The Rainbow In Your Mind
There is a hidden world within the rainbow. The colors we see and love and use within our interiors all evoke certain moods or play upon our tendencies. I took an entire class on this in college and found it so fascinating! Some designers decide to specialize with how they practice design; some in healthcare, some in hospitality, some in merchandising, some in general commercial, and some in residential. Each specialty utilizes these color psychology concepts, and I even find myself giving out tidbits of this information to anyone who asks…or to any willing ear while I ramble. Ha! Each color has its’ own vibrational energy which can affect our well-being, which is how colors can be used therapeutically to affect moods and health.
Colors That Calm
Green is nature. Green is fresh. Green is life-giving. Except for the brightest neon green, most of the greens are calming and peaceful. Use this color in a room that needs balance, or in a space that you want to lift the spirits of the company you keep. Colors that pair well with green are yellows, pinks, and corals. A rich blue also pairs elegantly with an earthy green. Green relieves stress and balances our emotions.
Blue is tranquil. Blue is peace. Blue is the ultimate calming color. Blue has a wonderfully healing element, and is widely used in healthcare settings. Blue is symbolic of water, which is nature’s cleanser. Blue can relieve pain, promote healing, and can bring you into a deeper sleep. Blue can alleviate anxiety and insomnia. Blue can increase your sense of self-worth. Colors that pair well with blue are oranges, yellows, and fuscia.
Purple is unique. Purple is inspiring. Purple has the unique ability to both calm us and invigorate us. Purple can ground us in times of still and quiet. Purple can spark creativity for artists and writers. No other color can bring about both calm and new energy all at once. Purple can alleviate writers’ block, depression, and lack of direction. Colors that pair well with purple are greens, yellows, and pinks.
Colors That Energize
Red is bold. Red is brave. Red is power. Red is so intense that when used in dining rooms the diners subconsciously eat faster. Red can be aggravating, anxiety-inducing and stressful. Red is best when used in small amounts here and there. If you’re feeling sluggish, red will pep you up. Lovers of red are fast-talkers, quick-thinkers, or maybe even hot-tempered. Red can help with low energy and anemia. If you’re prone to anxiety, red is not the best choice of color for you. Colors that pair well with red are turquoise, orange, yellow, blue and more. Red can be a very playful color when paired with almost any color!
Yellow is uplifting. Yellow is happy. Yellow is vitality. If you’re prone to depression, yellow can certainly uplift your spirits! But yellow in large amounts can also be anxiety-inducing, much like red. Yellow focuses the mind, sharpens your thinking, and can revitalize your body’s general health. Colors that pair well with yellow are purples, blues, and greens.
Neutrals and Their Impact
While neutrals don’t have quite the power over our psyche as the more bold colors, they do still have a place in affecting our well-being to a small extent. In residential design, which is my specialty, most of my clients prefer a generally neutral palette with touches of color here and there, mostly used like accents. Not all of my project follow that pattern, but a lot do. A little information about each neutral can help in knowing what colors to pair with them to meet clients’ psychological needs. I fully believe that good design and good use of color can impact our mental well-being in positive ways. A recent client of mine confessed to me after her remodel completed that her “new” home brought her so much joy. She now looks forward to coming home each day, and has been more intentional about carving out some quiet time to reflect upon her life in a beautiful setting. She swears that she doesn’t know how she lived and survived mentally before this! I’m telling you….design impacts your mental health FAR more than you realize!
Black, white and gray are all such grounding colors to use in a space. Black can be bold and dramatic, adding sophistication to a space immediately. White can make a space feel so serene and pure. Gray is a great neutral because almost any color pairs so well with it. Although, I admit, I am so tired of gray. It has been trending for so long and so many clients beg for gray in their homes. It’s probably just me, because I spec gray day in and day out, but I’m ready for the next big color trend so that my job would get just a tad more exciting to me!