Psychology of Colors
Colors are a powerful medium to convey meaning and trigger emotion. We can also use colors to convey messages without using any words (think red = danger). And finally, colors are known to affect us physically as well. When we spend too much time in brightly colored areas such fast food restaurants, we feel tired. This is because our mind is absorbing all the stimuli and working overtime taking it all in. This works well for the fast food restaurants because they want people to eat their food and leave quickly, giving them more customers and thus more business.
To understand the deeper meaning of colors, how it can be used to evoke the right emotion, how it affects us physically and psychologically, and read on!
Emotionally – Passion, Love, Anger, Strength
Physically – Raises blood pressure, Raises heart rate, Stimulates appetite
Psychologically – Hot, Aggressive, Danger, Stop
Best if used in – Dining area, Living area
Emotionally – Happy, Energetic, Pleasant, Social
Physically – Encourages, Movement, Provides energy, Vigor
Psychologically – Stimulus, Focus
Best if used in – Living rooms, Study/Library, Exercise room
Emotionally – Warm, Cheerful, Solitary, Irritable
Physically – Poor skin reflection, Bright, Reflective
Psychologically – Lively, Secure, Caution, Slow
Best if used in – Living rooms, Kitchen
Emotionally – Friendly, Calming, Neutral, Balanced, Healing
Physically – Concentration, Focus, Attention
Psychologically – Jealously, Envy, Money, Fertility
Best if used in – Bathrooms, Bedrooms
Emotionally – Isolated, Peaceful, Cool, Distant, Masculine
Physically – Lowers blood pressure, Decreases appetite
Psychologically – Calm, Conservative, Loyal, Trusting, Intelligence
Best if used in – Bathrooms, Bedrooms, Office
Emotionally – Spiritual, Enlightenment, Creative, Artistic
Physically – Calming, Relaxing, Helps insomnia
Psychologically – Surprise, Magic, Moody, Royal, Rare, Luxury
Best if used in – Bedrooms, Bathrooms, Living
Emotionally – Innocence, Neutrality , Goodness
Physically – Calming, Mental Clarity, Easy
Psychologically – Cleanliness, Pure, Fresh
Best if used in – Bedrooms, Living rooms, Bathrooms, Kitchen. Use white anywhere in the house. Best if used with other colors to prevent a space from appearing too stark.
Emotionally – Fear, Authority, Mystery, Depressing
Physically – Power, Strength, Protection,
Psychologically – Mourning, Intelligence
Best if used in – Living. Use black with other colors to create balance within a space. Caution: Too much black can become depressing.
Tips and Tricks
1) When using colors, creating balance and harmony is essential. Too much color can be chaotic and not enough color can be boring. When you pick a color, use the rule of 3 – use it at least three times in a room.
2) Decide what mood you want to evoke in a room. Paint different shades of the same color on a wall and watch the color during different times of the day and under different lights before you paint the entire room. Paint samples at least 3 feet away from each other so your eyes don’t blend them together.
3) Stick to a maximum of 2-3 different colors within a space with enough neutral to balance out. You don’t want a room with so many colors it looks like an elementary school’s classroom! Too much color will create tension as they all try to compete for attention within a space.
4) Using colors with the same saturation will create a unified look. Contrasting hues will create drama and are best used to attract attention.
5) To see how the color will feel in a room, look at the light reflective value (LRV) of the color. The higher the LRV, the more light will bounce around the room, making it feel bigger and brighter. The lower the LRV of the color, the more light will be absorbed, making the room darker and moody.
6) To have everything tie in together, make a dominant color in one room an accent in another. You’ll be surprised at how different the rooms will look, yet how easily they flow.
7) Use a consistent color palette throughout the house for a more polished look.
8) And finally, have fun! Choosing the right color is essential but trust your gut and your instincts that you have made the right decision!