Color in home decor is about much more than what looks pretty, says Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “Color surrounds us and defines our world,” she says. From early infancy on, colors in our environment affect both our thoughts and emotions, Eiseman explains.
The most common way homeowners have added value to their houses is by painting the interior, according to Allstate’s “It’s Not Just Stuff” survey. But not just any color will do. Think of it as a design tool you can use to help make a room feel calm, exciting, inviting or uplifting.
Here’s a look at the psychology of colors and how you can best put them to use in your home.
What it evokes: Cleanliness and freshness, says Sally Augustin, founder of Design with Science and a fellow of the American Psychological Association.
Where to use it: Bathrooms, says Augustin, who recommends complementing the space with vibrant decor or furnishings.
What it evokes: Calmness and peace, according to Augustin.
Where to use it: The bedroom is a top choice. “Conventional wisdom has it that this is one of the best shades for relaxation in a bedroom,” Eiseman says, especially when the blue is relatively bright.
What it evokes: Excitement and happiness, according to Eiseman.
Where to use it: Yellow is popular for kitchens, Augustin says. Bon appétit!
What it evokes: Softness and sweetness, Augustin says.
Where to use it: Bathrooms, if you want to add a romantic touch, she suggests. It may also give you a rosy glow in the mirror.
What it evokes: Invigoration and activity, Augustin says.
Where to use it: Kitchens, dining rooms and workout rooms. The extra fuel may come in handy, she adds.
Image courtesy of Tim Andersen Architect.
What it evokes: Balance and tranquility, Augustin says.
Where to use it: Light green is great for bedrooms, bathrooms, home offices or any room you want to relax in after a long day. It has a calming effect, leading to better concentration, Augustin explains.
What it evokes: Warmth and comfort, according to Augustin.
Where to use it: Living rooms and dens. “Brown walls make an area seem smaller,” Augustin says. “Use brown if you have a large room that you want to make cozier.”