When it comes to color, there are more questions than answers.
Can color have an effect on how we feel? Why is yellow known to be a “happy” color?
Yet knowing even the fundamentals of how color influences our state of mind and even our physical health will help you create the mood you desire for your special spaces. Our approach to color is taking cues from nature and basing our palette on what we see outdoors.
The color of something is the first thing we perceive when entering a room. Colors are like a visual language, eliciting mood, energy and response. You might see a chair at a furniture store in blue and pass it with hardly a glance. Then you might see the exact same chair in a pale pink and go bonkers over it. All of us respond to different colors in our own unique way; color is a powerful influence on our emotions and even behavior.
Warm, bright colors are also known as “happy colors” — they tend to cheer you up, make you feel optimistic and energized. These are reds, oranges and yellows. Many Victorian dining rooms were papered in deep red, as the color was thought to enhance appetite and aid digestion.
On the other side of the color chart are cool colors, sometimes called “sad” colors although not literally. Rather, blues, purples and greens are calm and soothing, denoting nature, the sea and even royalty (purple).
Then you have the combination of warm and cool colors, usually thost that are across from each other on the color wheel. Like these lemons on a pale blue background, the effect is usually quite pleasing. She Sheds Style, one of our books, has a chapter devoted to understanding and working with color.
When we work with women to design their sheds, color is a big consideration. “What color should my door be?” “Would my shed look good the same color as my house?” The answers are of course subjective and sometimes there are more than one good answers. But the universal truth is that color is very important in establishing mood, authenticity and memory. It has a significant impact on pleasure and judgement.
Paint is one of the best ways to add color to your space, and there are many ways to do this. Walls, trim, furniture, or even a cluster of picture frames on the wall that are painted in a dramatic color. Flowers add exuberant colors to your tabletops, mantel and doors (think wreaths!). Their natural colors are vibrant and can be placed in a vase to showcase just about anywhere in your space.
And in all this, don’t forget the neutrals. Using neutral colors on your walls and big furnishings can be effective as “canvases” for adding colorful accents such as pillows, throws and art. There’s a reason art galleries use white as a background: it promotes, rather than competes with, the color in the artwork.
Color your world and see how it adds beauty and well-being to your surroundings.