Letting your décor suit the kind of mood you want to evoke in a specific space inside your home can help you to relax or even inspire you to get more done. All of these aspects tie into the psychology of color.
The psychology of color looks at the use of colors, the meaning behind colors and the emotions evoked by the different colors. Artists and interior designers use this approach to color and it is even used in marketing.
The meaning behind colors
Different colors have come to have different meanings. For instance, in the Western tradition, brides wear white to signify purity, while black is the color of mourning. Here are just some of the meanings that colors have, starting with the warm colors:
Red: Red is probably most well-known as the color of love, thanks to St. Valentine’s Day, but it’s also the color of excitement, energy, passion, power, and sexuality.
Yellow: Associated with the sun, yellow symbolizes energy, joy, happiness, optimism, friendship, and intellect. It is also often associated with food.
Orange: Orange is a color brimming with energy, happiness, youth, and the joy of life. It’s also associated with enthusiasm and determination and is seen as the color of creativity.
Moving on to the cool colors, we come to the colors that are more calming and soothing in nature.
Blue: Blue is the color of the sky and the ocean and stands for truth, intelligence, spirituality, wisdom, trust, loyalty, strength, and creativity. It is soothing and relaxing.
Green: Another nature color, green is associated with growth, health, renewal, youth, harmony, safety, and fertility.
Purple: Traditionally a royal colour, purple is the symbol for nobility, ceremony, mystery, spirituality, wisdom, and imagination.
White: Not only the color of purity, white also symbolizes innocence, cleanliness, faith, goodness, safety, and peace.
Black: Black symbolizes elegance, formality, mystery, power, and strength along with death and mourning.
The color wheel
The color wheel is a tool that artists and interior decorators use to make sure that their color combinations are pleasing to the eye – even when four or five colors are used in combination. Here is an example of a color wheel:
Luckily you don’t have to do a whole course on color theory as there are various websites that will help you pick out colors that work together, whether you want contrasting colors or some soothing tones of the same color. These are just some of the free sites that you can have a look at:
How to use the psychology of color in your décor
When you are using color in your décor, it is important to keep in mind not only what you will use the space for, but also what kind of mood you want to evoke in that space or room. If you feel uncomfortable in a space within your home, it’s worth asking whether you can’t fix that simply by changing the color scheme!
For instance, if your bedroom is painted a bright red, you might want to prep the walls and rather opt for a softer blue or green. These colors will soften the entire space, making the room a more soothing space. Just make sure that you choose warmer blues – for instance, periwinkle instead of a plain pastel blue – to ensure that your room doesn’t suddenly seem chilly or clinical. The periwinkle will bring warmth into the room while also soothing your cares away. You can also try other shades in the purple family, like lavender or lilac.
Different shades of green in bedrooms can also have a calming effect. Just don’t go too neon with the wall color! Or, keep the walls neutral (which is sometimes your only option, for instance, if you are renting), but use the rich colors of the fields and forests to influence the colors you use for bedlinen, rugs, and scatter cushions.
The living areas
On the other hand, if you love red, you can always use red accents – or a red accent wall – in your living or dining room. The red in this setting will make the room livelier, more exciting, and can even stimulate conversation. This is also an important point; you don’t have to let go of your favorite colors but simply find other ways of using them.
The home office or study
Forget about a dull office or dusty study! Throw in some splashes of orange or yellow (or both!) to get the creative juices flowing and happiness and energy bubbling. Yellow can make smaller spaces seem larger while also being very welcoming. But don’t go overboard and make absolutely everything a riot of yellow and orange, as too much of these colors can start to create a stressful environment!
Follow your style
It’s important that you don’t just follow interior fashions just for the sake of following it even though you may hate the colors! Rather opt for aspects of the current trends that you do like and the colors that make you happy, stress-free and content and work with those in your space.
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