THE PSYCHOLOGY OF COLOR

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF COLOR

Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unsullied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.
— Oscar Wilde

Color psychology is the study of the effect of color on human behavior and emotion. Our reaction to color is immediate and color has a tremendous influence on the choices we make everyday. It can impact what we buy, our mood and even change our physiology. It can cause us eat more or less, behave recklessly, make us feel dreamy, relaxed or excited. Did you know that your favorite color could reveal much about your personality to someone versed in color psychology?

I have compiled some fun facts on color; while they are based on science they are intended for entertainment value. If you are undertaking a major painting renovation in your home it is always advisable to seek the advice of a color professional to avoid costly errors. Read further to find out what your favorite colors indicate and some interesting facts on how color may impact you.

BLUE

Blue is hands down the “favorite color”, probably because it is universal and it is associated with sky and sea. Blue evokes feelings of trust; it is said that people who love blue are dependable and committed. Serene blues are restful colors that work well in bedrooms and can cause the body to produce calming chemicals. Blue may feel cold unless paired with warmer colors such as the red and yellow families. Blue is not a favorable color to use where food is prepared or served. Studies have shown that food consumed in blue surroundings is not as appealing. Have you ever notice there are no authentically blue foods found in nature?

GREEN

Green is the second “favorite color”. Green is a healing color and a symbol of peace, nature and ecology. Surrounding yourself in a green environment can relax your muscles and make you breath deeper, which has a calming effect. Depending on the shade of green, green can be either warming or cooling; the color green denotes balance, harmony, and stability.

YELLOW

Yellow is the color of optimism and happiness because of it’s association with sunshine. Yellow activates memory, stimulates the nervous system and is mentally stimulating, which is why school pencils are yellow. Bright yellow accents are wonderful but use caution when selecting yellow as a wall color, a tiny swatch of yellow paint may appear sunny and delightful but those deep sunny yellows are often blue-based yellows, which in large doses are anxiety provoking. The selection of an unsuitable yellow, in my experience, is possibly the most common paint selection errors homeowners make. Sisal and straw yellows work well for pleasing interior wall color choices.

ORANGE

Orange- People who love orange are warm, flamboyant and fun loving people. Juicy, vivid, primary orange stimulates appetite and activity, making it a popular color choice in fast food restaurants. Orange is uplifting and has an antidepressant effect. Brown based oranges, such as terracotta and deep pumpkin are very soothing.

RED

Red stimulates your metabolism and raises your respiration rate due to its primitive association with blood. It is a passionate color and people who love red tend to be impulsive. Red grabs your attention, which is why it is used for stop signs and fire engines. Restaurants frequently use red as it stimulates your appetite and can cause you to spend more money. Red is a powerful color and when used judiciously is very effective.

PURPLE

Purple is considered a royal color. It is frequently associated with mysticism and spirituality. It is calming to the nerves, bolsters creativity and is purported to quell hunger.

So if you’re on a diet…..?

BROWN

Brown is a stable color which is favored and well accepted by wealthy individuals; think mink, cognac, chocolate and caviar. It is also associated with the earth and is a good reliable and orderly color.

WHITE

White is technically not a color and is actually composed of all colors in the visible spectrum of light. It projects purity, cleanliness, and neutrality. It is a color of rebirth and fresh starts. It is a favored color for walls in our area were it works well as a blank canvas for art collections.

PEACH & PINK

Peach and pink are tender colors that can induce feelings of fantasy and whimsy. Their sweet association with cotton candy and bubble gum make them popular for young girls’ rooms.
Coral- As we mature, the lenses of our eyes begins take on a yellow cast, making our perception of deep peach and coral a more agreeable color. Peach is also flattering to more mature skin tones.

GREY

Grey is timeless, practical, solid and conservative (think of a classic grey suit). It can be both flat and boring or a soothing neutral depending on what colors you pair it and contrast it with. Grey is trending hot this year.

BLACK

Black, which is technically the absence of color, is authoritative and powerful; it is associated with night and death. Because black can evoke strong emotions too much can be overwhelming. Most colors become stronger paired with black, use black as a wonderful accent color.

COLOR IS EVERYWHERE

It surrounds us and feeds and nourishes our senses. We are profoundly affected by it; mind, body and spirit. Color may be the most powerful and cost effective design tool available. Have fun experimenting with color; there are no right or wrong choices if it makes you happy.

Allegra Dioguardi of Styled and Sold is available for color consultations. Avoid costly mistakes and let a professional select the perfect paint colors for your home. Call 631-899-3305.