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The Power of Color and Mood

“Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.” Pablo Picasso made an excellent point. If you’ve ever felt like certain colors make you feel happier or more relaxed or even excited, you’re not alone. Artists and interior designers have known for a while, and studies are starting to back them up, that colors have an impact on people’s moods. Today we’re going to delve into some of the psychology behind how colors can be used to positively affect mood.

Color psychology is the study of color and how it affects people, both emotionally and physically. Several areas of color theory and psychology can be subjective based on culture, but we’ll focus on the universal ones today. Colors like reds, oranges, and yellows are considered warm tones, and generally evoke warm and cozy feelings…but those feelings can get hotter and become more aggressive, like anger and fear. When those red colors get a blue undertone, like burgundy or raspberry, they can evoke more of a feeling of calm and seriousness. Blue colors are considered cool tones, and generally evoke calm feelings, but can create moodiness if overdone or done too darkly. Pinks, greens, and whites as room tones make it easier to notice happy reactions in your loved ones. Cool, right?

Cool Colors

Warm Colors

Curious yet for more specifics on the positive effects? We’ve got you covered. Let’s look at this color by color:

  • Red: Red tends to be the strongest emotional color. It connects the most closely to our will to survive, and it is energizing and exciting. It is best used in smaller pops and doses when decorating, as too much can cause eye strain.

  • Blue: Blue is one of the most emotionally evocative colors. It creates feelings of trust and peace. Picture this as the opposite mental effect of reds. It gives a sense of calm and is one of the most universally favorite colors.

  • Green: If you are looking for a color to stimulate growth, rebirth, and new life, green is what you want. Green gives a feeling of balance and harmony. Darker greens are closer to feelings of security and success, while lighter greens will give more freshness and creativity.

  • Yellow: Yellow is the color that represents creativity and intellect. It is the lightest color on the spectrum, and thus offers feelings of hope and happiness. Like the sun!

  • Orange: This color has been noted to be the color of self-confidence, optimism, and warmth.

  • Purple: Purple is the color of deep introspection and imagination. It lends a feeling of beauty, tranquility, and royalty to any situation.

  • Black: Black can give a sense of seriousness or elegance. It can lend a feeling of security as well.

  • White: White, in many cultures, creates a feeling of honesty and innocence. It is a very clean color and can semi-wipe the slate of emotions if needed.

Colors are widely subjective in emotional effect, but there are some common emotions that can be seen across many people. If you know what emotion you wish to create in a space, you can use this guideline to help you accomplish that! So go ahead and go bold or go home!

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