Few homeowners choose paint colors based on their mood, but color has a huge bearing on mood and can greatly affect your daily life and your experiences in your home. Really? Yes. Really. Colors are known to have meaningful psychological impact and can add quite a bit of positive energy to your home, if you choose wisely.
Using color to create a mood
“It was bright, lovely and cheerful…just made me feel like smiling.” These words could be used to describe your favorite flowers, a beautiful day…or a bright new color you’ve just painted your kitchen or den. The images create a mood, and when you use color in your home, you infuse your space with that particular mood. Color can affect your energy, temperament and even appetite.
So what colors should you use and what moods are appropriate for your home? That depends on the moods you want to feel in each space, so before you start painting every room your favorite color, think about the image and feelings you want each space to convey and choose accordingly.
Warm Colors: Reds, Yellows, Oranges and Browns
What images do you associate with red? Fire, heat, passion, excitement and adventure. Red is an active color. Both red and orange are high energy and can stimulate digestion and cause hunger. Orange is a bit more subtle and stable, but still very warm. For some people, vibrant “hot” colors can cause them to feel anxious, hungry or even angry. Yellow is a bright, cheerful color that brings to mind sunshine and warmth, but too much yellow can feel overwhelming so be sure to balance the space with cool, mellow colors and break up the color by using a clean, light color on moldings, trim and doors. Rooms of your home that work well with these warm colors would be: kitchens, dining rooms, entry foyers and mudrooms.
Cool Colors: Greys, Blues, Greens and Purples
Cool colors can create a feeling of serene tranquility. Blues are often associated with rain, the sky, the ocean and water. Blues are said to be calming and suppress hunger and nightmares. Greens are associated with nature and rolling pastures, and can create a feeling of vibrancy and life. Purples and greys can be very serene and creative. Purple is also a very romantic color, but should be used with caution as too much (or too bold) can be quite overpowering. Greys are very neutral and modern and can create a serene backdrop to bright pops of color. Darker blues can be very royal and heavy feeling. Used with discretion they can balance out a neutral very well and create an interesting backdrop for artwork and interior furnishings. Rooms of your home that work well with these cool colors would be: bathrooms, dens/living rooms, bedrooms, offices and libraries.
Most importantly, you need to balance the color in your home. Too much of anything is usually a bit overwhelming, so use colors that complement each other. Use neutrals like grey, beige, white and brown to balance out the space and as a backdrop for bright, colorful pieces, artwork or furniture.
There are no hard and fast rules with painting. A traditionally painted room will generally use a neutral white, off white or a subtle neutral color for the ceilings, moldings and doors and a color for the walls. A more modern look is to paint the ceiling a neutral and paint the walls, trim and doors one color to create a solid backdrop for the items in the room.
Another new concept is called “colorblocking” which creates a space within a space. You choose a vibrant color and use it to set off a specific area, creating a purposeful definition within a larger space. For instance, colorblocking can be used to create a little nook within an open room for a relaxing, reading area or to define an exciting bar area.
A good designer can help you pull together the perfect combination for your home. Whatever style suits you, you can be very successful in creating beautiful spaces that flow with your home by selecting colors that create appropriate moods for each room. Express your personality and add vibrancy to your everyday life by creating spaces that “feel” good, and your whole family will enjoy the benefits of your good mood!