How Colors Effect Our Mood
Color - the visual response to different wavelengths of sunlight identified as red, green, blue, and so on; having the physical properties of hue, intensity, and value.
If you have studied Color Theory before, like I have, your mind might be blown away, such as mine has, by how complex colors really are. We have all learned about colors at one point in our lives, see them everyday of our lives, and have a basic understanding of what they are, how they work, and why we can see them. But even if you don't quite grasp color in the theoretical or scientific sense, you can still have an appreciation for the complexities of their existence, and the mysteriousness of the effects they have on us.
Why do certain colors invoke the feelings, emotions, or visual cues that they do? Why do some colors seem to energize us and others seem to be a drain on our senses? We all have colors that we absolutely love and ones that we don’t even want to look at, but in what way are these colors actually effecting us? How do the colors we surround ourselves with effect our mood, personality, and sense of well-being? And further still, what is the best way to use what we know about color and how it effects us to our advantage?
Research has shown that light, bright, colors make us feel joyful and uplifted; warm colors are generally stimulating; cool colors are calming; and cool, dark, or dull colors are generally depressing. There are studies that have shown that in some work situations, bright, intense colors encourage worker productivity, whereas neutralized or lighter hues slow down the workforce. We are continually exposed to the emotive powers of color, so that’s all the more reason to choose the colors we surround ourselves with wisely. Below I've compiled the six major color groups (the primary and secondary colors) as well as neutrals, their common associations, and the effects that studies have shown they can have on our mood and well-being. In addition I offer a few practical tips about how you can use this information to your stylish advantage.
Common Color Associations & Their Effects
Warm colors are: red-violet, red, red-orange, orange, yellow-orange, and yellow.
Warm colors visually and psychologically warm the temperature of an interior space. They are inviting, homey, optimistic, encouraging, and stimulating to the appetite; as well as, soften edges and can aid in the blending of objects, patterns, and textures. Warm colors tend to reduce space and create more intimate interiors, however keep in mind that this is generally speaking. Depending on the value and the intensity of the saturation of a color, it can be vary warm (high saturation, which intensifies these attributes), or warm to only slightly warm colors (middle to low saturation, which de-emphasizes the qualities listed).
Cool colors are: yellow-green, green, blue-green, blue, blue-violet, and violet.
Cool colors generally calm and relax the mind and body, giving the impression of a lack of pressure and plenty of time to wait or to accomplish tasks. Great for waiting rooms, cool colors often suggest more formality and precision of detail, pattern, and color. They visually expand space, and thus are effective tools in small, cramped quarters. Cool colors subdue the appetite and emotions. Very cool colors are intense, cool colors have a mid-level saturation, and slightly cool colors are low in saturation (dull and neutralized).
Neutrals "colors" are: white, high light grey, light grey, low light grey, medium grey, high dark grey, dark grey, low dark grey, and black. (beige, brown, and tan also fit into this group).
So in short...
If you are in need of a boost of energy and would like to create an inviting & intimate atmosphere in your home consider painting your living spaces in nice warm colors. If you are in need of a peaceful place to relax after a hectic day consider painting your rooms in serene cool colors. And if statement furniture and colorful pieces are your fancy, consider painting a room in a nice warm or cool neutral color that will give your favorite pieces center stage. For a quick room update, that requires a lot less commitment consider adding doses of color in the form of furnishings, art, and decor to enhance the mood of any space keeping in mind what you now know what color!
Have a question about using color in your home or apartment to creating a stylish dwelling that supports your needs and well-being? Send it my way, I'd be happy to help! Comment below, send me a tweet, shoot me an email, or post your questions on the myartisticbliss Facebook fan page. I'm also available on Tumblr, Bloglovin, and Instagram.
- Noelle M.