Did you know that colors evoke feelings from people? Advertisers and designers alike have known for a long time that they could manipulate your emotions just by changing the colors of a room, logo, or advertisement. For this reason it is important to understand color theory so that your decor can make you feel good! With a good design, you can sleep better in your bedrooms, feel happier in your living room, feel more relaxed in your bath rooms and be more productive in your office!
Before we get into the feelings of specific colors, I want to talk briefly about feng shui. If you are reading this post, most likely you are trying to find the best designs for your home to help you feel more comfortable and happy in your home. Feng Shui has a lot to say about colors influence on how you feel in your home. One important thing to understand about feng shui and color theory in general is that, regardless of what information is put here, the colors that feel good to you, are the colors you should use. Painting a room a color you do not like can increase feelings of depression, irritability and fatigue. Just because blue might help cure your insomnia, if you really want to use purple in your room, then using blue will usually not be beneficial for you! These color feelings are just to help you choose the color that might help you achieve you goal of how you want a room to feel. Feng Shui colors are based on the 5 elements; water, wood, fire, earth and metal. These are not always the best colors to use in your home if you are trying to create a nice and relaxing atmosphere.
Here are some additional concepts to keep in mind:
- Neutrals = good
- Too much white = bad (eyestrain)
- Bold colors should be used in moderation
- Cold/Wet Rooms (bathrooms) feel better when decorated with warm colors
The first color I am going to talk about is Red.
Red is an amazing color that invokes some of the deepest and strongest emotions we have. Red represents power, energy, war, passion, strength and love. It can be a great color to use in kitchens and dining areas because of its ability to stimulate appetites (have you ever noticed how many restaurants have red logos/decors). It also has been known to enhance metabolism, respiration and blood pressure. Different shades of red can also invoke different levels of these emotions;
- Light Red is associated with joy, sexuality, sensitivity and love.
- Pink: Romance, love, friendship, unselfish love, passiveness.
- Dark Red: Rigor, willpower, rage, anger, courage, leadership, malice and wrath.
- Brown: Yes brown is considered a shade of red. It is usually associated with masculine qualities (tends to be the default decoration color of most men in my experience). It represents stability, withholding emotion and retreating from the world.
The second color in our color spectrum is Orange.
Orange is a really strong color. It has amazing psychological effects on our emotions and body. It is the most “positive” color in the color spectrum. It is associated with joy and sunshine. It evokes feelings of happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, and encouragement. The most amazing thing about this color is it can actually act as an anti-depressant. It has been shown to increase oxygen to the bran and stimulate mental activity and appetite.
- Dark Orange: Deceit and distrust.
- Red-Orange: Desire, aggression, domination, sexual passion and pleasure.
- Gold: The main word that comes to mind when most people think of the color gold is prestige. It is also association with illumination, wisdom, and wealth. It is also used as a symbol of high quality.
- Light Orange: Confused and Concerned (might not be the best color for your babies nursery!).
Continuing along with our color spectrum… the next color is Yel.(That says yel if you can’t read it)
If you consider that orange is really a mix of yel and red, then we can deduce by all the anger emotions association with red can be removed from orange in the yel color. Yel has a lot of similarities with orange. It is associated with joy, happiness, intellect, honor, loyalty, leisure and energy. Yel tends to have a very warming effect on the mind and can be very uplifting and builds self-confidence. It evokes feelings of cheerfulness, simulates mental activity, clear thinking, decision-making, and good judgement. It also generates muscle activity. Many also associate this with food and stimulating your metabolism. The difficult thing with yel is that it is easy to make mistakes with. If over-used, yel can have a disturbing effect. Its been shown that babies tend to cry more in yel rooms than a room painted a more relaxing color such as blue. It can also be associated with instability. Another thing to consider is that shades of yel are visually unappealing. If you start to go into darker shades of yel, it starts to take on a dingy look that most people don’t like to look at.
