Color is, quite obviously, all around us. Each and every thing has a color, and each and every person has colors that they prefer and ones they might find...less attractive.
But what happens when go we further than that?
Angry, calm, dangerous, magic, inspired, creative, lucky, warm, cold, happy. Do colors have the power to effect how we feel? To answer this question, we took a trip Downtown to the Minneapolis Central Library for some old school research.
Go to the third floor of the library. Take a left. Get lost for awhile. Ask the nice librarians for help. Walk past what feels like an endless sea of books. And then finally find it: The home decor section. It isn't long before the books on color come into view - their covers are, for lack of a better word, quite colorful. Big and small and heavy and pocket sized - their pages brimming with tips and tricks for anyone who's painting a home and how those colors might make us feel. Bingo.
For those of you that can't make it to the library right away, here's a summarized version of what we found:
Green is often associated with nature. Forests and woodlands and big grassy fields and the new buds that form on trees at the beginning of spring. Because it is so closely tied to nature, green symbolizes new growth and has the ability to invigorate and lift the spirit. Are you one of those people who spends more time outdoors than in? Green could be a great choice for any of the rooms in your home!
Green is also associated with wealth and luck. In some areas of China, a Jade bracelet would be placed on a new born baby's arm for good luck. Looking to get lucky? Add some Jade-green to your walls and see what happens.
To add a vibrant, spring-like look to any room, try green and a strong pink together.
Citrus colors such as orange and lime green give rooms a fresh look.
Yellow reminds many people of sunshine. Enhancing light in sunny rooms and adding warmth to darker ones. Yellow has the power to lift the spirits of those around it and it can increase concentration. Because of this, yellow could be a great paint color for the walls of a study or a kid's homework space. You might start seeing more A+ papers from your kids or more high fives from your boss. Always worth a shot.
Because of it's happy vibes, yellow is also a great color for bringing people together. Kitchens tend to be the place in most homes where people gather (Because, come on, that's where the food is). Try painting the walls of your kitchen yellow, and your home might become the cool gathering spot in your neighborhood!
Yellow paired with blue can make a room feel fresh and beachy
Gray can make yellow feel calmer, without decreasing it's warm feeling
Yellow and black are nature's warning colors. This combination might make a room feel dangerous, but it could also give the space a masculine feel. These colors should be used together with caution.
In some folklore, red is the color of magic. Painting a home red can be bold and beautiful, but it should always be handled with care. Too much red can make people feel angry, but it can also make us feel warmer and more secure. If you're nervous about painting a room red, try to think of all the times it occurs in nature. A field of poppies or a crackling campfire. Red will always be a bold statement but it can make us feel active and energetic. Try it for a dining room to add an air of elegance.
Gold accents will enhance red. White will take some of the heat out of it.
Purple can bring passion into a room. Fiery red mixed with calmer blue. It used to be that only royalty could enjoy the color purple, and painting a room the color of royalty might just bring out your inner ruler. It can also promote creative energy. Try it for an office and rule over your subjects with style while tapping into your creative side.
Green and purple go very well together, giving a room a bold look, but also copying a color scheme often seen in nature
Black is a source of inspiration. Maybe this is because it reminds us of a night sky, and we have all had our moments where we looked to the dark starry sky for answers. If used in the right way, black can make a space look bigger, but too much black in a space can be oppressive. Try painting one wall of a room black.
Black absorbs light, so when lighting a space with black walls, try concentrating the light on furniture around the wall. This can be done with recess lighting.
Black and white will give a room a fresh and modern look. To avoid the faded-out look, try adding a few small splashes of color to the space as well.
Blue is a spiritual color. It can remind us of water and sky, and bringing the feeling of the outdoors into our homes is always a calming feeling. Blue is said to lower blood pressure and relieve insomnia, making it a good paint color for a bedroom.
Blue can also promote good communication and clear thinking. It has the danger of feeling cold when overused. Try lifting it up with brighter colors.
Blue is not a fussy color and it can pair well with most other colors.
Adding some yellow to a blue room is one way to brighten up a blue space. This will make the space feel warmer and more inviting.
Blue and orange are an eye-catching combination. If you have a cedar trim the orange tones in the cedar will pop next to a lighter blue.
Blue and white compliment each other very well in a sunny space. White can tone down blue walls, and although this combination can make a space look fresh, use caution because it can also make it feel cold.
Check out the color wheel for more good pairings for your paint colors. Happy Painting!