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Psychological Effects of Color

December 21st, 2007 · No Comments

Choosing a new color for your living space isn’t just about making sure the walls match the furniture. Colors can have a profound effect on your moods as well as convey certain emotions. The psychological effect created by various shades is an area of study that has produced some interesting results. Here are a few points of reference for choosing a desirable psychological effect from your color choices.

Common Color Associations

Red – exciting and stimulating. Red is a warm, masculine color. It stands out in comparison to other colors, making it appear closer. It is associated with passion and vigor.

Pink – soft and sensuous. Pink is more of a feminine color, and often has a youthful feel to it.

Orange – stimulating and intense. Orange is more whimsical than red; it’s still an intense and fiery color, but with more fun.

Peach – soft and warm. This is definitely a feminine color without the teenage feel to it.

Yellow – sunny and cheerful. Soft shades of yellow can create an open, spacious feel to a room. Intense yellows are great as accents, but in large amounts can be overpowering and irritating. As yellow pales, it loses its energy and requires a cool color nearby.

Green – restful and quiet. Deep greens may appear somber on their own, but place a warmer color nearby and they perk up. Pure greens have an association with plants or the outdoors. Mix pale green with yellow and it livens up, but when combined with blue, it appears quiet and meditative.

Blue – peaceful, calm and tranquil. Large amounts of pure blue can create a sense of cool and melancholy. Pale blue has a receding effect making it great for opening up those small spaces or for use on high ceilings.

Blue-green shades tend to change character with the changing light. They have a dense, atmospheric quality, but without the dramatic receding effect of pale blue.

Purple/violet – rich and mystical. Purple can appear calm yet mysterious. Deeper purples have a powerful, introspective association. Pale purple and lavender are more sensual with a feminine connotation.

White – purity, light and cleanliness. In large amounts, white can feel sterile. When used with black or gray it can appear very modern and trendy, with an absence of warmth.

Black – power and elegance. When used excessively, black can feel oppressive.

Gray – conservative and calm. Combine gray with browns to create a warm richness with the sense of quiet dignity.

Brown – earthy and secure. Associated with nature and the earth, it conveys a sense of familiarity and home.

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