Does color affect your mood?
Does our environment really have the ability to change our moods, or even cause depression?
If you’re not sure, think about how you feel when your office is messy, your bathroom is dirty, or your living room is messy. Do you feel scattered when your desk is littered with papers, 3 days of cups of coffee and a half-eaten sandwich? (Maybe that’s just my desk)
But you feel disorganized, don’t you? I feel MENTALLY more organized when my office is organized.
I don’t think there is any doubt that our environment (interior or exterior) affects our emotions. And we can be affected by different things; general clutter or chaos (this can be a dirty/messy space or it can be a cluttered space with accessories!), general feeling of warm versus cold, and one of the most important factors: Color!
Color is light, and light is energy. Scientists have discovered that real physiological changes occur in humans when exposed to certain colors. Colors can stimulate, excite, depress, calm, increase appetite, and create a feeling of warmth or coolness. This is called chromodynamics.
The human eye can see up to 7 million colors.
Some colors and/or color relationships can be irritating to the eyes, cause headaches, and wreak havoc on your vision.
Other colors and/or color combinations are calming and make us feel better.
The proper use of color can maximize productivity, minimize eye strain, and relax the entire body.
Red stimulates energy, it means strong emotions like love, hate, anger (“seeing red”). Infamous symbols associated with the color red are stop signs, fire hydrants, and hearts.
The color red has been found to raise blood pressure and cause people to take risks they wouldn’t normally take. That’s why Las Vegas casinos use red neon lights (take note next time you’re there).
But it also has a positive effect, think “pink glasses”. You’ve heard the saying, but did you know it really works? A company that markets red contact lenses for animals found that chickens they tested ate less, produced more eggs and didn’t fight as much.
The color pink is associated with love and romance. It has a calming effect and as such was often used in some prisons to calm inmates in the 1950s and in opposing team locker rooms to keep players passive. However, the researchers found that this effect only occurred during the initial exposure and that the inmates actually became more agitated as they got used to the pink. So now you know why you would get so mad after many long visits with Grandma!
The color orange is associated with energy, warmth, enthusiasm, and fall, as well as caution and, of course, Halloween.
Orange stimulates the appetite and is often used in restaurants and dining rooms.
Orange has been found to increase oxygen supply to the brain and stimulate mental activity, making it a good color choice for creative businesses.
It is the most divided of all colors: people love it or hate it. It is more accepted among the younger generations.
Yellow is associated with optimism, happiness, energy, and restlessness. It is the most tiring color, especially the brightest tints because it reflects more light and causes excessive stimulation of the eyes.
If you’re planning a baby’s room, don’t use bright yellow; babies tend to cry more in yellow rooms.
It has been shown in a color study that husbands and wives tend to fight more in a yellow kitchen.
Yellow does have some good uses though, it’s the first color the eye recognizes so it’s great for signage. Yellow is also known to increase metabolism, making it a good choice for plates or tablecloths.
These days, green is associated with sustainability. But it is also linked to tranquility, peace, good luck, jealousy and money.
Green has a calming effect, which is why the “green room” came about. Green also relieves stress and is a good color choice for an office.
Research has shown that the color green can improve reading ability. Placing a clear sheet of green film over reading material can increase speed and comprehension.
Blue is associated with calm and serenity, as well as sadness. It can also create feelings of distance.
It is one of the most popular colors, but it is also considered the least desirable. Weight loss programs suggest that you eat blue plates to lose weight. The reason is that there are not many blue foods in nature, and our minds associate blue in food with poison or spoiled food.
Blue can lower your heart rate and body temperature – it’s a “cool” color in more ways than one.
The preferred color for men is blue.
Purple has long been associated with royalty and wealth. It is also associated with wisdom and spirituality.
It’s an uplifting color that encourages creativity, making it a great choice for design businesses and schools. It has been shown to stimulate the part of the brain that is used for problem solving.
Purple is very popular with creative or eccentric types and is the favorite of many teenage girls.
Is white a color? Scientifically speaking, no, it’s a lack of color. But if you ask a designer, he will tell you that it is one of the most important colors, or rather, the shades. White is a very symbolic color. In many cultures it means virginity, which is why brides often wear it. It is also associated with purity, innocence and serenity.
Used by doctors, white is a color of cleanliness and sterility.
White reflects light and is a bright color that can create a sense of space to create contrast and highlight.
It’s often considered cool or soft, but consider what happens if you add tints of other shades to make very subtle whites.
Gray is another one of those non-colors. But it is by far my favorite color. However, it does not have a very good reputation. It has been associated with loss, depression and sadness.
Gray weather is a regular thing where I live, and many people complain about how depressing it is, but I find it cosy, warm and comforting.
On the plus side, gray is also considered timeless and considered classic. Some know it as the color of intellect, knowledge, and wisdom, and I’ll agree!
Gray blends well with other colors and is a great neutral. It has long been a go-to for suits and is a favorite of many designers.
Again, many people will argue that black is not a color. But in this context, I will argue that it is. Black is associated with formality, sophistication, as well as mystery, evil, death, and mourning.
Black is one of the favorites for clothing and accessories. What woman does not have a little black dress? It also makes you look slimmer and more sophisticated.
Black is also associated with power and luxury; limousines, tuxedos, judge and priest dresses, etc.
Black implies weight and can be an overwhelming color if used incorrectly in a home.
So how does all of this relate to your PHYSICAL well-being?
Believe it or not, our feelings or emotions affect our health and well-being. Emotions produce chemicals in the body called peptides. I won’t go into too much detail as I’m NOT a doctor, but basically those chemicals are released into the bloodstream and every cell in our body is ready to receive them. In fact, we can become addicted to emotions due to the reactions they provoke in our body, similar in many ways to drugs. It may be because they become familiar and comfortable to us (whether through good or bad emotions). Consider those people who are “adrenaline junkies.” It is a physical change in our body caused by emotions (fear and excitement). Different emotions, and combinations of emotions, have different effects on us, but they ultimately affect us physically.
How do you apply color in your home?
Color is seen by the way light reflects off a surface or off colored light sources. Color, and particularly contrasting color, is also used to draw attention to a particular part of the space. There are primary colors, secondary colors, and tertiary colors. Tertiary colors are usually the most pleasing to the eye. Complementary colors are colors opposite each other on the color wheel. Complementary colors are used to create contrast.
Analogous colors are colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. These can be used to create color harmony.
Monochromatic colors are tints and shades of a single color.
Warm colors are a group of colors consisting of reds, yellows, and oranges. Cool colors are a group of colors consisting of purples, greens, and blues.
Do’s and Don’ts of Color
Now, some tips for applying what you’ve learned
Use contrast Build your color scheme around a signature or favorite piece Apply unity within each room and throughout the house using complementary colors Consider the style or period of the home Consider the use of the room Have fun
Choose your paint colors before anything else Make your favorite or boldest color the main color – it will stand out more as an accent Ignore color casts Get caught up in trends Be quick – take your time choosing colors and look at them carefully different lights Be scared, it’s just paint!