Color is one of the first things you notice when you enter a room. It sets a mood for the space and helps bring furniture and accessories together so that they make sense. Color can make a bold statement or serve as an understated backdrop for other focal points in a space. It is also an excellent medium for conveying your own personality and infusing it into a room.
But in general, what do colors mean? What sorts of feelings do they provoke? There is a psychology to color and it is visited with every color decision made by major retailers and other businesses. Here are the basics:
Generally associated with negative terms, like "evil" or "death." But it is a powerful color that can also communicate elegance and wealth. When combined with other colors, it can make a very strong statement and can fit into most any design to add contrast and make other colors more prominent.
Viewed as fresh, pure and heavenly. It has a very clean look to it, so it is a great choice for designs utilizing a lot of negative space. Non-profits use white quite often, as it conveys something "good" and "positive."
Represents fun, happiness, sunshine and light. It is the brightest color to the human eye and the most playful, cheerful and energetic. Yellow is a good choice for children's spaces, but must be carefully used (especially on a white background). If yellow darkens, it can be perceived as dirty or unpleasant, or even evoke feeling of being scared or cowardly.
Conveys strength and pride, as well as caution or warning. Is a passionate, sexy, sporty color. In a home, it is generally suitable for accent pieces or anything in a space that you want to make "pop."
A bright, warm color that represents fire, sun, warmth and fun. Young people are particularly drawn to orange. The color has actually been shown to increase the oxygen supply to the brain and stimulate mental activity. It also stimulates appetite. Orange is a good choice for tropical, fun, easy-going or autumnal spaces.
Is a calming color that conveys creativity and intelligence. Is also evokes feelings of loyalty, wisdom and trust. While often used to represent the sky or water, blue generally looks good in most any shade, except when around food, as it suppresses the appetite. It is a popular color choice among men.
Represents many things, including nature, healthy, fertility and safety. Like blue, it is relaxing. Green is thought to have a healing effect and is frequently used to represent health-related things. In darker shades, it is associated with the military all things financial. Green is increasingly used as the color of choice for websites.
Evokes a combination of stability and energy, while also being associated with royalty. It symbolizes both mystery and luxury. Depending upon the shade, purple can be flashy (when used with gold), feminine (light shade), and good for children's spaces (bright shade).
So the next time you have color decisions to make, start with the feeling you want to create in the space and choose the color palette that best reflects them.