Color Psychology: How It Can Help You Choose Paint Colors
Color plays a huge role in both design and influencing our emotions. This is known as color psychology, and if you’re in the endless hunt to find the right colors to bring into your home, it might help narrow down those numerous options. Hitting the local paint store and facing that wall of paint swatches can be intimidating, but with a little insight into the colors themselves, and which rooms they complement best, you will have the right tools to freshen up your space with the perfect color schemes.
Being the most eye-catching color on the spectrum, red is perfect for making a bold statement in entertaining spaces like the living or dining room. Darker shades of red create a warm and inviting atmosphere, while lighter tones can make a space energetic and powerful. Use maroons and other deep reds for a bar or cocktail space perfect for entertaining guests, or use coral in your dining area to inspire upbeat conversation. Table settings, vases or other decor pieces are a great way to tie in this bold color without it becoming overwhelming to the eye. In the kitchen, use cherry red appliances, lighting fixtures, and kitchen utensils for a nostalgic 1950s design, and accent with chrome and white subway tile to make a classic design more modern. This will create an inviting, joyous space to gather with friends and family.
Yellow is the brightest color, and creates a happy, cheerful, and fun atmosphere that can also inspire both optimism and creativity. Use yellow in a children’s playroom, or a room that may lack natural light. Mimicking the tones of the sun, yellow can help to make a dimly lit room feel more spacious and bright. Yellow can become overwhelming if used too much within a space, so tie it in using decor pieces, or accent furnishing and accessories. In a playroom, invest in unique but comfortable yellow accent seating that will inspire your kids to curl up and read their favorite book. Use neutral tones to balance the space, and fun decor accessories that incorporate hints of yellow. Or, use a patterned wall paper as an accent wall that includes hues of yellow to create a fun and creative design.
Green’s vibrancy and naturally derived tones create a sense of freshness and vitality in any space within the home. Although, greens calming effects make it the best fit for a bedroom or meditation space. Green has the ability to enhance mental clarity and creativity, and can be brought in through a darker toned wall color or accent wall, bedding accessories, curtains, or even through fresh plants. You can also create a relaxation or meditation space with green toned workout equipment, wall decor, and air purifying greenery.
The tranquil qualities of a clear sky, or the soothing ocean are where blue’s calming qualities are derived from, and they have a similar effect on our mood when introduced into a space. Bring a little of the outdoors in using dark or light hues in a bedroom or bathroom. You could even design an at-home spa in your bathroom, that evokes calming elegance through vintage inspired appliances, porcelain features, and ornate lighting. Use denim-colored walls as a bold contrast, and silver accents. Or use light blues in your bedroom through wall color, patterned wallpaper, or bedding, with light-stained furnishings, and fresh flowers and plants. This will create a tranquil space to help promote sleep and relaxation.
Another naturally derived color, brown creates a warm, safe, harmonious environment, and its versatility makes it a fit for any space in your home. Shades of brown do not always need to be brought in using paint colors, especially because it can make a room seem empty and flat if used in excess. Darker shades can be brought into a space using dark-stained wood furnishings, like dining room sets made from reclaimed wood. Or, invest in leather family room seating for your living space to have comfortable seating fit for guests and family. Lighter, more neutral shades are perfect for living rooms, and pair nicely with bold pops of color to create balance within the space.
Black is a classic color that can create a dark and mysterious atmosphere, or an elegant and vintage-inspired design. Lighter tones like concrete and silver are the most common tones used in popular design trends like industrial and modern farmhouse, and can act as a contrast to darker tones. Use black in your bedroom as a wall color with white molding, bedding, and light wood furnishings. This creates a modern, minimalistic, Scandinavian-inspired design. Use fresh plants to further brighten the space, and gold decor accents for added elegance.
Looking for More Inspiration?
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Category Home Inspiration
Cathy Harrington is Lyon Real Estate’s director of marketing, overseeing the content on the Lyon Local blog, website and social media channels.