Do you ever think about how the colors we are surrounded with affect us? Can certain colors make you happy and energetic, and others make you calm and relaxed?
There have been many studies done on how color affects us on a psychological level. Below is a color wheel to show how we associate colors.
Knowing what colors can do to you subconsciously is like having an extra guide book when working on your own homes.
If you are working on re-designing your space, you can think of the feeling/mood you want in your home, the personality of your family, children and/or yourself, and pick colors and color schemes that will help create that feeling.
Red is often associated with A-Type personalities – Bold and strong. Yet reds are also very classic and traditional with feelings of passion, excitement and ambition. Too much, though, can be very overwhelming and tiring. Used as an accent, you can bring a richness to any space.
- (Image from This Old House)
- No longer just used for little girls' rooms, pink is a delicate color (just a lighter version of red) which can bring in a more feminine feeling. Pink also brings feelings of freshness, nurture, and playfulness.
(Image from Etsy)
A mix of red and yellow pigments, oranges are also a mix in feeling – bold and strong, but also energetic and youthful. This is a very fun color to use when you want a strong but also happy feeling. Oranges work well with greens, teals and blues.
(Image from Apartment Therapy)
- Bright like the sun, yellows are happy, optimistic and vibrant with energy. In paler tones, yellow can come across as gentle, soft and nurturing. Great in nurseries, but also great for making spaces feel more warm and inviting.
(Image from housebeautiful.com)
Deep Blues such as navy and royal blue bring feelings of confidence, loyalty, trust and success. They can also bring a very classical look to any space. Darker blues can often be used in place of blacks/brown to bring in contrast. Lighter blues are more delicate and have a sense of calm and tranquility (great for bedrooms and bathrooms). The spa blue colors, teals and turquoises add a sense of rejuvenation and calm.
(Image from homebunch.com)
- Green is the obvious signal that spring is here. Greens bring a feeling of growth, rebirth and progress. Green is also the color of money, and can bring a sense of prosperity. Greens are being used more and more to create youthful and vibrant spaces. When matched with its direct compliment red, you have Christmas! But if you match it with browns, you have more stable and traditional feelings. When matched with blues or yellows, you have more playful looks.
(Image from magazinesummerlivingroom.beaufood)
- Purple represents luxury and opulence. In bold hues, purples can be royal, dramatic and somewhat masculine. In lighter hues/shades it is more feminine, giving a feeling of fantasy and tranquility. Purples can match well with reds for very dramatic looks, or with oranges and yellows for more vibrant spaces.
(Image from Apartment Therapy)
- Any earth tones give a feeling of stability, comfort and relaxation. They evoke a sense of being grounded. Browns can come across as being more traditional as well. Browns are also very close to gold and can be used as a wonderful accent with blues/grey blues and greens.
- Black is never just black, so pay attention to the undertones. Black can be associated with death or evil. But when used appropriately, black is what balances the other colors, helping them stand out. I love to use black as a contrasting element, but be careful not to use too much in this way, otherwise it can overwhelm the space and feel depressing. Blacks also have a very classic look, which is most often achieved when you add in whites, silvers, or reds.
(Image from Architectural Digest)
- Greys have become very popular as a neutral. Greys are often thought of as more modern, but depending on the undertones you can create very different feelings. If your greys have warm undertones, they can bring a sense of calm and comfort. When you bring in darker, more bold greys, you have a much more striking palette creating a sense of more confident and strong feelings.
(Image from Overstock.com)
- White is another color that spans the whole color spectrum depending on the undertones. With a yellow undertone, the whites are creamy, soft and relaxing, which works well with any neutral or any warm toned color to soften the space. When the whites have blue undertones, they are more striking and work well when looking for a “crisp” feeling. Whites can make your spaces look bigger, but if you aren’t balancing it with other colors and if the white is cooler toned, your space can have a feeling of being sterile, which could be somewhat uncomfortable for a home environment.
(Image from decorface.com)
If your space is open to other rooms you can use lighter and darker versions of your wall color to help carry that into the adjoining spaces for continuity. This can be achieved by using furniture and accessories in those adjoining spaces that reintroduce this color selection.
Whatever your color preferences. Choose something that feels like home to you. That reflects you and your family's personality so that your home feels personalized to you.