The Psychology of Color in Your Home

By: Willow Roddy Moskowitz

Color psychology is the theory that colors can impact the way you feel, think, and even behave. It suggests that color can alter your mood and actions.

The psychology of color is a fundamental component of interior design. In addition to visualizing what your home will look like, it may be worthwhile to consider how the colors in your home can make you feel.

Red: Red is a bold and powerful color. It is known for creating passion, drama, and energy. It can also cause alarm or restlessness. Red is not suggested for bedrooms. It is best used in rooms such as a family room or game room, where the energy is often elevated.

Orange: Orange is a fun and energetic color. It represents happiness, determination, success, and enthusiasm. In large quantities it can accelerate your heart rate and feel a bit overwhelming. It is best used in a kitchen, as it can stimulate your creative juices and your appetite.

Yellow: Yellow is an uplifting and lively color often associated with warmth and happiness. It can spark optimism and intellect. When overdone, it is known to cause stress and anxiety. Yellow is great as an accent color in a kitchen or a bathroom.

Green: Green is often associated with balance, harmony, and growth. It is known for its soothing and calming capabilities and its earthy vibe. It is also symbolic of wealth and can stimulate emotional stability. Some shades of green can evoke feelings of jealousy, illness, or discord. Overall, green is very versatile and works great in every room in your house, especially bedrooms.

Blue: Blue is known as a calm and serene color. It generates feelings of wisdom, trust, and confidence, and induces peace and relaxation. Darker shades of blue create a more masculine ambiance. Blue is known to slow the heart rate and can feel a bit cold in some situations. It is perfect for bathrooms, bedrooms, and home offices.

Purple: Purple is correlated with royalty. It is known for its ability to inspire spirituality and creativity. It is associated with luxury and sophistication, yet it can have mysterious and dramatic undertones. Purple is great for a home entry or as an accent to rooms to create a regal flare.

Pink: Pink is the color of femininity. To some it is soft and soothing, to others, it is emasculating. Pink is associated with sweetness, compassion, love, and playfulness. It can soften a room or add drama, depending on the shade. Use pink in a kid’s room or on a dining room wall to add a touch of glamour.

Brown: Brown is a warm color that represents strength, security, and reliability. Its direct correlation to the earth evokes feelings of safety and dependability. It can also generate feelings of loneliness and isolation. Brown can be used in any space in your home. Use brown in moderation and mixed with other colors for well-balanced spaces.

Black: Black is known as the color of sophistication. It is bold, elegant, and mysterious. It creates strong emotions and has an authoritative nature. Black works well in any room, but should be used sparingly as to not darken or overwhelm your senses.

Gray: Gray evokes feelings of security, composure, and elegance. Its neutrality lends itself well to backgrounds such as walls and furniture. Depending on the shade, gray can feel cool and comfortable, or strong and dominant. In large quantities, it can create a drab environment. Gray combines well with other colors and can be used in any room.

White: White is known as the color of purity and cleanliness. It is modern, fresh, versatile, and simple. It can symbolize a fresh start and safe surroundings. White is often associated with a sterile environment, and can feel cold and stark if overdone. Bathrooms are the optimal room for this color.

When selling your home, keep in mind that bold colors can sometimes scare off a buyer or make them feel uncomfortable. Neutrals are always a smart move, as potential buyers can add color accents with their furniture and décor.

When buying a home, don’t let a painted wall deter you from what you otherwise love. Remember that paint is a quick, easy, and inexpensive change you can make. So is décor, such as throw pillows, wall art, furniture, rugs, and more.

When choosing what colors to paint your walls, what furniture to buy, and how to decorate your home, color can make a big difference! Choose colors that speak to you and make you feel good. Colors with higher saturation have a stronger impact than lighter or muted shades do. If you do choose bold hues, it is best to use them sparingly or as accents. Reference this color guide to ensure you are creating spaces in your home where the colors impact you in a positive way. And above all, have fun!