Media and Design

Color Psychology: How to Make Your Home Feel Good

Ready to paint? A little color psychology may be just what you need to create soothing and productive moods.


Home decor is often viewed as simply a matter of aesthetics — what looks attractive. But proponents of color psychology believe that the colors you use to decorate your home can have a profound effect on the emotional well-being of you and your family.

“Color is a universal, nonverbal language, and we all intuitively know how to speak it,” says Leslie Harrington, a color consultant in Old Greenwich, Conn. and a noted expert on the use of color in residential and industrial decor. “What color you paint your walls isn’t just a matter of aesthetics. It’s a tool that can be leveraged to affect emotions and behavior.”

If you like the idea of using color to create an emotionally healthy home, color consultants say you should first consider the primary function of each room. Next, pick a predominant color. Although it can’t be proven scientifically, color consultants say some hues work better than others at encouraging certain activities. Need ideas? Here’s a room-by-room rundown of the colors believed to work best in each of the most important rooms of your home, and the moods they create.

Living room and foyer paint colors.

Warm tones like reds, yellows, and oranges, and earth tones like brown and beige often work well in both the living room and foyer, because they’re though to stimulate conversation. “These are colors that encourage people to sit around and talk,” says Kate Smith, a color consultant in Lorton, Va. “You feel the warmth, the connection with other people.”

Kitchen paint colors.

Color consultants say that if you have fond memories of spending time in the kitchen when you were a kid, it might make sense to recreate the color scheme in your grown-up kitchen. “If you grew up in a blue-and-white kitchen and have great memories, blue and white may be the best colors for you and your family,” says Smith.

If there’s no particular paint scheme you remember fondly, reds and yellows can be great colors in the kitchen as well as in the living room and foyer. But watch out if you’re watching your weight: in addition to stimulating conversation, color consultants say that red may prompt you to eat more, if only subtly. “If you’re on a diet, you might want to keep red out of the kitchen,” Harrington says, adding that the restaurant industry has long recognized the appetite-stimulating power of red decor.

Dining room paint colors.

Because it’s stimulating, red decor can be great for a formal dining room. In addition to encouraging conversation, it whets the appetites of your guests. “If your dining room is red, people may think you are a better cook,” says Harrington.

Bedroom paint colors.

The bedroom is where you go to relax and reconnect with your partner. Cool colors — blues, greens and lavenders — can be great choices here, because they are thought to have a calming effect. The darker the hue, the more pronounced the effect is believed to be. “Reds tend to increase blood pressure and heart rate and stimulate activity,” says Harrington. “Blue does just the opposite. That’s why we think of it as calming.”

What if your teenager has a few ideas about how to paint his or her bedroom? In the name of family harmony, it probably makes sense to let your teen pick the paint — within reason. Harrington says she let her own daughter pick a wild paint scheme for her room — with the proviso that her daughter would repaint it white when she moved out.

Bathroom paint colors.

Whites and warm colors have always been popular choices for bathrooms, in large part because they connote cleanliness and purity. But nowadays the bathroom is used not just as a place to wash up, but also as a private retreat for relaxation and rejuvenation. Says Harrington: “Most people feel comfortable with blues and greens and turquoises because these colors give a sense of being clean and fresh — and calm.”

But spa colors in the bathroom make sense only if they flatter you. “When you look in the bathroom mirror, you want to look great,” says Smith. “If you would never wear a particular color, don’t paint your bathroom that color. That’s a recipe for disaster.”

Workout room paint colors.

“Reds and oranges can help you move,” says Harrington. “But they can also make you feel hot.” For this reason, blues and greens may be better choices here. Harrington says that yellow-greens and blue-greens may be the best choices because, in terms of color psychology, they’re “happier.”

Home office paint colors.

The name of the game here is productivity: the faster you complete work-related tasks, the more time you’ll have to spend enjoying family and friends. And color consultants agree that green can be a great choice for a home office. “Green is the color of concentration,” says Harrington. “It’s one of the best colors to be surrounded by for long periods of time.”

From: WebMD

Colorizing the Kitchen

Home decor is often viewed as simply a matter of aesthetics — what looks attractive. But proponents of color psychology believe that the colors you use to decorate your home can have a profound effect on the emotional well-being of you and your family.

