Color, and more specifically, color psychology, has been a continuous area of interest in design. At home, specific colors have been associated with evoking moods and bodily responses and, as such, we assign certain colors to different rooms. That is not to say that there are strict rules that need to be followed when it comes to injecting colors, tones, and shades into your abode.
In business, for example, we see fast food spaces drenched in reds and oranges, long associated with hunger. At home, red brings a shot of energy and is known to raise blood pressure. The kitchen, dining area, and entertainment or game room are traditionally best suited for red. Pick a sofa, an area rug, or a trio of bar stools for a shot of this fiery color.
However, why not bring red into the bedroom, such as through a deep crimson accent wall that suggests passion? A mind stimulating color, red would also bode well in a home study by way of an accent chair. Light pink—a tone of red—while associated with a baby girl’s nursery can actually have a soothing effect and is a unique choice for an adult’s room.
For those who love rich and opulent colors, a deep purple represents wealth and luxury. It can be used to create an atmosphere of sophistication. When watered down to a lighter shade of lilac, it can create a feeling of calm and peace. Not keen on lavender walls? You can copy that same effect with a simple arrangement of fresh or artificial flowers by a sunlit windowsill or on a coffee table.
Of course, cultural factors also influence people’s perception of color. For example, in Ireland, green—the favorite color of fairies—is thought to bring bad luck. But that doesn’t prevent green, with its fresh quality reminiscent of nature, from being a choice bedroom color due to its relaxing, de-stressing effect. Blue, another bedroom favorite, is believed to soothe pain. Either one or a combination of both of these colors would work just as well in high-traffic, high-energy areas like the kitchen. It can be as simple as choosing dinnerware with sky blue accents or a funky set of lime plates and bowls.
Yellow, the third primary color, evokes sunshine and brings feelings of happiness. Like red and orange, it is energizing. Conventional knowledge advises against using yellow in great doses for its association with frustration and anger. Yet, if you personally love yellow, there shouldn’t be any reason to keep from painting your living room walls in buttercup. The effect can be balanced by mixing in neutrals like dove grey or a classic, crisp white.
With knowledge of how color can set the mood, feel free to use it as you see fit, tempering where needed by combining it with big pieces in neutrals or warm wooden finishes. Whether you love passionate rubies, sunny yellows, or earthy greens, color is great way to create a home you will surely love. After all, decorating is an expression of personal style, a manifestation of what brings you happiness.
Punky Dario-Villena loves playing with cats, whipping up home-cooked meals, and decorating the rental apartment she shares with her husband. She documents the joys of domestic life on her blog, Punky Plays House (https://punkyplayshouse.wordpress.com/). When she's not doing DIY artwork, Punky occupies herself with her work in advertising and real estate brokerage.
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