. Choosing a color for the walls of your home is a big decision. While it’s beneficial to choose colors that appeal to your tastes and complement your décor, it’s also important to understand how they can impact your state of mind. The right color can instantly make the rooms in your home feel more calm, cheerful, comfortable, or dramatic. Knowing the psychology behind your favorite hues will help you pick a palette that makes you feel fabulous and your space more inviting.
Color Psychology Tips
Red: If you want your room to feel energized and ready for socializing, red is a great choice. Red is a stimulating color that is often associated with romance and passion. You can use red as a design tool that heightens the senses—it can increase our respiration and heart rate and make us feel more energized.
Pink: Think of pink as a slightly less intense version of red—it gives the excitement of red toned down with the gentleness of white. Pink is a softer color, typically associated with sweetness and romance with a touch of innocence. The color pink definitely gives off some feminine energy but can be balanced out with a bit of brown or gray to create a more neutral tone that promotes calm, stillness, and beauty.
Orange: If you really want to inject some energy into a room, orange is the color for you! Orange is super high energy and instantly adds a sense of fun and playfulness to a space. However, orange can also be quite polarizing; people either love it or hate it.
Yellow: Yellow is the go-to color for when you want to create a space that just makes you feel happy. It has the ability to evoke memory and imagination and can bring you all sorts of warm and fuzzy feelings. Yellow can make you feel joyful, energetic, stimulating, happy, sunny, and uplifting.
Green: If you’re looking to create a space that leaves you feeling peaceful and balanced, try a shade of green. Green can be quite calming, thanks to its connection with nature. It has associations with growth, renewal, and good health, and can be quite soothing.
Blue: A blue room can truly be an oasis of calm in a busy world. Blue is known as a calming color—it has been shown to slow heartbeat and respiration in people, giving it a calm, sedating effect. Blue is the color to go for when you want your room to leave you feeling calm, cool, and collected. Because of its calming effects, blue also helps us concentrate, which makes it a perfect color for a home office.
Purple: If you want to feel regal, purple is your color. Purple has long been associated with royalty, and it still conveys feelings of wealth and abundance. Purple is about much more than just wealth and social stature, though. It’s also a very spiritual color that represents magic, mystery, and imagination. Purple can be highly dramatic or soft and quiet, depending on the tone or shade you choose.
Gray: Gray tends to get a bad rap, thanks to the weather. While a day of gray skies might make things seem dark, moody, and a little sad, there’s so much more to this great color. When used in design, gray can be a very calming, soothing influence. It’s a versatile color that adds an element of sophistication to a space. Since it’s naturally more muted on its own, it’s the perfect backdrop for brighter colors—it really makes them pop.
Brown: Need to create a space that makes you want to slow down and relax? Brown is the color you’re looking for. Brown is a rich, earthy color that instantly gives a room a calm, warm, relaxing feeling. The calming element probably comes from its connection to nature, since it’s the color of natural wood.
White: This color represents purity, clarity, and an airiness that’s perfect for your home. When used as the primary color on walls, white makes a space feel clean and fresh. It’s ideal for helping small rooms feel more spacious.
Black: It is often associated with luxury and sophistication. Black is best used sparingly to add depth to a room’s color scheme.
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