“Color is a universal, nonverbal language, and we all intuitively know how to speak it,” says Leslie Harrington, a color consultant in Old Greenwich, Conn. and a noted expert on the use of color in residential and industrial decor. “What color you paint your walls isn’t just a matter of aesthetics. It’s a tool that can be leveraged to affect emotions and behavior.”

Color consultants say that if you have fond memories of spending time in the kitchen when you were a kid, it might make sense to recreate the color scheme in your grown-up kitchen. “If you grew up in a blue-and-white kitchen and have great memories, blue and white may be the best colors for you and your family,” says Smith.

If there’s no particular paint scheme you remember fondly, reds and yellows can be great colors in the kitchen as well as in the living room and foyer. But watch out if you’re watching your weight: in addition to stimulating conversation, color consultants say that red may prompt you to eat more, if only subtly. “If you’re on a diet, you might want to keep red out of the kitchen,” Harrington says, adding that the restaurant industry has long recognized the appetite-stimulating power of red decor.

The Best Paint Colors for Every Type of Kitchen

Painting your kitchen walls is one of the quickest, and easiest ways to re-do a kitchen. Before you rush out and buy gallons of paint, think carefully about what your dream kitchen looks like. Experts agree that it’s not just the color on the walls that determine how a kitchen looks and feels. How the wall paint color relates to the cabinetry, countertops, tiles, molding, appliances, lighting and flooring is very important.

Before you buy paint, test sample swatches on your walls and observe how the colors look at various times during the day and evening. Bring all your color influencers into the room so you can see how the paint looks with all the various elements.

Paint Color Basics
  • Tip #1: Colors can change

Keep in mind that natural sunlight in the kitchen will change in intensity throughout the day. Morning light appears differently than evening light, and shadows can affect the color perception. Color is essentially light – how we perceive a color depends greatly on how light is reflecting off of that color. There is a term used to describe this color-changing experience: illuminant metameric failure. It simply means that two colors may look similar in one light condition but might not match in another. So understanding the light patterns in your kitchen, and knowing what other colors will be going into the kitchen, is incredibly important.

  • Tip #2: Select your paint color at home

Don’t choose a paint color while standing in the paint store aisle. Bring home actual paint samples (many brands offer small sample jars) that you can apply to your walls. Paint these swatches next to cabinetry, flooring, countertops and any fabrics you plan on using in the space. Observe how the paint changes during the day and notice if any of your other kitchen materials are affected by light hitting the paint and reflecting onto the surface. For example, a strong red wall color may, at certain times of the day, reflect a pink hue onto white cabinetry or flooring.

  • Tip #3: Warm colors work

There’s a reason we see a lot of warm, earthy tones in the kitchen. Kitchens harken back the days of open fires and slow roasted foods. Studies have shown that our appetites increase when we see red or orange colors. Although warm hues may be a popular choice for kitchens, it doesn’t mean you have to ignore blues and greens. Pair cool tones with warm neutrals like a warm gray or warm orange. You’ll be surprised how mixing the palette can create the kitchen of your dreams.

  • Tip #4: Paint isn’t just for walls

Don’t forget that paint can be used on a variety of kitchen elements: cabinets, tables, chairs and other decorative objects. If your favorite paint color won’t work on the walls, try using it on a piece of furniture instead. Vintage pieces or new pieces can be painted (or spray painted). Test the underside or backside first to make sure you’ve selected the right type of paint for your project.

Best Colors For:

  • Northern Exposure:

Northern light is cool, indirect, and even in appearance, making it the preferred light of artists and painters. Light from northern exposure won’t shift as much throughout the day, so expect a more even color tone in the room. The cooler sunrays will enhance cooler colors like blues and greens. Even cool tones of white will look good in northern light.

  • Southern Exposure:

Southern light is stronger, more direct and tends to shift throughout the day. This might make your paint colors look very different at different times. You might notice that the strong sunlight makes paint colors reflect onto nearby surfaces. Kitchens with a southern exposure can do well with all walls being painted with the same color but keep in mind that during the day, each wall might appear to be a different shade. As the warm light will draw out warmth in the color, choose earthy colors.

