April 12, 2010

Color Me Meaningful: The Psychology of Color and Interior Design

This week we’re looking at the impact color can have on your living space. Certain colors can affect your mood in different ways. For years, companies have hired industrial psychologists to use the psychology of color to elicit certain unconscious reactions from consumers. You may not realize it, but every time you walk into a store, restaurant, or even a doctor’s office, the colors in the room — particularly the paint on the walls — affects your mood. Most of the time, you can bet a lot of thought and research went into these colors, and the mood you’re feeling is exactly what the proprietor intended for you to feel.

When it comes to decorating your home, it’s important to know how colors will affect you in order to get the most out of each room. Let’s take a look at the most basic colors and what affect they can have on you.


Red packs a punch, physiologically speaking, increasing blood pressure, heartbeat, and energy in most people. It instills feelings of intimacy and passion. Red also increases the appetite, which explains why it is used so often in restaurants and why it can be a good choice for a formal dining room.


Like red, orange tends to warm a room, but in a more friendly and welcoming way. As a result, paints in various shades and tints of orange work well in living rooms and family rooms.


Yellow is warm and welcoming, but it’s more attention grabbing than either red or orange. For this reason, it’s a good paint color to use in poorly lit foyers or dark hallways.


Blue is part of the cool color palette. It makes us feel calm and tranquil, so it is ideal for use in bedrooms. But since blue works as an appetite suppressant (perhaps because there are few blue foods) it’s not the best option for a dining room… unless you’re on a diet.


Green is another relaxing color that is much more versatile than blue. Light greens are ideal for bedrooms and living rooms; midtones are good for kitchens and dining rooms (many foods are green). Also, because green is calming, it is often used in hospitals, workplaces, and schools.


Violet is a tricky color, psychologically speaking. Many adults dislike purples, but are fond of the rose family, which can work in many rooms, including dining rooms, bedrooms, and libraries. Young children, on the other hand, respond favorably to violet, so this color can be used successfully in children’s bedrooms and play areas.

Keep in mind that these are just general color descriptions and they can affect everyone differently. In the end, choosing a color is a matter of personal taste. What really matters is that you’re happy with whatever colors you choose and that your home looks great!

Narratives are for entertainment purposes only and frequently employ literary point of view; the narratives do not necessarily reflect the opinions of El Dorado Furniture, its officers, or employees.