Blog,  Color Schemes

Psychology Behind Different Colors

So, you know your favorite color and you’ve learned what they mean. Now how do you apply it in design ideas?

You may think, well I love this color so that’s the color I should use, right? Not necessarily.  Your favorite color scheme might not be the best fit. Ever notice how you loved something one day and are not so crazy about it the next? How that item you just had to buy makes you glad the store has a refund policy? Most of us don’t know what we truly like till we’ve spent a good deal of time immersed in it.

In design, aside from considering space and light in a room, you should consider the mood or atmosphere you want to create. This is why we recommend a mood board as well as taking note of how other spaces, restaurants, homes, etc. affect you emotionally. Your mood board should be kept as reference for a few days, see Mood Board, preferably in the actual space you’re designing. It ensures that you really love your design plan because if you keep looking at it and you still love it, you know you can live with it.

Loving something may not be enough

how colorful furniture works in a blue room

If you’re still thinking, I already know I love the color so of course I can live with it, then think twice. Loving something may not be enough. It’s not just about liking the color, it’s about the affect the color has on you.

I love red. It brings to mind, appetite, vibrancy, and passion. It stimulates me, so I wouldn’t use red in my bedroom except for accents. I want to be calm and get a full night’s sleep when I go to bed. I have a hard enough time shutting my brain off and adding a visual stimulant isn’t the right way to go.

Red works great in my kitchen, in moderation, especially those times I’m cooking or baking for a large number of guests. Ironically, I do use yellow in my bedroom. Although it’s not recommended for a bedroom, I chose it because of how the color affects me. I chose a hue that has more orange. You may at this point wonder at my logic. Personally, yellow and orange, recalls the sun cycle and sunrises and sunsets puts me into different frames of mind.

Taking into account the natural lighting in my bedroom, the visual effect and atmosphere I want to create works for me. In the morning, I arise to a bright sunny room making it easier for me to rise and face the day now that I’m visually awoken.

Toward the evening, when the sun is setting, the orange is more prominent resembling the sunsets I loved to watch in Key West. Sunsets calm me, comforts me and gives me a sense of satisfaction in the day past. And the soft lighting from my bedroom lamps only promotes a deeper orange by the time I’m ready call it a night making me feel encased in warm, fuzzy feelings.

colorful purple tree

For the area that doubles as a home office, I have greens and browns as they seem to make me feel anchored and keeps me focused. I opted for black and white with blue as major accents in the spare bedroom to depict neutrality to make any guests feel like they’re not sleeping in someone else’s room while still feeling welcomed.

I could go on about the other areas in my apartment but I’m sure you’re getting the point now.

Like all referential material, the psychology of color, see Psychology of color, is a guide. Factoring in personalities, cultural differences and personal emotional associations are a few things to be considered. The mood board is one key to assist in deciphering the riddle, but the most important one is truly taking note of how those colors affect you.