  • Eastern Exposure:

An eastern exposure kitchen will have strong sunlight first thing in the morning and lots of shade in the afternoon. Expect shadowing throughout the day as the sun moves across the sky. You can play up the effect of the sun by having a kitchen with contrasting colors. Think light cabinets and darker walls.

  • Western Exposure:

Kitchens facing west will have strong sunlight in the afternoon and into the early evening. Dark colors will help absorb excessive light (and heat). Combine strong cabinet colors with a lighter tone like Ivory Brown. Light cabinets might do well with an offset color.

  • No Windows:

A windowless kitchen will need to rely on artificial light. The best kitchen will have a combination of task lighting, overhead light and ambient light and the types of bulbs you use will greatly influence the type of light. Incandescent and halogen bulbs cast warmer, more yellow, tones. These bulbs will bring out warmer hues and cast a warm glow in the room. Fluorescent or cooler bulbs will cast a blue or green hue into the space. Try a neutral blue.

  • Tiny Kitchen:

You don’t have to steer away from dark colors in a small kitchen. In fact, having a mix of contrasting colors can help the kitchen feel larger. Depending on your cabinet color, a strong paint like Rapture (4001-6B) has enough blue and red, as well as gray, to make it work with a variety of other colors. Adding rows of shelving and utilizing the kitchen’s vertical space can help break up the paint while maximizing storage.

  • Open Floor Plan:

Open kitchens, with nearby dining rooms or family rooms, will need to be color-conscious when it comes to walls. Not only will your paint color need to match the kitchen elements, you’ll want to make sure that it coordinates with the other rooms as well. When selecting a color, try a gray-infused neutral that will go with a variety of color palettes.

  • Lots Of Wood Cabinets:

If you have a lot of wood cabinetry in your kitchen you’ll want to be smart about your color selection. Do you want the cabinetry to disappear? Try a paint color that is a shade or two lighter than the cabinets. Do you want to compliment the wood and show it off? Find a paint color from a different palette that has complimentary tones.

  • Outdated Countertops:

If all you can afford to do is repaint your walls, don’t worry. Paint can help downplay or distract from any unattractive features in the kitchen. Colors that dominate, or play up your favorite color, will do well. Consider painting three of the walls the same color as the cabinets (to hide them) and use the fourth wall as a strong accent color.

  • Stainless Steel Appliances:

Stainless steel appliances have a cool, but gray, appearance, making them a good neutral for the kitchen. However, kitchens with too much stainless steel in the kitchen run the risk of looking cold and utilitarian. Offset the cold by introducing a warm color.

  • Black Appliances:

Black appliances, like stainless steel, can look cold and dark. In some kitchens they may appear like black holes within the space. So balancing these strong elements is key for the kitchen. Depending upon the cabinet colors, a warm brown can create a sophisticated look next to black.

  • If You Rent:

The best reason for using a neutral paint color on the wall of a rental is that it will be much easier to paint over once you move out. But neutrals don’t have to be boring. If you prefer cool tones, a gray-blue color will work with nearly any color scheme. Warm neutrals will also work well.

  • If You Have A Dark Backsplash:

Do you want your backsplash to stand out or disappear? If you want it to stand out, then choose a much lighter color. Some black backsplashes can pair well with similar dark colors.

  • If You Have A Light Backsplash:

Light backsplashes, like white or cream, can work well with a variety of paint colors. A bright chalk white will really show off the veining in white marble, for example. Sophisticated grays can also be a great compliment to light colors. Be careful about really dark colors next to white – the color may reflect onto the surface and change the color to one you don’t want.

  • If Your Kitchen Also Functions As An Entryway:

If your kitchen serves as the main entry to the home, you’ll want to be less conscious of the color and more aware of the type of paint you use. Be sure you select a paint designed for heavy traffic and can easily wipe down, like a semi-gloss finish. Texture is important too. A smooth wall will show marks faster than a more textured one.

Borrowed from: The Prosperity Project

Best colors for a closet

You may not give much thought to the inside of your closets when painting a room but paint pros say that choosing the right color and sheen will not only improve the appearance of your closet but yours as well. No more reaching into a dark closet and grabbing the navy blouse instead of the black one. Debbie Zimmer of the Paint Quality Institute has some pointers on what to consider when painting a closet.

