Updated: Oct 27, 2020
We live in a visual society and color is in all around us. Designers use color to influence us in the marketing, design and art that surrounds us. You may have noticed many restaurants using red in their marketing or on their walls; this is because red is known to be an appetite stimulant. Color can be extremely powerful and there’s no doubt that color is linked to our mood. You may feel the need to reach for a yellow or pink shirt on a cloudy day to boost your mood! The right color can make you feel hungry, tranquil or happy. We sometimes even describe certain emotions with colors (seeing red, feeling blue, green with envy).Whether you’re painting the walls of your bedroom or deciding what to wear, we subconsciously choose colors based on how they make us feel. Read on to see how colors affect us and how you might use color to your advantage.
Here are just some of the ways color can affect us on an emotional (and sometimes physical!) level:
Red: Associated with both anger and passion. Red stimulates a faster heartbeat and breathing, and is an appetite stimulant.
Orange: The color of the sun, orange is edgy and fun! Orange stimulates creativity, imparts enthusiasm and energy.
Blue: Associated with sadness but also calming like the ocean. Blue causes the body to produce calming chemicals which soothe the mind, body and spirit.
Green: The color of nature, greens are naturally soothing and easy on the eye. Greens are relaxing, refreshing and inspire harmony.
Yellow: Also associated with the color of the sun as well. Yellow boosts energy, is optimistic, cheerful and attention getting; it enhances concentration and also speeds metabolism.
Violet: Violet is rare in nature and therefore is historically associated with connotations of royalty, wealth and sophistication. Violet is the most spiritual of the colors, with healing universal energy.
Pink: Pink tones of course make you first think of femininity and love, but it is also believed to impart youthful energy, self-love and understanding.
Brown: The color of earth, brown is grounding, implies genuineness, simplicity and reliability. Brown can make you feel safe and warm.
Gold: The symbol of success or courage. Triggers self-confidence and sense of authority.
Silver: Associated with the divine feminine, energy of the moon and tides. Silver is stabilizing and reflective and can encourage deep thinking.
Gray: Associated with apathy, indifference or practicality. Can trigger feelings of sadness.
White: White signifies purity and innocence, and in some cultures; light, illumination and wisdom. It is a blank canvas, open to possibilities.
Black: The darkest color resulting from complete absence of light. We often associate black with sad things like funerals, loneliness or evil. But it can also be a symbol of power, strength and elegance and wearing black can make you appear slimmer - improving your mood!
Selecting colors for your home can be influenced by your experience with color and how colors make you feel. Paler versions of colors tend to be better choices for wall colors but adding pops of color using custom artwork can help personalize a space and influence the mood of that space. Keep in mind what type of environment you are trying to create in a space (calming or energizing, for example) and select colors and artwork that speak to those feelings.
For more ideas on custom artwork to create ambiance in your space, check out our partner, Lyndsay Hubley at https://www.lyndsayhubleyart.com/