Color Me Happy
Using Paint To Create Your Home’s Mood
By Cheryl Alexander
More than simply a demonstration of your preferences in taste and style, home décor can have a psychological impact on your mood. Proponents of color psychology believe that the colors you use to decorate your home profoundly affect your emotional well-being.
“Color is a universal, nonverbal language, and we all intuitively know how to speak it,” Leslie Harrington, an interior designer and color consultant in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, explained to WebMD. A noted expert on the use of color in residential and industrial decor, she added, “What color you paint your walls isn’t just a matter of aesthetics. It’s a tool that can be leveraged to affect emotions and behavior.”
For example, if you’re using color to enhance your home’s mood, color consultants say you should first consider which activities will take place in each room, then select a hue that will support the activity.
In common areas, such as the living room, family room or kitchen, select colors that emanate warmth, like reds and yellows. Like a splash of brilliant sunshine, yellow walls can lift the spirit and brighten your outlook. What better color to use in a kitchen or breakfast area where you start the day?
Red can be great in a formal dining room, too. Studies show that red can actually increase appetite, which explains why it is used in so many restaurants. Brown and beige earth tones are also good choices as they are believed to spark conversation.
In your bedroom, consider taupes and beiges, which afford coziness and warmth. Other “go-to” bedroom colors include blues, greens or lavenders, which produce a calming and restful effect. Keep in mind as well that the darker the hue, the more pronounced the psychological effect may be.
Traditionally, we use whites and warm colors in our bathrooms due to their association with cleanliness and purity. However, since our bathrooms are often now our private spas where we wind down and rejuvenate, consider blues, greens and turquoises.
For office spaces or exercise rooms, select colors that inject energy into your surroundings. Since an office implies productivity, maybe choose a green that grabs you. Green is said to be the color of concentration and experts tell us that it is also one of the best choices for any room where you must spend lots of time.
Need more specific ideas? The color experts at the country’s leading paint companies can help take the guess work out of the decision. These authorities have made their 2017 “Color of the Year” selections with your home’s mood in mind.
Pantone, a global expert on color and provide of professional color standards for the design industries, repeatedly serves as a standard bearer. From colors that are bright and vivid to those that convey a sense of earthiness, Pantone’s top 10 colors for Spring 2017 are reminiscent of the hues that surround us in nature.
“One of the things that we saw this year, was a renewed sense of imagination in which color was appearing in context that was different than the traditional,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “Our Spring 2017 Color Report evokes a spectrum of emotion and feeling. From the warmth of sunny days with ‘Primrose Yellow’ to the invigorating feeling of breathing fresh mountain air with ‘Kale’ and the desire to escape to pristine waters with ‘Island Paradise,’ designers applied color in playful, yet thoughtful and precise combinations to fully capture the promises, hope and transformation that we yearn for each spring.”
Pantone’s No. 1 color this year is “Niagara” (17-4123). Comfortable and dependable, Niagara leads the Pantone Fashion Color Report as the most prevalent color for Spring 2017. Niagara is a classic denim-like blue, the report explains, that speaks to a desire for ease and relaxation. By contrast, No. 2 “Primrose Yellow” sparkles with heat and vitality. This joyful yellow shade evokes a sense of destination marked by enthusiasm, good cheer and sunny days.
Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year, “Shadow” (2117-30), is a rich, royal amethyst. The leading paint, color and coatings brand also unveiled a corresponding palette consisting of deep saturated hues. “It ebbs and flows with its surroundings, and light brings it to life,” said Ellen O’Neill, creative director at Benjamin Moore. “Allusive and enigmatic amethyst can fade into the soft lilac-grey of distant mountains or morph into lustrous coal. Indulge your mysterious side. Let Shadow set the mood.”
Sherwin-Williams announced its “Poised Taupe” (SW 6039) as the 2017 Color of the Year. A modern take on a timeless classic, Poised Taupe signals a new direction in our ever-growing thirst for beautiful neutrals that bring warm and cool tones together in one irresistibly versatile color.
“Poised Taupe celebrates everything people love about cool gray as a neutral, and also brings in the warmth of brown, taking a color to an entirely new level,” says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams. “Not cool or warm, nor gray or brown, Poised Taupe is a weathered, woodsy neutral bringing a sense of coziness and harmony that people are seeking.”
Each year BEHR presents 20 new limited edition trend colors. The BEHR 2017 palette is a curated collection of livable, fashion-forward hues segmented into three lifestyle collections: Comfortable, Composed and Confident. Each is designed to be inspirational and personal, tailored to help you create a home that fits your style and personality.
Creative, social types will be drawn to the Confident palette, which is defined by dusky blues, spicy reds, and lime greens designed to captivate your attention. The earthy greens and taupes of the Composed palette will be a go-to for traditionalists looking to create a contemporary space. And it’s all about pale pastels in the Comfortable range, characterized by light pinks, blues, and yellows that make the smallest of spaces pop. Its muted shades are ideal for introverts who want to make their first foray into accent colors.
There are lots of good reasons to select a particular paint color, including personal preferences and design considerations, but never overlook the psychological power certain colors exert on mood, attitude, and outlook. Following the sage advice of the experts might help you determine which hue is best for you and your space.