It has been said that you are what you think and, in some respects, the same can be said you are what you see. There have been numerous studies over the years relating to the effect of color on how a person feels. Happy, sad, upset, angry, and introspective can often be influenced by the colors in our surroundings. Hospital rooms are painted colors to help a patient feel calm, which in turn promotes healing. Baby nurseries are painted soft, yet bright colors to inspire alertness. Kitchens are often painted bright, happy colors to perk up the appetite and bring a sense of well-being into the room. Taking a look at some of the central colors around us, we find the experts in this field suggesting that red, focuses on the body, yellow the emotions, blue the mind, and green the balance between red, blue, and yellow (the primary colors which cannot be made by mixing any other colors). To expand the way color affects our mind—
Blue: used to calm and soothe, blue comes from sky and water and is often found in bedrooms, doctor’s offices, and children’s rooms. Interestingly, some say blue will decrease a person’s appetite.
Red: a warm, sometimes angry, or aggressive color, red inspires love, boldness, warning (as in a traffic light), danger, war, sacrifice, and vitality. Not usually used as a total room color, red is often found as part of room accessories such as artwork, upholstery, flowers, knick-knacks, and throw pillows.
Yellow: often associated with emotional problems such as depression and a sense of confusion, yellow can also represent sunshine, and thus be a warm color. Color experts suggest yellow walls in a bedroom can exasperate negative moods while a light yellow in a kitchen or bathroom inspires a sunny, uplifting mood. It is the shade and depth of yellow that works on moods.
Purple: most people associate purple with royalty and spirituality, wealth, and power. In-home decorating dark purple is used as an accent color in accessories while light purple or lavender can be found in bedrooms and bathrooms.
Green: quite obviously green is associated with nature and growing things. As green has so many different shades, it can be used in almost any room of the house both on walls and as accessories.
Orange: another warm color used mostly in accessories, orange is associated with Fall, optimism, family gatherings, and joy found in fellowship.
Black: again, not a color usually found on walls (except in a teenager’s room), black usually denotes a sinister mood and even evil or vengeance. The mystery is also associated with black. Using black in association with other happier colors as furniture coverings and room enhancers can create a striking appearance. Black doesn’t show the soil, which is great for children and pets.
Brown: an earthy color brown denotes confidence and dependability. Often soft browns are used on walls in dens, family rooms, and hallways, as well as accessories.
Gray: If used in abundance, gray can be depressing and make a person feel a lack of self-confidence. Using a light gray sparingly and in combination with bright colors can be lovely and uplifting.
White: signifies cleanliness, purity, and youth. White is often used on walls as it goes with all other colors and gives a feeling of increased space. White added to darker colors helps tone down and soften many colors needing a more gentle outlook.
Colors are all around us, and often we have no choice as to what these colors are. By gaining a greater understanding of how color affects us, even in the areas of influencing performance and consumer buying, we can be better prepared to be aware when we suddenly find ourselves changing moods or allowing the color to influence what we buy or how we relate to other people. In other words, assessing your mood before buying where color is important, checking mood changes due to the color of a room or a person’s clothing before having important discussions or making important decisions; planning the paint in your home to suit the mood you hope to inspire in each room. Color affects us every day and in many ways.