Selecting Wall Paint Colors: Evoking a Sense of…
“Wait…evoking a sense of what?! So by selecting wall paint colors properly, you’re saying that I can brainwash my guests, my family…and even ME? I don’t like where this is going…”
Simmer down. Let’s not use such dramatic language…tell you what…let’s say “influence” instead. Actually, color psychology has been in play for hundreds of years. In culture, colors infer meaning to life events, like birth or marriage…to symbolic references, like peace and spiritual energy … and to moods or emotions, like fear or passion.
Color is a Powerful Tool
Advertising has long taken advantage of human reaction to color…remember the last time you reached for your credit card when you saw that red-lettered “70% OFF CLEARANCE SALE” sign at your favorite retailer? And who doesn’t feel a sense of calm when they see a clear blue sky, or a lovely green stand of grass in early summer?
Admit it…color is a powerful tool. Colors can influence a viewing experience, and you can leverage this potential when selecting wall paint colors. Your choices will depend on your preferences, of course…but also on what you want the experience to be.
What do you want to infuse into your room? Energy, calm, relaxation, happiness? Proper use of color can forge a subconscious connection with the viewer…and be especially impactful if used in conjunction with decorating guidelines found here in my other post, Interior Decorating Basics – 5 Rules for a Successful Decor Project.
So let’s begin by examining the meanings and significance of some popular colors. Imagine your room as a party, and the colors are your invited guests…
Red enters the room and captivates the guests with his passion and energy. The ambitious type, he speaks boldly and confidently, stimulating conversation and queuing up the dance tunes.
Ideas for Red: Accent pieces, entryways, dining areas, play areas, sparingly in bedrooms, bathrooms and offices.
Getting the Blues
Blue helped plan the party, the responsible and reliable one. A great and dependable listener, Blue is trustworthy and supportive. She speaks kindly and calmly, always offering thoughtful advice and wisdom.
Ideas for Blue: Kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, offices, dens, living areas, cabinetry accents, accessories.
Green is the friendly neighbor who brings the best casserole to your potluck. In fact, she generously brings cookies, too. Never commanding attention, and a great listener like Blue, Green will always be ready with a dose of optimism and a smile.
Ideas for Green: Living areas, bathrooms, bedrooms, offices, cabinetry accents, accessories.
Yellow breaks out the party games, laughs cheerfully at jokes and finds creative ways to engage party goers. Always up for a challenge, Yellow confidently competes in puzzles and Trivial Pursuit, and is usually on the winning team. Mostly industrious and focused, Yellow can liberate at times to be impatient and impulsive.
Ideas for Yellow: Dens, play areas, entryways, bathrooms, muted in offices, hallways and bedrooms, accent pieces and accessories.
Upon arrival, Purple selects a chair away from the bustle of the room, as would rather observe and ponder than mingle and indulge in meaningless chatter. Joined by a select few guests, he earns their trust, commands the conversation, and creatively engages them in philosophical and esoteric discourse.
Ideas for Purple: Bedrooms, entryways, dens, accent pieces and accessories.
Black Tie Affair
Sophisticated and independent, Black enters through the front door, parting the guests with an air of dignity, yet isolation. Black was invited as a gesture only, not having any of the guests as friends. Black is sometimes feared, but always respected as a knowledgeable expert and strong ally. Not participating much in conversation, and not very approachable, Black speaks little of personal matters.
Ideas for Black: Statement and focal pieces, accessories, accent walls and trim.
Everyone loves White. White is unobtrusive, even-tempered and hopeful. Levelheaded and fair, White will always keep it real and honest. White will offer help in the kitchen, and will move with speed and efficiency. White is simple and straightforward, but this candor may sometimes be mistaken for coldness and detachment.
Ideas for White: Kitchens, bathrooms, ceilings and trim, cabinetry, small spaces, hallways, bedrooms.
Gray is dependable and reliable, never misses a party, but goes largely unnoticed while there. Gray listens intently, is a great mediator, but doesn’t offer personal opinion.
Ideas for Gray: Living room, bedroom, bathrooms, dens, libraries, hallways, accessory walls.
Using Color for Good
Now that you know the potential behind color choice, you can use color to your decorating advantage. Consider how you would like to feel in the space – how you wish to affect mood and energy – and invite the proper guests (colors!) into your home. Adopt color as a powerful tool to create an amazing impression!
How does color affect your mood? Share some examples in the comments below!
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally or believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”