  • An open closet.

Your best bet with a closet or storage space that’s open to the rest of the room is to paint it the same color as the room or a slightly lighter shade. That way it’s more integrated and less likely to draw attention to what’s inside.

  • Your primary closet.

You’ll want the closet where you store your wardrobe to be bright so you can actually see the color of your clothing. White or a light color are good choices. Choose a paint with a shinier sheen such as semi-gloss, which will reflect more light.

  • Pantry or bathroom closets.

Use a durable paint in your pantry and other closets where you store things that may spill or get sticky. Use a semi-gloss sheen that stands up to scrubbing. As for color, choose one that blends in with the room.

  • Your junk closet.

For those catch-all closets where you stash off-season sporting goods, boots, cleaning supplies, or other gear, think about a darker color that de-emphasizes what’s inside. And keep the door closed

  • Guest room closet.

You can be more playful with a closet in a guest room that’s used infrequently. Try a contrasting color. That way when your guests open the door they get a pop of color. Zimmer says that darker colors are more forgiving and can make dust less noticeable.

DESIGN TIP:

Interior designers recommend that you keep the color in your closet subtle and neutral. There really is no need to put substantial color in this room. Here’s why:

This graphic represents a neutral closet. The background is an off white or beige and the rectangles are your clothes. We all have just about every color from lights to darks in our closets so having the background a neutral will visually make the closet more appealing and easier to see. It’s really a small detail that will make a large impact in your closet.

Now this closet was painted the same coastal blue that’s been trending for quite some time. So many people have this color in their bedroom and have taken it into their closet but look what happens. It’s very unsettling to see all this color in a closet. The color of your clothes fight with the blue and it just becomes a mess. It’s like painting every room in your home a different and unrelated color. It doesn’t make sense and it’s just ugly! By the way – the color of the “clothes” are the same in both these graphics but see how different they look?

According to Feng Shui principles, white is the ideal color as it opens the energy more, as well as brings the crisp quality of the metal feng shui element.

So, I was thinking about red or maybe orange…  I did some experimenting with the graphic, even made one a bright white. Here’s a sampling of the different colors:

Wow… I really like the black! I wonder if I could make it work in real life, or if it just looks good because it’s on a digital graphic instead of on a wall.

So my friends, whether you have a very large walk in closet or a very small closet, take the time out to finish it. And remember, color matters!

Borrowed from: The Prosperity Project

Using The Color Blue

The colour blue – that is my colour – and the colour blue means you have left the drabness of day-to-day reality to be transported into – not a world of fantasy, it’s not a world of fantasy – but a world of freedom where you can say what you like and what you don’t like. This has been expressed forever by the colour blue, which is really sky blue. ~Louise Bourgeois

Light blue rooms are said to increase productivity and to assist with study and focus. There are reports that people retain more information when reading blue text. Students may score higher on tests taken in blue surroundings . Some sport performance such as weightlifting , may be enhanced in blue surroundings. This is possibly because blue has the effect of calming people and of enhancing mental clarity. Blue is also a good color for bedrooms because of its calming and relaxing qualities it helps people be receptive to sleep. Darker shades of blue can be cold and depressing.

Questions to ask yourself when drawn to blue:

  • Is there a need to talk to people around you?
  • What do you need to express to others?

Put blue in your life when there is:

  • A need to calm agitated, excitable, or chaotic states.
  • Exposure to blue light can increase confidence and boost happiness levels.
  • Blue is excellent for emotional healing of stress and anxiety in moderation. Too much blue can can increase depression and apathy in those so inclined.
  • A need to communicate clearly.
  • Use blue paper for notes when you want help in remembering a speech or other information.
  • A need for peace, detachment, solitude, and rest.
  • A need to help with new information or in seeing information in context.
  • A block or limitation to the flow of information and/or frustration, disappointment, and lack of progress in your endeavors and relationships.
  • By helping to soothe the mind, blue is the color of truth, serenity and harmony.
  • It has a sobering effect on the mind and encourages contemplation, promotes group unity.
  • It discourages disease and disharmony.
  • Helps reduce and manage “hot” emotions like anger, impatience, greed, or jealousy. It can help with self control and in chaotic situations.
  • A desire to broaden your perspective in learning new information.

