How to Use Color Psychology in Home Design

How the Color of a Room Affects Mood?

How do you feel when you step into your bedroom, living room, or kitchen? Do you feel happy, excited, sad, or angry? The colors in your home have a huge impact on how you feel every day.

“Color psychology refers to investigating the effect of color on human behavior and feeling.”


Black: Black is one of the neutral colors. It absorbs all of the light in the color spectrum (Van Wagner), so if you want a room to feel like a cave, paint it black. It can also look very sophisticated if you use the right amount of black accent pieces in a room; black leather furniture, for example.

White: White is also a neutral color. It is the opposite of black; it reflects all of the light in the color spectrum. A white room feels spacious, but it can also feel cold and sterile.

Red: A primary color, red is a warm hue that is associated with excitement. Red is a common color for an accent wall in homes because it draws the eye to the wall; be careful of how much red you use, however, because it is also associated with anger.

Orange: Orange is a secondary color that is a combination of red and yellow and it also draws attention. It is commonly used in the interiors of fast-food restaurants because it is known to cause hunger and, therefore, more profit.

Yellow: Another primary color, yellow, is bright and cheery. As Vincent Van Gogh said, “How wonderful yellow is. It stands for the sun.” Yellow is also fatiguing to the eye, can cause feelings of frustration, and babies tend to cry more in yellow rooms.

Green: Green is a mix of yellow and blue, another secondary color. It is often associated with nature and enhances the feeling of tranquility and calm. It works well as a source of stress relief. Researchers have also found that green helps to improve reading ability.

Blue: As the third and final primary color, blue is also associated with calmness and serenity. Blues and greens are often used to create a spa-like atmosphere are bathrooms. Blue is associated with feelings of sadness, as well. The complementary color to orange, blue is actually a known appetite suppressant.

Violet: Violet is a secondary color that is a combination of red and blue. When you think of this color, you may think of royalty, wealth, and perhaps wisdom.

Colors I have not yet mentioned are: gray, which is a combination of black and white; browns and tans, which can be a mixture of all of the primary colors; and pink, which is a tint of red (red mixed with white). Grays, browns, and tans are all neutral colors. Neutral colors are often popular as the main wall color in homes.

I recommend using black and white in small doses as a wall color in your home to prevent it from feeling like a cave or a hospital room. These colors work well in accent pieces, however. Use red sparingly, as well, as it is generally not a very soothing color to look it. Try not to use a lot of orange in a dining room unless you are trying to gain weight; on the other hand, if you are trying to lose weight, you may want to try blue.

However, if you or someone in your family is prone to depression, I would suggest using blue in small doses, perhaps as a centerpiece on your table or as the color of your dishes. If you have a baby, avoid bright yellow in the main part of the house and save it for a workout room. Green is good for those of you who have children who are learning to read.


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