Human emotions are complex and often affected by things we don’t realize, like the color of our surroundings. Studies have consistently shown that certain hues bring out strong emotional reactions in people. Usually, an individual decides what shade of paint to buy based on what will best match their furniture, but next time you’re ready to paint your walls, consider the feelings your choice will evoke in you and your guests.
We asked the Director of Color at Sherwin Williams, Jackie Jordan, her feelings on how paint colors can influence mood, and how certain personality types are better suited for certain colors. Here’s what she had to say about the effect of certain colors, and suggestions for calming colors:
“Color helps define a space, reflects a personality and generates a mood. When choosing colors, first think about the mood you would like to create. Cool colors such as blue, aqua and green and softer grayed tones in pinks and violets can create a sense of calm in any room; try Pink Shadow or Quest Gray. Some popular choices are Balanced Beige, Sleepy Blue, Anew Gray, Hearts Of Palm and Rainwashed. Gray is also a perfect calming color choice and can be layered with any of these colors to add to a serene space. Energetic colors such as red, oranges and yellows are great for gathering spaces, such as kitchens and family rooms. A person’s personality and lifestyle can also influence the colors they choose for their home. Someone who is a little more outgoing and vivacious might lean toward more vibrant colors, while someone who is more reserved and conservative might go with a more neutral palette. Or in many instances opposites attract. For example, if a person’s world is saturated with bright energetic colors, they might opt for a neutral, serene palette at home. It’s important to consider the architecture and location of a space, as well. Your beach house will likely have a different style than your city apartment.”
Pretty interesting, right? Read our guide on different colors and what emotions and reactions they’re known to bring out in people. Then, consider what mood and tone you want to set in each room of your house before you haul your paint cans home and get to work.
Red is a strong color affiliated with passion — good or bad. Think: “I’m seeing red.” Red is so strong that it’s proven to raise your blood pressure and heart rate. Because it’s so stimulating, red is a good color to pick for a first impression in an entry way or a room that you plan to do a lot of entertaining in.
Orange is associated with action. It’s energetic and enthusiastic nature makes people rise to the occasion and tap into their creativity. Orange isn’t a very popular color and a lot of people shy away from it, but including it in the office or workout room in your house has proven to do wonders for your energy levels.
Yellow, often affiliated with sunshine, evokes happiness in people. It’s bright, uplifting and warm, making people feel cheerful almost immediately. However, much like staring into the sun, yellow can be overwhelming in big doses. Including it in a bathroom or kitchen or in small accents of your home is a good idea as opposed to completely covering a room you spend most of your time in.
Green automatically connects us with nature, making it a calm and natural color to be around. Depending on the shade you chose, green can be bright and refreshing or dark and reserved. Either way, you’ll be relaxed and able to unwind with your family in a green room.
Blue, like green, is calm. Being the opposite of red, blue slows down your heart rate and brings down your blood pressure. It’s ideal for places of relaxation like bedrooms. Blue can be a really relaxing color in your home, but can quickly become chilly or sad. In a room that receives little sunlight, blue takes on a colder effect. Darker shades like navy are sometimes associated with sadness.
Purple is dramatic and sophisticated. Historically, purple is associated with royalty and it still holds some of the connotations today. Purple feels peaceful while adding decorative depth to a room. Purple combines the restfulness of blue and the warmth of red. It’s a good color for bedrooms or living rooms.
Traditionally, walls were almost always neutral colors, and most commonly some form of beige. If permanently slapping a bright color onto your walls scares you, I understand. As long as you pick crisper neutral colors for your more productive rooms and warmer ones for your relaxing entertainment rooms, you’ll be set. You should however, consider adding different tones to your home through colorful accents.
It’s important to be aware of the effect your visual surroundings have on your mind next time you’re in the market to decorate your home. In the long run it’s important to pick colors you feel comfortable with.
Have you ever noticed a correlation between paint colors and your mood? What colors are the rooms in your home painted? Let us know in the comments below!