Color Psychology: How Color Can Affect Your Home
If you’re looking to up the energy in a living room, create a feeling of tranquility in a bath, or impart a sense of dignity and refinement in your formal dining, the way you employ color can be an important part of the equation. The psychological properties of color are often used in marketing and advertising, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t utilize these properties in your home as well. While it should be noted that these are generalizations, – not everyone interprets color or emotion in the same way – these notes can help you understand what colors to aim for if you’re trying to curate a specific environment with your color palette.
For the purpose of brevity, I’ll focus on some of the more commonly used palettes:
- Blues of any shade, tone, or tint are commonly associated with calm, serene environments. A great application is a pale, sea foam green in a bathroom or an accent band of a cobalt blue mosaic tile in a shower.
- Yellows (typically employed in some form of beige or bisque) portray a sense of warmth and help your guests feel welcome. They serve as a good, not-so-neutral neutral and when paired with some soft, warm lighting (~2700-3000 Kelvin), can create a cozy environment.
- Whites are widely used in contemporary and minimalist design, because of the purity, class, and simplicity they suggest. Keep an all-white room from looking too sterile by incorporating different textures, using warm lighting, or employing multiple different undertones of white.
- Grays and blacks are sophisticated colors, and the darker you go with them, the more the sophistication transforms into elegance and formality. Dark colors like these can be overpowering – consider using them as accents. A unique idea for utilizing grey with transitional or contemporary designs is to paint all of the interior doors a dark gray (think Sherwin Williams’ Urbane Bronze), a fun break from the traditional white trim palette.
If you’re interested in reading more on the psychology behind color, make sure to download our color of psychology quick guide that includes ideas of paint colors for every mood.