Although we see color with our eyes, color energy is also absorbed through our skin and the energy field around our bodies (our aura). It not only affects us psychologically but also physiologically: experiments have shown that blind people also react to colors.
With color affecting our mind, body, and emotions, the science of color psychology is commonly used in product packaging and retail environments, yet we could all make a huge difference to our lives if we applied the knowledge more at home. Color is the one key area over which we have the most control when designing our living spaces. The more we try to understand it and explore how it influences our moods, emotions, health, and performance, the more it will improve our lives.
The energy of color
When you understand more about the vibrational energy of color, you can easily change how a room feels so that it supports whatever mood or purpose you need. For example, you can make a room cozier and relaxing by visually bringing down a high ceiling using a dark shade of paint. As all color influences our thoughts and behavior, it is important to pay attention to the color of clothes that you wear and the colors that you surround yourself with. Any color which dominates can have a profound effect.
Color affects the body
When colored light enters the body, it affects the major gland of the endocrine system – the pituitary – which controls the hormones released by the endocrine glands. These regulate many bodily functions including energy levels, metabolism, appetite, sexual drive, growth, and sleep. Exposure to red light, for example, stimulates the heart and circulation and also releases adrenaline which stimulates appetite and creativity. Surround yourself with reds and you will never relax. Yellow stimulates the brain waves and can make you feel mentally alert and positive, while blue relates to the throat and thyroid gland and is a color that soothes and calms.
When choosing interior colors for your home, it is important that they feel right for you. Also, remember that our choice od colors powerfully communicates just what we are about and how we feel.
- Strong colors can visually reduce a room size, so if you want the feeling of more space, choose paler shades
- Keep background colors neutral and let the color come from accessories, paintings, and furnishings. Bright colors have more effect against a neutral background
- Rooms with little natural lights need pale colors to emphasize what is there. Sunlight is also important as it contains all colors
- Dark colors reflect less light, so choose them for a room which is used for night-time dining or relaxation
Colors used to decorate your home are very personal, but remember, shades of the same color affect a room in different ways.
Beige – neutral
When beige and oatmeal are used in your home they create a very cool atmosphere. Beige is always easy on the eye, very comfortable to live with and an ideal choice for creating a minimalist space or a room that is a gentle, calming background to a stressful life.
Brown – protection
Brown symbolizes the color of earth and can be a good shade for making people feel protected and grounded. A brown carpet can be used in a room over a garage, or in a high-level apartment to help people feel more connected to the earth. However, large areas of brown can feel very heavy and may lead people to become introverted or to fell depressed.
Black – negativity
Black has negative connotations in most cultures, but it also indicates mystery and the unknown. It can signal an inner journey of discovery. Today, many people are out of balance emotionally and unsure of how to project their true feelings. This may be the reason for the increase in use of black as the primary color for clothes used by people in urban environments. It also indicates a disconnection from our true selves.
Yellow – wisdom
If you want to stimulate your thinking abilities and write or speak with greater clarity, introduce some yellow to your home or use it in a study. It is a color that helps to focus attention and foster new ideas. Yellow can have a great impact on our mental balance and in turn, our physical well-being. It helps to get rid of toxins in the body and reduces any negative thinking.
White – purity
White is the color of purity in most cultures and offers protection. As a wall color, it can create a very stark environment, although it can make a room look larger and the ceilings appear higher.
Blue – calming
Blue can calm us when we get stressed, but if you use too much you will never get motivated. Some people may get the blues by being in an environment with too much. Blue promotes passivity and is extremely conducive to sleep.
Green – balance
Green creates harmony, stability, and healing, and is also associated with clarity, understanding, and issues of the heart. It is the color of nature and can be used therapeutically in the home to give a feeling of open space. Green is also associated with growth and money.
Purple – spiritual
Purple is a very aristocratic and royal color. It has spiritual associations, so if you want to develop your psychic abilities and need a room or area for meditation, a shade of purple on the walls will be able to provide just the right vibrations. A more mauve color can create a mystical atmosphere in a home.
Pink – soothing
Tests carried out at the US Naval Correctional Center in Seattle (1978) with hostile youths, showed that when they were placed in a room that was painted pink, they became calm after 15 minutes and this behavior continued for 30 minutes after leaving the room. Pink promote gentleness and is associated with maternal, nurturing love as opposed to romantic love.
Red – passion
Be careful about how you use red. A touch of red is more effective than a big block, as some would find that too strong to live with. We all react differently to color, so a quiet introverted person may be thrown off balance by the use of red, while another could thrive on its stimulation. When used in color therapy, red is particularly helpful for the easing of stiff muscles and joints, and it will help to boost sluggish circulation.
Orange – optimism
Orange is joyful, warm-hearted and tolerant, and is associated with good humor and friendship. People who favor wearing orange enjoy being the life and soul of the party. Warm orange tones can be ideal as a color scheme in a dining room to enhance the pleasure of social dinners, as they help to stimulate conversation and aid digestion. Place a round dish of oranges at the center of a group and watch how the discussion becomes animated.
Which color do you use and prefer in your living space?