How would you explain color to someone? You may have a hard time explaining it, it’s almost too simple. Color just is. It’s almost natural, unconsciously included when designing a room. But Color can be a powerful tool when used correctly. It’s the first thing someone will notice in a room (consciously or unconsciously). It can make a room feel bigger or smaller; darker or brighter. It can physically guide you through the space; force you to pay attention to something otherwise gone unseen (or vice versa).

Color will also have a psychological impact on the viewer. Designers and marketers have been using the emotional impact of color for years to influence feelings and behaviors of the general public. By being cautious of the colors you choose, you can change the mood in the room.

photo by: Jessica Ruscello – Unsplash

Red: love, strength, passion, danger

Red is a passionate color (good and bad passion) and an energizer color. It can symbolize love but also danger (funny how those are connected). It can even increase your blood pressure, heartrate and boosts your adrenaline.

The color red is best applied to spaces that are used in the evenings – when you may need an extra boost of energy and where you people come together (think dining rooms). Keep in mind, the color Red can be an overpowering. It is best to use it sparingly! Try using it as your accent – on a focal wall, in accessories like throw pillows or curtains.

Yellow: warmth, happiness, energy, friendly, cowardice

Yellow is an inviting color and another energizer color. Not surprisingly, yellow mimics the mood the of the sun – warm, happy, playful.

The color yellow is great for spaces where you want to add energy and give a welcoming vibe – think kitchens (good morning!) and entry ways. It is best used is smaller spaces or as an accent. The color yellow, although bright and cheery, can be hard for the eyes to absorb on a large scale. This can sometimes cause headaches and eye strain to the viewer.

Green: health, nature, luck, envy, money

Green is a calming color. People associate the color green with health, good luck and money (no wonder it is a calming color). It is believed to relax the viewer, reduce stress and help with fertility. It is these qualities that makes the color green a great base color for your home.

Spreading the color green throughout the home will create a calming and relaxing feel that will encourage people to sit together and enjoy.

Blue: calmness, security, trust

If you ask the people around you, no matter what their gender, you will find that the majority of them will say Blue is their favorite color. Color psychology studies have found that the color blue calms the viewer. The viewer has also been shown to find trustworthiness in the color blue. Contrary to Red, the color Blue is known to reduce your blood pressure and heartrate. If a color made you feel safe and calm, no wonder it’s your favorite color.

The color blue is best used in spaces where you want to relax and unravel. You will see it used most commonly in bathrooms, bedrooms and spas.

Purple (violet): luxury, royalty, creativity, wealth

Purple (or violet) is another relaxing color, luxurious color. It encourages creativity and symbolize royalty and wealth. Fun fact: in the ancient times the color purple was only ever seen on the royal family. It was a complex color to make and therefore only someone of royal status was able to afford anything made in the color purple – hence the association to royalty even to today. 

The color purple can be used to create a romantic feel to a space, like a bedroom or bathroom. It can also have a strong creative vibe good of an office.

White: pure, clean, sterile, airy, open

I don’t think anyone would be surprised to hear me say the color white gives the viewer the impress of purity. For centuries the white wedding dress has represented the virginity of the bride (aka purity). This imagery has been subconsciously integrated into our culture and is even true to how someone can psychologically feel about a space.

Using the color white will make a room feel bigger and brighter however if can also have a sterile feel – think a hospital. When using white as the base of a space, try using another color as an accent (on a focal wall or throw pillows) to make the space feel less sterile.

Black: power, fear, elegance, evil, wealth

The color black can create a negative mood in a space. It is commonly related to death, fear, evil. However, it can also be a symbol of power, luxury, and professionalism.

If you are choosing to use the color black in a design, you’ll want to use it with purpose. Black is a very dense color, it absorbs light which will make a space feel smaller and darker. When working black into a design it is best to use it as accents rather than the base color. Try using it in wallpaper, trim or in your accessories.

photo by: Sharon Pittaway – Unsplash

Adding the right color to a wall or room can be the simplest change but truly have the most impact. Do it with purpose. Think about the space and what you want to accomplish. Then choose the color that will get you to your goal.

photo by: Martin Widenka – Unsplash