The Psychology of Colors

Are you one of those people afraid of adding color to your home? Or one of those people who just don’t know what colors to put in which rooms? Here are some really useful tips you can consider when decorating your interiors, and even if you’ve already finished your decorating, it’s never too late to do some repainting!

1. The 60-30-10 Rule
If you take a look at some rooms in brochures or magazines, you will notice that the best designs are divided into percentages of 60-30-10. Many interior designers say that 60% of a room should be in one dominant color, 30% should have another secondary color, and 10% that provides a small addition of a third basic color. An easy way to imagine this is to think of a man’s business suit – 60% of the color is in his trousers and jacket, 30% is his shirt, and 10% is in the tie. So in a room, 60% is usually in the walls, 30% in furniture, and 10% in one or two important decorative pieces, or could also just be in any indoor plants or floral arrangements.

2. Consider the Color Wheel

If you’ve never heard of the Color Wheel, it is a brilliant ‘map’ of colors that Sir Isaac Newton created in 1666, and ever since artists and designers all over the world have used it to show the components of color and its physical and psychological effects on people; and it is NEVER wrong!
The colors across from each other, like red and green, blue and orange, purple and yellow, are called Complementary Colors. Rooms decorated in a complementary color scheme create a very visual and vibrant atmosphere, and should be often used in more formal areas in your house like the dining room or the reception area.
The colors that are next to each other, like yellow and green, purple and pink, red and orange, are called Analogous Colors, and they create a peaceful, quiet, and restful atmosphere. The Analogous Color Scheme should therefore be used in the more casual areas of your house, like bedrooms and the living room.

3. Follow Nature’s Advice
If you’re not a big fan of too many colors, then you could always just play-it-safe and take Mother Nature’s advice. All you need to do is design your interior spaces by replicating the colors you see in the outside world. So play around with the basic natural colors of Brown, Green, Blue, White, Yellow, with all their lighter and darker shades. And to choose the brightness of your colors, again follow nature’s rules: put the darker colors for your floors (like the ground), medium-brightness of colors for the walls (like the trees or mountains), and very light colors for your ceilings (like the sky).

4. Follow your Emotions
What type of mood do you want to be in when you’re sitting at home? Or how about having different moods for each room?

Yellow: Cheerful and high-energy. But don’t use too much of it.

Orange: Also cheerful and fun, but much warmer and calmer.

Green: Natural, healthy, relaxing, peaceful.

Blue: Studies have shown that it is the most popular color people choose worldwide. This is because it makes the body produce chemicals which calm the nerves. You can never go wrong with blue.

Purple or Violet: Rich, elegant, sophisticated.

Red: The color which is most recognized by our eyes, and has proven to increase people’s heart beats. It creates a very active, excited, and energetic mood. Of course it’s a very romantic color as well.

Pink: very feminine and sweet, but when combined with darker masculine colors like navy blue or black, it takes away the feminine look and turns into a gender-neutral space with a touch of beauty.

Brown: Very earthy, natural, rich and classic.

White: It is the safest option, but could always be combined with ANY other color. It represents purity and simplicity.

Black: Represents power, mystery, and elegance. But if used too much, it will create a depressing atmosphere instead. So always combine it with another strong contrasting color, and stay away from the walls. Use black in your furniture or the floor, but never the walls or ceilings.

Grey: A very practical color, which adds a nice elegant touch when combined with other colors. Never have grey on its own; you can use it on walls and floors but add lots of excitement with bright colorful touches.


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