Sick of the Same Scene? Spicing Up Your Home with New Colors

Are you stuck in a rut?  Does the inside of your home make you feel bland, blah, and boring? Well, then it’s time to shake things up with some new colors!  

In his article on color psychology, David Freeman quotes noted residential and industrial designer, Leslie Harrington. She states that “Color is a universal, nonverbal language, and we all intuitively know how to speak it. What color you paint your walls isn’t just a matter of aesthetics. It’s a tool that can be leveraged to affect emotions and behavior.”  

With that understanding, how can you leverage color in your home to impact your mood and affect others?

Tones and moods

Reds are used in food packaging for a reason – it evokes primal hunger responses in a viewer.  Shades of red, though, provide a sense of sweet innocence. Using red is dependent on the mood you are trying to set.

Oranges, being a balance of red and yellow, bring a subdued sunniness and passion.  Orange is a very dominant color and can be overwhelming in large doses.

Earth tones, neutral and brown, bring warmth and comfort into rooms.  Where people are comfortable, people sit and talk.  Areas in your home you intend for lingering in conversation could have walls and details in these warm colors.

Blues are a soothing color, conducive to peace and calm.  In bedrooms blue hues, have been know to aid in sleep and relaxation.  The down side of blue is it is a cool color, often giving people a sense of chilliness.

Green draws us back to the primal – it evokes thoughts of forests and fields.  It provides us with a source of tranquility, as though we are stepping into nature.  It is also a very thoughtful color, refreshing to the eye and relaxing.  

White creates airy openness,  In a white environment there is a sense of cleanliness, sometimes to the point of sterility.  White can be very effective at opening up small spaces and white focuses the eye on colors it surrounds.

Black is all about drama.  Even in small doses it can have a powerful, primal impact on mood.  That pretty much sets its purpose and mood.  Grey shades though are very effective wall colors.  Greys make color accents pop, and white against grey brings a classical simplicity.

Yellow might be thought of as a happy color, and in small doses and light shades it is.  Too much yellow and people associate it with anger and rage.  So tread lightly with yellow!

Be careful how far you go
As you work through your color scheme, think through how the rooms you will be painting are used, what response you are seeking to evoke.  How do the fixtures in your room match the paint color you are considering?  If you are too drastic, this project could go from an inexpensive mood changer to an expensive downer quickly.