Wearing Blue:

Blue denim is the most common clothing material in the western world. Men and boys in particular favor blue.Wear dark blues for a stable, calm conservative feeling. All shades of blue will help to make easy communication, whether it is with yourself or others.

Loving blue:

More people claim blue as their favorite color than any other color (over 50%). Blue cars have been among the top selling cars for decades.

In systems which correlate favorite colors with color symbolism, people who wear light blue are said to be analytical and have a practical approach to life. People who wear dark blue are intelligent and self-reliant and take on a great deal of responsibility. In any case, people are comfortable with blue and return to blue again and again.

Blue is often the chosen color by conservative people. Cool and soothing, dreamy and magical. Peace and rest. For people who keep a certain distance, but give calm and practical help; they are faithful and loyal, have a sense for order, logic and rational thinking. Flying in day-dreaming, ideals or nostalgia when felt misunderstood. Dark blue is more severe and can be melancholic. Blue is also the color of truth.

Not loving blue:

A person who has an aversion to blue, may be very disciplined, strong career worker, with an aversion to commentary or restriction. He may have charted out a clear direction for his life and wants to follow that no matter what.

Note: This post was compiled by Shirley Twofeathers for Color Therapy, you may repost and share without karmic repercussions, but only if you give me credit and a link back to this website. Blessed be.

Designing With Turquoise

A mix of blue and green, turquoise has a sweet feminine feel while the darker teal shades add lively sophistication.
~ Jacci Howard Bear

Turquoise is, generally thought to consist of 70% blue and 30% green. A blend of blue and green, shades of turquoise, have the same calming effects of those colors and shares the symbolism and characteristics of both colors. Aqua, aquamarine, beryl, blue-green, cerulean, teal and ultramarine are all names for turquoise colors.

Turquoise is much more than another color from the gemstone lineup. Its many shades, hues and tones combine to paint a world of joyousness and glee. Just like the gemstone, the color is deeply ingrained in human history as one that brings peace, harmony and lasting happiness. Native Indians believed that this fallen sky stone had an ability to ward off evil and offer health. Similarly the color has been embraced by cultures across the world as one that energizes interiors while providing pleasure and serenity.

This in-between color represents water, thus the names aqua and aquamarine. Like still water, it projects peace and tranquility. It is an open and friendly color that offers balance and stability. Turquoise is linked to emotional balance and serenity.

The positive connotations connected with turquoise color are sophistication, healing, protection and spirituality. The negative connotations are envy and—from a design standpoint with the light bright shades—femininity.

The color turquoise undoubtedly takes its name from the valuable and popular mineral of the same name often used in jewelry. Turquoise is closely associated with the Middle East and the American Southwest. jewelry. Turquoise is closely associated with the Middle East and the American Southwest.

From the mosaics of the ancient world, the aqua clay paint accents of Northwest Native American works to the rather kitchy “modern ” of the fifties, such as cone shaped plastic chairs , and lava lamps, these shades have been used in a startling range of ways.

Turquoise is equally popular with men and women. Although the dark shades of turquoise are perceived to be masculine, you can create feminine appeal in your design with the light shades of turquoise.

Some shades of turquoise have a ’50s or ’60s retro feel. Teal has a darker, somewhat more sophisticated look. Like the mineral, turquoise shades range from almost sky blue to deep greenish blues.

Keep the soft, feminine qualities going in a design by combining turquoise with lavender or pale pink. Bright turquoise and pink create a sparkly clean, retro look.

Make it art deco by pairing turquoise with white and black. Turquoise with gray or silver as well as terra cotta and light brown has an American Southwest flavor. Turquoise combined with orange or yellow creates a fresh, sporty look. The color is often used in tropical designs.

