If These Walls Could Talk…


Have you ever noticed that there are some rooms you just love to go into and others that you find unsettling? Without realizing it colors affect our moods and the way we function. Interior decorators have known this for years and use this science of color as a part of their trade on a daily basis. But you don’t have to be a professional to learn how to use color to your benefit.

How we react to color is usually on an unconscious and almost instinctual level and that reaction is purely our own. You may love the color blue because you find it soothing and calming whereas, I may find  that same color unsettling. There is no right or wrong reaction to any given color but there is scientific backup to show how the use of color effects our moods.

Try this little quiz to see if you can tell which color belongs to which effect (answers at the bottom)     

        1) Blue                             A. energy, vitality, and excitement

       2) Orange                        B. harmony and balance

       3) Red                              C. dramatic, sensual, and sophisticated

       4) Yellow                         D. truth, serenity, and harmony

       5) Green                          E. intellect, and used for mental stimulation

       6) Purple                         F. social and exuberant warmth

       7) Black                           G. purity, innocence and joy

       8) White                          H. suppressive

       9) Pink                             I. restful and calming

       10) Grey                          J. powerful, aloof, and intimidating

You might be hard pressed to try to figure which is which although some are fairly obvious because again we react to them on a subconscious level. I’ll give you a hint: pink is restful and calming and is the color of equilibrium. That is why delinquent children and even adults placed in pink holding cells had fewer outbursts when it was tried in the state of California. Conversely, couples fought more and babies cried more in a bright yellow room.

These are the kind of things you need to consider when painting and decorating your home. Green is a restful color and will help you sleep so it would be a good choice for bedrooms. This might be ringing some bells for you as you recall color schemes that were wrong for the atmosphere you were trying to create in a given room. Perhaps your yellow and white bedroom looked beautiful in the day light but was unsettling when you were trying to relax and fall asleep. Keeping this knowledge in mind can help you enormously when you are ready to redecorate.

How to get started

Start with determining  what the room is going to be used for. Do you want to use warm colors that stimulate activity or cool colors that create a more tranquil mood?

Colors not only enhance the atmosphere of a room but they can also visually change the dimensions of a room. The use of warm colors makes things like doors seem to stand out more and cool colors tend to recede or withdraw. You have to be careful though as there is a fine line between a color being aggressive and that same color being cozy. Usually the difference lies in the tones used. Walls, like our waistlines, appear longer and taller with vertical stripes.

Placement of Colors

Did you know that colors could help with weight management too? Using the color orange in your place settings or table scape  stimulates the appetite whereas the color violet suppresses it. Darker hues are said to slow our eating and brighter colors makes us eat faster. Think McDonald’s.  They use the brightest of the primary colors to get you in and out fast.

Colors affect our moods and feelings and can evoke physical reactions.  Even though the temperature is the same, people feel cooler in a blue room and warmer in a red room. With all the research and studies done on our color personalities and what the predicted effects of color should be on us, we have to remember that color is still a very personal choice. What works for one will not work for another; when decorating, and getting a “professional” opinion it is important to be honest with them. It doesn’t matter what combination works on their palette or in the showroom, it has to work for you. Make every room inviting using the colors that evoke that feeling in you. Yourself surrounding yourself with the colors you like.

Stop into Webster Interiors for a FREE in-store paint color consultation, or to get 50% off an in- consultation for Sherwin-Williams Customers

Answers: 1)D   2)F   3)A   4)E   5)B   6)C   7)J   8)G   9)I   10)   How did you do ?

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