it comes to choosing the right hues for your home, heeding the practice
of color psychology probably isn’t the first thing to come to mind.
Yet between all those fan decks, paint samples and fabric swatches is a
world of emotion waiting to be tapped into — and it could
significantly change the feel of your home.
Want to experience
a sense of zen? Try sands, taupes and grays to evoke the colors of
nature. Feel empowered? Go for red.
At its root, color
theory examines how colors affect human behaviors and feelings. For
example, retailers use certain colors — like the red on sales signs
— to create wayfinding and to influence shoppers’ buying habits.
While color theory is far from a new concept — Aristotle, Leonardo da
Vinci and Sir Isaac Newton all debated its merits — it’s rarely
applied in one’s home — at least, not consciously.
affect our health, well-being and energy level," says Cathy
Kaczmarczyk, a lead paint consultant at Sherwin-Williams. "A lot
more people are looking into it."
Adding a new coat
of paint is one of the easiest ways to transform a home, yet people
often feel lost when it comes down to selecting a color palette,
Kaczmarczyk says. Understanding how an owner wants to feel in a specific
space can help narrow down their
different and has their own opinions," she says, adding that one
homeowner might have an affinity for lime green, for example, while
another may say the bright hue gives them a headache. "We ask
customers what colors they are drawn to."
This year, popular
colors seem to reflect the nation’s trend toward mindfulness with
nature-inspired color palettes. Sherwin-Williams’ color of the year is
7008), a neutral hue "symbolic of new
neither stark nor overly warm, but rather an understated and alluring
white," says Jackie Jordan, Sherwin-Williams’ director of color
marketing. "It provides an oasis of calmness, spirituality and ‘less
is more’ visual relief."
are also being seen in furniture choices. At Steinhafels furniture
store, various shades of blue have taken over the spring showroom.
"Blue is the
color of the sky and water, so it is often associated with the depth of
the sea and the stability of the sky — always above us," says
Elaine Haskey, a Steinhafels upholstered furniture buyer. "It’s a
great color for furniture because it can create high-impact, vibrant
designs. They are sure to draw the eye and evoke some sort of
Red: A bold
choice, the color red evokes empowerment, love and vigor. It is said to
stimulate appetite, increase energy levels and attract attention. Too
much red in a room can overwhelm its visitors, so it’s best to stick
to an accent wall or a few eye-catching
Yellow: Much like
the rays of the sun, yellow is warm, cheerful and happy. While yellow
can be associated with impatience, Kaczmarczyk says it is also noted for
its enthusiasm. The color is popular in bedrooms and family gathering
spaces, such as living rooms and kitchens.
shades of green are associated with nature, incurring feelings of
balance and harmony. Lighter greens induce feelings of calm, while
darker greens are associated with success and wealth. Kaczmarczyk sees
greens used in everything from offices and bathrooms to bedrooms and
Blue: Many surveys
show that blue is the most liked color in the world. The color
represents peace, serenity, loyalty and relaxation. That makes blue
popular in bathrooms, bedrooms and more. Shades of blue are often also
used in offices — it’s said to create a sense of authority, and
increase creativity and