- Dingy (dull) Yel: Decay, sickness, fear and jealousy
- Light Yel((light yel): Freshness and intellect.
Next is Green, the mixture between blue and yel!
Most people can guess what green is associated with…. money and nature! Green brings about very strong feelings of safety, freshness, fertility and harmony. Green has also been shown to have a healing power. It is very easy color on the eye and we often associate it with stability and endurance. It can also be associated with a lack of experience.
- Dark Green: Associated with $Money$. Also brings about feelings of ambition, greed and jealousy.
- Yel-Green: Sickness, discord, cowardice, fixation, intrigue and amazement.
- Aqua: Healing color that brings about strong emotions. Also can help feel protected.
- Olive Green: Traditional color of peace. Olive and dark greens tend to have the opposite effect of the light greens and can have a detrimental effect on emotional and physical health.
Now we arrive at our last primary color…. blue!
Blue is my favorite color to use in my home because of its effects on my psychological health. Blue is associated with depth and stability, trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith and truth. If any of you readers have ever read The Color Code by Dr. Taylor Hartman, you might be interested to know that I am an equal mix of blue and white in his color theory. What’s even more interesting is that I tend to use those colors in my home decor because I am naturally drawn to them. Blue has been shown to be beneficial to the mind and body. Unfortunately it ss human metabolism, but it does produce a calming effect of tranquility and ers blood pressure. Along with brown it is a very masculine color. It also suppresses appetite, so according to feng shui principles it might not be the best color to paint your dining room or kitchen. Another benefit of using the color blue is that it can help to cure insomnia. Most humans associate blue with night-time and sleeping, so painting your bedroom a nice dark blue color can actually help you to sleep. It stimulates mental control, clarity and creativity, but dark blue can be very depressing, so it must be used in moderation.
- Dark Blue: eliminate insomnia, risk of being depressing. Represents knowledge, power, integrity and seriousness.
- Light Blue: understanding, softness, health, healing and tranquility. (this tends to be a good color for baby rooms for these reasons)
- Teal: Induces feelings of contentment, satisfaction and calmness.
And the last color is purple.
Purple has a purifying and antiseptic effect. It suppresses hunger and metabolism. It helps to balance your mind and can help with obsessions and fears. Purple generally represents royalty, nobility ambition and luxury. (When you think of kings and queens, you tend to think of the color purple). It’s associated with wealth, extravagance, wisdom, dignity and independence. Some also associate it with creativity, mystery and magic.
- Light Purple: Romantic, nostalgic and feminine.
- Dark Purple: Gloom, frustration and overall sad feeling.
- Indigo: Stimulates intuition and imagination.
- Violet: Brings feelings of peace and combats shock and fear. Tends to have a cleansing effect with emotional disturbances. It can also stimulate creativity, spirituality and compassion.
I said we were done, but I have a few other neutral colors that I want to touch on.
White can be a very peaceful color. It can dispel shock and despair. It tends to bring feelings of uncluttered openness. Too much white can generate feelings of separation as well as make you feel cold and isolated. It represents light, goodness, innocence, purity and virginity. It is the color of perfection. In section 3 I go into more details about the right and wrong ways to use the color white.
Black represents power, elegance, formality, death, evil, mystery, fear and the unknown. In general it has a negative connotation to it. It can represent strength and authority, but has been said to prevent you from growing and changing. In general black is a very difficult color to incorporate into home decor. Similarly to white, if done incorrectly, or if overdone, it can have drastic consequences. I recommend if you like using black, stick to using it in your furniture or opt for a dark chocolate-brown. It will bring more warmth into your . But if you are going for a very elegant and formal appearance, black might be the perfect color for you!
Gray is a great color that oftentimes gets underestimated and forgotten about. It stimulates feelings of independence and self-reliance. It can also represent evasion, non-commitment and indicates separation lack of involvement and ultimately loneliness. When you are trying to portray a very regal, sophisticated appearance, gray can be a great accent color to make your main color really stand out.