The Psychology of Color February 13 2012, 0 Comments

One of the most interesting questions I get while working with a client is "What color would you paint this room or use on this chair?"  As an Interior Designer, you really need to get to know your client, their lifestyle and feel for their space to have the right answer to that all encompassing question. It's one of the most important factors in design. What color we wear and what color our rooms are can greatly affect us.  So....we thought that we would help you to understand why color is so important and what each color has to say about you and your space.

Let's begin with Cool Colors.

Blue is a cool color and conveys Dependability, Tranquility, Faithfulness, and Sensitivity.  It's calming and you immediately feel very secure with blue.  It's like the sky and the sea, no matter what, it will always be there. Blue decreases respiration and lowers blood pressure.  Psychologically, very comforting.

Blue Lake House Retreat

Green is another cool color and it conveys Tranquility, Restfulness and Health. There is actually a bit of scientific logic applied to this – because the eye focuses the color green directly on the retina, it is said to be less straining on your eye muscles.   Like nature, from forests to parks, green epitomizes life and growth. FYI: Green is also the symbol of fertility as brides in the 15th century wore green wedding gowns.

Country Green Hearth Room

Purple is also a cool color and it conveys Royalty, Creativity, Balance, and Peacefulness. Purple utilizes both red and blue to provide a nice balance between stimulation and serenity that is supposed to encourage creativity. Light purple is said to result in a peaceful surrounding, thus relieving tension.
Romantic Purple Bedroom

The Warm Colors.

Red is a warm color that conveys Power, Strength, Confidence, Love and Passion.  Red is a versatile color that can symbolize everything from passionate love to violent warfare. Intense and aggressive, its influence isn’t only psychological - it’s physical too. Studies have shown that seeing the color red not only speeds up your heart rate, it makes you breathe faster too. It also stimulates your appetite. Using Red on an accent wall will show the passion in you!
Red Accent Wall
Orange is another warm color and it conveys Sensuality, Intuition, and Independence. The color Orange is generally perceived as the warmest of all warm colors. Positioned between Red and Yellow on the color wheel, Orange brings a little of both traits. Orange in it's most saturated form attracts attention.  FYI: Interestingly, the color orange also has a spiritual connection, it is a holy color in India and Nepal. 
Orange Contemporary Bathroom
Yellow is also a cool color and it conveys Happiness, Imagination, Warmth, and Hunger.  Like Red and Orange, Yellow will make your stomach growl. That is why you see so many restaurants using the color yellow in their dining areas and also in their marketing.  Yellow reflects more light and stimulates your eye.
Yellow Mediterranean  Kitchen
The Neutral Colors
White is the first of all Neutral colors.  It conveys Clean, Pristine, Sterile, and Airy.  On the floor, walls and furniture, white can make a room feel larger then it is and add crisp freshness to your room.  An all white room will look sterile and cold so if your are a neutral color lover, you would definitely want to add other neutrals such as grey, black or brown  to your room so as to make it warmer and less sterile.

White Living Room

Grey is another neutral color and it conveys Safe, Calm, and Understated.  Grey can be a wonderful background color as it will make other colors "pop".  Used well, Grey can also lend interiors to calm and understated confidence but it must be the correct tone/undertone and mixed with other neutrals in the right form.  Too much of the color Grey can be depressing especially if mixed with the wrong accent colors.
Grey, Terra Cotta and Beige Hearth Room
Black is also a neutral color and it conveys Sophistication, Elegance, Power, and Prestige.  The color black is great when you want to draw attention to fine  features, furniture with good bones, and any ornamental detail.  The color black absorbs light so using it against lighter colors or other neutrals will draw attention to it.  Use the color black wisely, like eyeliner for the room, to create a chic sophistication.
Black, White and Red Contemporary Formal Sitting Room
Brown is the last neutral color and it conveys Earthiness, Warmth, Depth and Welcoming.  Brown consists of such a mix of colors that there isn't a place on the color wheel for it. Natural browns such as  wood, wicker, straw, stone, and earth pigments - are almost always gorgeous, but synthetic browns can occasionally come across as one-dimensional and obnoxious.
Mocha Brown Master Bedroom Suite
Keep in mind that certain shades or tones may result in very different meanings. Also, the context around the color, and even surrounding colors, can have an effect. Lighter colors tend to make rooms look more spacious and give it a physiological lift.  While darker colors tend to make a room look smaller, heavier  and with long exposure can create monotony and depression.  
So before you begin your color project, get in touch with a color consultant at Pezzo Bello Interiors to get you on the right track!  You'll be glad you did.

Antionette King, Designer
Pezzo Bello Interiors
"Making Ordinary Homes, Extraordinary!"