TURQUOISE COLOR SELECTIONS

If your graphic design project is headed for print, use the CMYK formulations for the turquoise color you choose or specify a spot color. If your project will be viewed onscreen, use the RGB values. Use Hex codes if you work with websites. Turquoise colors include:

  • Pale Turquoise: Hex #aeeeee | RGB 174,238,238 | CMYK 27,0,0,7
  • Turquoise: Hex #00c5cd | RGB 0,197,205 | CMYK 100,4,0,20
  • Bright Turquoise: Hex #00e5ee | RGB 0,229,238 | CMYK 100,4,0,7
  • Medium Turquoise: Hex # | RGB 72,209,204 | CMYK 66,0,2,18
  • Aquamarine: Hex #7fffd4 | RGB 127,255,212 | CMYK 50,0,17,0

Note: This post was compiled by Shirley Twofeathers for Color Therapy, you may repost and share without karmic repercussions, but only if you give me credit and a link back to this website. Bright Blessings.

How Color Effects Us

“Colours win you over more and more. A certain blue enters your soul. A certain red has an effect on your blood pressure. A certain colour has a tonic effect. A new era is opening.” ~Henri Matisse 

des-centaines-de-parapluies-multicolores-en-levitation-a-agueda-au-portugal13

Physical color in the environment affects our moods, relationships, and well being. As a tool for healing, color can be gazed at, beamed as healing light, meditated on, bathed in, worn, used in art, and in ritual such as candle magic and mandala work and painting. The colors you wear and see in your surroundings have a huge but perhaps largely subconscious effect on your moods, actions, and mental emotional states of being and function. We can use color as a tool to create wellness and contentment, to incite passion or anger, to calm and soothe, to express frivolity or seriousness.

Marketing experts, psychologists, advertisers and designers have long used color, to affect you directly. The color in your surroundings has amazing power to affect your moods and decisions. The packaging on anything you buy has had the color scheme carefully worked out to encourage you to buy it.

Restaurant color themes are often designed around appetite promoting colors such as reds and oranges and colors designed to affect how long you will want to stay in the particular room depending on the kind of turnover they need. The colors of your food can increase or destroy your appetite.

Researchers exposed a group of volunteers to a range of colors and lights. They found that blue and green made male subjects feel happier, while blue, purple and orange did the same for women. Everything is made up of electromagnetic energy vibrating at different frequencies that correspond to sound, light and color.

We are drawn to the colors needed to create balance in our lives, the goal in all healing. Colors attract … certain clothing and accessories, colors in our homes, and even the foods we eat.

Green In Media And Design

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Some of the ways the color green is used in the media and for design purposes:

  • Green has strong emotional correspondence with safety.
  • Dark green is also commonly associated with money.
  • Green suggests stability and endurance.
  • Green, as opposed to red, means safety; it is the color of free passage in road traffic.
  • Use green to indicate safety when advertising drugs and medical products.
  • Green is directly related to nature, so you can use it to promote ‘green’ products.
  • Dull, darker green is commonly associated with money, financial world, banking, and Wall Street.

Submitted by Raetta Parker

Yellow In Media And Design

divine-mother-sun-aceo-art-card-sold

Some of the ways the color yellow is used in the media and for design purposes:

  • Yellow is often associated with food.
  • Bright, pure yellow is an attention grabber that’s why taxicabs are painted this color.
  • Yellow is seen before other colors when placed against black; this combination is often used to issue a warning.
  • Use yellow to evoke pleasant, cheerful feelings.
  • Yellow is very effective for attracting attention, so use it to highlight the most important elements of your design.
  • Men usually perceive yellow as a very lighthearted, ‘kiddish’ color, so it is not recommended to use yellow when selling prestigious, expensive products to men – nobody will buy a yellow business suit or a yellow Mercedes.
  • Yellow is an unstable and spontaneous color, so avoid using yellow if you want to suggest stability and safety.
  • Light yellow tends to disappear into white, so it usually needs a dark color to highlight it.
  • Shades of yellow are visually unappealing because they loose cheerfulness and become dingy.

Submitted by Raetta Parker

Red In Media And Design

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Some of the ways the color red is used in the media and for design purposes:

  • Red brings text and images to the foreground.
  • Use it as an accent color to stimulate people to make quick decisions; it is a perfect color for ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Click Here’ buttons on Internet banners and websites.
  • This color is also commonly associated with energy, so you can use it when promoting energy drinks, games, cars, items related to sports and high physical activity.

Submitted by Raetta Parker

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