How to Colorfully Control the Mood in Your Home

You may be skeptical about the impact of color psychology. But as psychiatrist Dr. Julia Shugar of Creedmoor Psychiatric Center explains, “Room color, particularly in your home, can dramatically affect moods, feelings, and emotions.”  Our minds are easily influenced, and most of the time we aren’t even conscious of the effect things around us have. Colors are one of those things. We’re going to talk about the best way to use color when decorating according and the color psychology of common colors.

It can be challenging and slightly overwhelming to try and decide on a color for a room, let alone trying to tie in pleasing complementary colors, shades, and tones. Getting to know the color wheel and how it can help you when choosing paint and décor will make the process much easier for you.

The Color Wheel

The color wheel is made up of three types of colors:

color psychology

 

Primary

Red

Yellow

Blue

Secondary

Made from combining two primary colors.
Green
Purple
Orange

Tertiary

Tertiary colors are made from combining primary colors and secondary colors, giving you different shades of each one.

To create a harmonious color scheme, it’s best to use the colors that sit next to each other on the wheel. For example, blue and green are both considered cooler colors. If you desire a relaxing, fresh theme in your room, you want to use green, blue-green, and blue.

For a bold, lively color scheme, you want to use more vibrant colors. Using the color wheel will help you find colors that naturally pair well together. These are called complementary colors, which are opposite each other on the color wheel. For example, yellow’s complimentary color is violet. Pairing these two will create that dynamic and vibrant look you want.

Neutral colors are your best friend when decorating. Whites, browns, and shades of black are great colors to use to offset your brighter shades and add depth to the room. Using neutral colors on your walls will also give you more room to experiment with colorful shades and patterns in your decorations. And when it’s time for a change, it’s much easier to switch out decorative pillows and throw rugs than it is to repaint the entire room.

Color Psychology

When decorating our home, we tend to gravitate toward colors that we favor. We may not spend a lot of time thinking about a room color, but the truth is, colors can have a substantial effect on us. It’s important to know what these effects are since you’ll be living with these colors every day. Color psychology is all about the influence that color has on our mind and behavior. Most people react similarly to certain colors, but the reactions begin to vary depending on the tone or shade presented. Room color will also impact more than your mood; it has the power to alter the appearance of the shape and size of the space. Lighter colors expand your room, making it seem larger and bright. Darker colors make the room seem smaller, creating a more intimate atmosphere. Let’s take a look at some traditional colors and learn about the effects it can have on us.

Red

Red is a stimulating color; it will elevate a room’s energy level. It has been shown to raise blood pressure and increase your heart rate just by looking at it. “Red generally raises energy and excitement, which makes it a good choice for a dining room or living room, where people tend to gather,” confirms psychologist Nicole Avena.

Since red raises your energy, your bedroom wouldn’t be ideal for this intense color. You want something more calm and relaxing in the place you go to rest.

Blue

Blue is red’s opposite. It is said to bring down blood pressure and slow your respiration and heart rate. Blue is a calming and relaxing color, perfect for making your bedroom a serene place of relaxation. You can also use blue in your bathroom to give it the soothing feel of a spa. If you use a lighter blue on the walls, make sure to balance out the room with warm hues in fabrics and furnishings so it doesn’t seem cold.

Avoid using dark blue as the primary color in a room; it has the effect of evoking feelings of sadness. Be extremely careful when choosing a blue color. “Some blues can have a very cooling effect as they can turn chilly-looking when applied on a wall,” states Beverley Kruskol, owner of painting company MY Pacific Building, Inc.

color psychology

Yellow

This luminous color captures the joy of sunshine. Yellow’s color psychology is energizing and expansive, perfect for halls or small spaces. An entryway is also a great spot for yellow as it feels welcoming and happy.

While yellow is a very cheerful color, avoid using it as your primary color in rooms. Studies show that yellow has the ability to produce feelings of anger and frustration. When you do use yellow, use softer shades in smaller amounts.

color psychology

Green

The color green has a very calming effect. Jackie Jordan, the director of color marketing at http://www.sherwin-williams.com/Sherwin-Williams, explained that, “When we see green, our mind traces back to the abundance of green shades found in nature, evoking a restorative, quieting emotion.”

Green can be used in any room of your house where you want to wind down. The warmer shades of green will bring a sense of comfort or togetherness which would be ideal for a family room. Green is also believed to help with fertility, making it the perfect color for a bedroom.

color psychology

Orange

This eye-catching color stimulates excitement and enthusiasm. With orange being such an energetic color you might think it would be perfect for a home gym, but you have to be cautious with the shade you decide to use because orange is also known to help stimulate the appetite.

Use brighter tones of orange in your gym to help increase the energy and motivation you need to get a good workout. Save the deeper tones for the kitchen and dining room. Not only will it keep your guests hungry, but the red shades in deep orange colors produce excitement, which will help keep conversations flowing.

color psychology

Purple

 

The color purple has long been associated with royalty and wealth. Using darker values of purple can create a rich, luxurious feel to your home. Using lighter shades, such as lilac or orchid, will bring out the same calming effect as blue – without the risk of seeming cold.

Don’t use purple in your room! Purple also stimulates the creative part of your brain, making it a perfect shade for an office, but a disruptive shade for a bedroom where your goal is to get some rest.

White

White is a clean, fresh color that opens up a room and makes it feel airy and bright. It’s also a part of the neutral family. White will create the illusion of open space, so it’s perfect for spots in your home that feel cramped and small.

Many people may think white is a bland color, but you can easily spice up a white wall with a colorful painting or photograph.

color psychology

Brown

Brown is also a neutral color and a popular one at that. This color produces a feeling of warmth, comfort, and peace. Nature – where many find tranquility – is overwhelmed with various shades of brown. Using those same shades creates the same feeling you find in nature.

Brown is a great choice for any room in your home. Not only is it a warm, cozy color, but it will give the room a sense of intimacy and togetherness. It’s also easy to pair with accent or secondary colors.

color psychology

Black

Black is not for the faint of heart. It’s an incredibly dramatic color and – if used correctly – will add an elegant flair to the room.

This dark color will make a room seem smaller, which can make large spaces feel more intimate and safe. It can, however, have negative connotations associated with it and produce feelings of melancholy or sadness. It’s best to use black in small doses. If you are brave enough to use black as your main color scheme, make sure it has a shiny finish to allow it to look more polished.

color psychology

Despite the impact of color psychology, perceptions of color are somewhat subjective. Your personal feelings about a color are going to be influenced by deeply personal experiences or culture. Ultimately, you want to find the right shade for you. Give yourself enough time to analyze the color you want, to see what emotions it brings out and experiment with brightness and saturation levels to find the perfect fit. After you have found the best color and you’ve decorated to your heart’s content, check out our blog for tips and tricks on keeping your beautiful home clean. We even share a few secrets on Raising Children Who Clean Up! You’re not going to want to miss out on those.