As you imagine your home's interior, it's important to keep in mind the psychological power of color, and the different effects that colors can have on our subconscious psyches. Scientific studies have shown that different colors are associated with certain moods and emotions. For instance, blue is considered calming and trustworthy, while red can cause considerable agitation. By reviewing the major colors and their affective qualities, you'll be able to choose the colors that most accurately reflect your and your family's style and aesthetic.
One needs only to look at the color of most lipstick, fast cars, and a Valentine's heart to see that the color red can evoke stirring, passionate emotions. However, you might not know that scientific studies have shown that red increases appetite. The logos of McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's, and countless other restaurants employ the color red to stimulate hunger and sales. You can do the same in your home by coloring your dining room or an accent wall red. However, don't allow your children to study there; studies show that students do poorly in red colored rooms!
Blue is judged to be the calmest color and provides an aura of trustworthiness to those who wear blue-tinted clothing. In room design, blue has a similar effect and should be considered for rooms requiring calmness or stillness, such as bedrooms and offices. Blue has also been shown to curb appetite, so it might not be a great color choice for kitchens and dining rooms.
It should come as no surprise that the color yellow has stimulating effects. After all, who can resist the urge to run outside when the sun beams down its bright rays on a warm, clear day? You might want to consider using yellow in entryways or in the kitchen, where you'll be welcoming and entertaining guests. However, an interesting study shows that the color yellow tends to make babies cry more frequently, so you might want to paint Jack or Jane's room a different color.
Green is associated with tranquility, health, and nature, so it's a great choice for bedrooms and living rooms. Pale greens have a calm, soothing effect, and can increase appetite; darker, more olive colored greens promote thoughtfulness and serenity.
Brown is considered fairly neutral in home design, but it can also signify stability, warmth, and comfort. Light browns and beiges are commonly used for hallways and bedroom walls, particularly for master bedrooms. Brown can also imply earthiness, so it's useful for bigger living areas like living rooms or dens.
Purple has long been considered the color of royalty because of the dye's high cost in ancient times. Today, the color imparts a feeling of richness and indulgence. Lavender is an extremely popular choice for bedrooms and an inexpensive way to impart a sense of luxuriousness and importance.
In Western cultures, white imparts clarity and airiness to a room. White is the color of choice for smaller rooms because white maximizes a room's sense of size. Because pure white can be oppressive and even clinical, it is often softened into cream or ivory and textured. White can be combined with other neutral colors to create pleasing, comfortable environments.
Color choice and interior design scheme is an intensely private and personal activity, and if you disagree with the generalities listed above, you're right! Your personal style should dictate the colors you choose regardless of the commonly accepted meanings of various colors, because you're the one who will be living in your home, and you're the one who will be enjoying it.
Do you have a favorite color or combination of colors that you've painted your home? If so, please let us know in our comments section below so that others might be inspired by your sense of style!