One of the most interesting recent findings in psychology is the impact of color. For years, scientists have known that you can change people’s mood and make them more productive by changing what they smell and hear, through both perfumes and music. But now the evidence is mounting that specific colors elicit set reactions in people and that the effects can be quite pronounced.
Given that the majority of us spend around half our lives in our homes, where we live seems to be a good place to start experimenting with colors to affect our psychology. Here’s how your interior design color choices can lighten the mood and make you feel great.
Complex Colors Appeal To The Highly Educated
Our reactions to colors depend on context. And in this case, the context we’re interested in is our level of education. According to the science, those with high levels of education get the biggest turn on from complex color patterns indoors. Think block colors on a wall, or patterned colors and embellishments. Those who completed high school, on the other hand, seem to prefer more basic color arrangements, As a result, when considering which colors to choose to maximise your well-being, choose styles which complement your education level.
Use Colors To Foster Moods
Every room in your house has a different function. Some are for sleeping – others for eating. It turns out that the colors you choose for these rooms can both complement and oppose their intended purpose. For instance, including lots of bright reds in the kitchen has actually been shown to increase appetite and make somebody readier to eat. You don’t have to paint the entire kitchen red either: a few red elements, like red cabinet doors or tiles, will work perfectly.
The Exterior Of Your House Should Be Non-Neutral
While neutral homes are popular among both residents and town planners, psychologists have found that villages and towns with more decorated houses feel friendlier than those that don’t. The benefits of painting stucco outweigh those of keeping it plain, helping your community feel happier and more intertwined, providing you with a better social network of people to fall back on. Decorating a home can literally help bring people together and improve your quality of life.
Color For The Seasons
We all look forward to the summer, but let’s face it, sometimes it can get too hot. Research has shown, however, that our choice of colors can have a profound impact on our sense of heat. The evidence suggests that by using cooler colors in summer, we can actually help reduce our subjective experience of heat. In addition, choosing warmer colors in winter can also have a big effect on how we feel. For summer, choose blues with white trim. In winter, stick with oranges and yellows.
Use Colors Which Help You Relax
One place where you probably don’t want to use blue is in the bedroom. Blue is a color which signals to the brain that it’s time to wake up, expend energy and be alert – precisely the opposite of what you want when you’re settling down to go to bed.
Color psychologists recommend, therefore, that people use colors other than blue in their bedrooms which are reminiscent of their childhood environment, a time in which the majority of people were able to sleep well. The great thing about this is that you can choose practically any color you like, even the color of your parent’s kitchen or living room if it’s worth recreating.
Avoid Reds For Health Reasons
Around a third of the US population suffers from hypertension – that is, blood pressure above the normal range. And while hypertension doesn’t produce any symptoms of its own, it can lead to sudden death, heart failure and stroke. In other words, it’s not something you want.
So what’s this got to do with color? It turns out that the colors that we perceive with our eyes can have a direct impact on the blood pressure in our bodies. Red, for instance, actually elevates our blood pressure, probably because things associated with the color red in our evolutionary history required instant action. (Think climbing a tree to pick red fruits).
Aggressively Style Your Gym
Many people are choosing to forgo the gym and do their exercise at home. So what’s the best color arrangement for a home workout room?
It turns out that you want a bit of both. Ideally, you’ll have an aggressive color scheme on a couple of the walls, and more relaxing colors on the remaining. The bold colors will provide motivation, while the cooler colors will soothe you and help you cool down during exertion.