We’ve all experienced it. You walk into a room and it just feels right. The kitchen is warm and inviting. The guest room seems calm and serene. Or the bathroom is clean, fresh and feels spa-like. Sometimes it’s hard to put your finger on exactly why a room evokes a certain feeling, but experts say it has a lot to do with color.
Eastern Feng Shui practitioners and western color psychologists agree: color is an emotional cue.
While not everyone responds to the same color in the same way, here are the general meanings of a few common colors, the emotions they may trigger, and how to use color effectively throughout your home.
RED is powerful and intense, so consider using it in small doses – or plan to go bold. Red is considered spicy, hot, daring, dynamic and passionate. When used as an accent, you can direct the eye and draw people into and around a room using pops of color. Red is full of energy and is great for areas where you entertain. Use in kitchens or dining rooms to increase appetites. Avoid in bedrooms and areas meant for relaxation.
ORANGE is considered happy, lively, youthful and vibrant. This enthusiastic color is great for fun-loving living spaces such as playrooms or home offices for creative types. Burnt orange shades, such as cayenne and paprika, tend to evoke feelings similar to a spicy red and are great for kitchens and eating spaces. Orange is gaining popularity for front doors, too. As a blend of high-energy yellow and red, avoid orange when creating a quiet space for rest or reflection.
YELLOW is cheerful and uplifting. This color often evokes pure joy, making people think of sunflowers, fresh lemonade and smiley faces. Yellow is both optimistic and mentally stimulating, so it’s a good, sunny choice for rooms where you might need a mental lift, such as a bathroom, laundry room or home office. It makes a sunlit room glow and is great for spaces, such as breakfast nooks, where you begin your day. Avoid yellow in rooms where you seek calm and relaxation.
GREEN is soothing, restful and healing. It can also represent growth, harmony and abundance, so it’s a great choice for nearly any room in your home. Avoid using green if you associate the color with the negative aspects of abundance, such as materialism or over-consumption.
BLUE is calm, cool and collected. It’s the color of the sea and sky, so it can evoke a sense of vastness and wonder. Blue also conveys trust and reliability, which is mentally soothing. This tranquil color is ideal for relaxing bedrooms and bathrooms, or spaces devoted to quiet introspection. Avoid blue if dealing with depression, and choose any color other than blue for the energetic social hubs of your home.
PURPLE reflects imagination, wealth and deep spirituality. It tempers the high energy of red with the calm stability of blue, conveying a rich inner wisdom and nobility. Use purple in the rooms you want to ooze luxury, exploration or mystery – such as a library or reading nook – but use in moderation. Avoid purple in the spaces you want to feel more down to earth and productive.
PINK is the color of unconditional love, sympathy and compassion. Its softer shades are soothing and nurturing, while its deep shades generate more red-like energy. Soft pink reflects love, peace and hope, and works well in small doses to add warmth to colder spaces. Too much pink may show a lack of power and maturity. Avoid pink if wanting to create a space with more masculine energy.
BROWN is a nurturing and grounding earth tone. Use in quiet spaces, such as a spa-like bathroom, or where you wish to add the warmth of natural wood. Avoid using a lot of brown in rooms where you want more energy.
BLACK is introspective and can feel cold, harsh and empty. It is protective and bold, yet secretive and controlling. Use sparingly. Avoid black if you want to feel cheery, inspired or softly feminine.
WHITE is about clean, new beginnings. It also conveys purity and wholesomeness. Use it liberally in rooms where you want an accent color to pop with a punch, or create all-white kitchens or craft rooms for a clean, light and bright work space. Avoid the vastness of white if you’re unable to focus and feeling overwhelmed.
When you work with HighCraft Builders, our experienced interior designers can help guide your color selection process. Contact us for a free consultation.