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Color Psychology

Color is integral to all aspects of our lives...wherever we go, whatever we do! Whether it’s Interior or Exterior, in any environment, wherever we go we respond to color just as we respond to smells and tastes. But these important, far-reaching effects of color are often underestimated.

My approach to selecting colors for your home decorating, and interior/exterior design considers all these areas, and much more.

Exteriors Architectural color gives context and appeal to our buildings from the outside. In a development, colors can create pride of ownership. Color adds uniqueness to a building that otherwise would be bland.

Interiors Color is important to us personally in our homes and in the places where we work. You might even have noticed personally how you feel in a particular kind of color space.

A keen understanding of the function of color is essential, selecting colors that relate to your lighting, shape of the space, personal goals and business goals.

For business owners color makes a difference in product development, and business marketing and branding.

Our preferences for various colors stem in part from personal memories and emotions. Colors carry a tremendous emotional appeal and influence. While a “mood” is a transitory phase, our emotional states are more long term.

That is why, in our places of work, at home, and even in recreational environments, we’ll benefit from combinations of colors that will help us achieve our goals—from relaxation, to study and concentration, to more active work performance.

Neutrals - Snow, Ivory, Quiet

Are you in the mood to go nude? Neutrals are classic colors with staying power, so they are a practical choice if you want a look that will last.

The very definition of neutral is that it matches well with most other colors or shades and the advantage of using a neutral as the main color of any room is simply flexibility. Neutral upholstered furniture affords you the opportunity to change the feeling of a room with colorful pillows and throws, along with the ability to add seasonal changes like prints in spring or autumn leaves in the fall. Neutral walls allow for changes in drapery and window treatments too. A flash of color in artwork and voila!, you've got an all new room and a new attitude toward life. With neutrals, you can change on a whim.

Yellows - Golden, Honey, Buttercream

Yellow is psychologically the happiest color in the color spectrum. Yellow shines with optimism, enlightenment and happiness. Shades of golden yellow carry the promise of a positive future. Yellow will advance from surrounding colors and instill optimism and energy, as well as spark creative thoughts. Since yellow stimulates the mind, use it with abandon in the living room, dining room, kitchen or home office. Lean toward creamier shades in a bedroom however, so you'll be sure to get enough rest. While yellow is generally characterized as a mood lifter; especially in those who can't get outside as often as they might like.

Oranges - Joyful, Mandarin, Citrus

These are vital rather than vivid colors, with a clarity and purity that instantly lifts the spirits.

Orange, a close relative of red, sparks more controversy than any other hue. There is usually strong positive or negative association to orange and true orange generally elicits a stronger "love it" or "hate it" response than other colors. Fun and flamboyant orange radiates warmth and energy. Interestingly, some tones of orange, such as terra cotta, peach, and rust have very broad appeal.

Reds - Brick, Claret, Passion

Your home is an extension of you, so express your personality. A fabulous red makes a strong statement and energizes the room

There is nothing quite as inviting as a red door. Chinese believed a red door was a sign of luck. Red has more personal associations than any other color. Recognized as a stimulant, red is inherently exciting and the amount of red is directly related to the level of energy perceived. Red draws attention and a keen use of red as an accent can immediately focus attention on a particular element.

Pinks - Lipstick, Rose, Blush

In some cases pink is for girls, but I always look twice at a man who is secure enough to wear a pink polo shirt or designer tie.

Emotionally soothing and romantic, pink is the color of "positivity". A natural sedative, pink is particularly right for the bedroom, nursery or bath. Pink often signifies romance and has a positive impact on the emotions of the heart. Pink is light, fun and playful... think pink lemonade, pink champagne and pink grapefruit!! Pink gets your attention with a whisper. Pink is sexy!! If you're looking to be seen in your best light, try accenting your pink color scheme with burgundy, gray and cream for drama.

Blues - Meditative, Daring, Serene

There's nothing more crisp or classic than the combination of blue and white. It makes me think of blueberries and cream, a favorite china pattern, sails snapping in the wind and stripes on a wall.

Touches of blue here and there are a calming influence, but too much of a good thing is, well, too much. If it's beginning to look like you've got a serious case of the blues, break up your scheme with a little contrast. Green is a natural choice since blue and green are naturally harmonious colors that comfort your soul. Picture lying in a green field under a blue sky... Mother Nature knew what she was doing!!

Greens - Forest, Tranquil, Fresh Start

Green is a calming color that speaks of nature and life. For this reason, green is almost always viewed as a positive color... unless you are green with envy of course! Green is also friendly. It seems to get along with every shade it's paired with.

If you're designing a room for a man in your life, you generally can't go wrong with hunter green. Whether its the call of nature and the great outdoors, or something that instinctively harkens back to the Garden of Eden, men seem to gravitate to green. It's an excellent choice for your husband's study.

Purples - Eggplant, Grapes, Dusk

Purple is believed to stimulate imagination and creativity.

There is a certain mystical or spiritual quality attached to purple. There is also a certain comfort and power to it. It has also been long associated with artistic impulses; painters, composers and writers often surround themselves with purple. Beware, purple walls are dramatic and bold, not for the timid in spirit.

Earth - Chocolate, Pumpkin, Squash

Like the hot fudge on a dish of vanilla ice cream, brown makes everything extra delicious.

Earthy colors have long been associated with Southwestern style. You can kick up your decorating flavor a notch or two with orange adobe, terra cotta or clay on the walls. You're only a paint can away from the red rocks of Sedona, or the serenity of sun-baked Scottsdale. Add energy to your room today. And brown paint on the walls was once considered a no-no, but is now very chic. You'll find that chocolate or cocoa colors with hints of red make for a very sophisticated room.

Black - Black Tie, City Scape, Silver Strand

Black is stylish, timeless and ever-popular. I am comfortable in black and it will always be my favorite color. I look into my closet and at my home you will see that it is my favorite color to accent with. Never fear you lovers of black, you will always be in style, no matter what the year!

Black lacks brightness and absorbs all light. And over the years that's given black a bad rap. Indeed, black has long been associated with magic and mystery, evil and even death. As sober as it can be, black can also be sexy, glamorous and the height of sophistication. When decorating, consider a black or dark grey accent wall for that WOW effect!


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