The Psychology of Color
March 14th, 2013 | by The Update
Tips for Decorating with Color
The colors you choose make a statement, so you’ll want to be sure you’re making the right one! Check out this guide to the different emotions and impressions evoked by the basic 9 colors:
Red has more personal associations than any other color. Recognized as a stimulant, red is inherently exciting and the amount of red is directly related to the level of energy perceived Red draws attention and a keen use of red as an accent can immediately focus attention on a particular element.
— increases enthusiasm
— stimulates energy and can increase the blood pressure, respiration, heartbeat, and pulse rate
— encourages action and confidence
— provides a sense of protection from fears and anxiety
Orange, a close relative of red, sparks more controversy than any other hue. There is usually a strong positive or negative association with orange and true orange generally elicits a stronger “love it” or “hate it” response than other colors. Fun and flamboyant, orange radiates warmth and energy.
— stimulates activity
— stimulates appetite
— encourages socialization
Yellow shines with optimism, enlightenment, and happiness. Shades of golden yellow carry the promise of a positive future. Yellow will advance from surrounding colors and instill optimism and energy, as well as spark creative thoughts.
— stimulates mental processes
— stimulates the nervous system
— activates memory
— encourages communication
Green occupies more space in the spectrum visible to the human eye than most colors, and is second only to blue as a favorite color. Green is the pervasive color in the natural world, making it an ideal backdrop in interior design because we are so used to seeing it everywhere.
— soothes the emotions
— relaxes mentally, as well as physically
— helps alleviate depression, nervousness, and anxiety
— offers a sense of renewal, self-control, and harmony
Blue is seen as trustworthy, dependable, and committed. The color of the ocean and the sky, blue is perceived as a constant in our lives. As the collective color of the spirit, it invokes rest and can cause the body to produce chemicals that are calming.
— calms and sedates
— aid intuition
Purple embodies the balance of red’s stimulation and blue’s calm. With a sense of mystic and royal qualities, purple is a color often well-liked by very creative or eccentric types and is the favorite color of adolescent girls.
— calms the mind and nerves
— offers a sense of spirituality
— encourages creativity
White projects purity, cleanliness, and neutrality. Doctors don white coats, brides traditionally wear white gowns, and a white picket fence surrounds a safe and happy home.
— aids mental clarity
— encourages us to clear clutter or obstacles
— evokes purification of thoughts or actions
— enables fresh beginnings
Gray is the color of intellect, knowledge, and wisdom. It is perceived as long-lasting, classic, and often as sleek or refined. It is a color that is dignified, conservative, and carries authority. Gray is a perfect neutral, which is why designers often use it as a background color.
— creates expectations
— encourages feelings of intelligence
Black is authoritative and powerful and can evoke strong emotions. Black represents a lack of color, the primordial void, an emptiness that opens the door for new potential. It is a classic color for clothing, possibly because it makes the wearer appear thinner and more sophisticated.
— makes one feel inconspicuous
— provides a restful emptiness
— is mysterious by evoking a sense of potential and possibility.
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Tips for Decorating with Color