Color Options - Painting

From on February 01, 2007 in Painting

All too often homeowners choose colors without understanding basic color psychology. Color impacts our mood, appetite, and energy level. Years of color response research have shown that certain colors elicit specific?and often strong?responses. The following is a guide to help you narrow the choices when choosing colors for you home.

Warming Colors

Colors in the red, orange and yellow families are referred to as “warm” colors since they evoke images associated with heat, like fire or sunshine. As a result they make us feel warm in a psychological sense.


This powerful color increases blood pressure and heart rate. It often produces feelings of intimacy, energy, passion and sexuality. It also stimulates the appetite; it?s often used in restaurants and is an excellent choice for dining rooms in the home.


Like red, orange warms a room but in a less dramatic and passionate way. The mood and attitude of orange is more friendly than fiery, more welcoming than seductive. Orange works well in living rooms and family rooms and is also a good choice for children’s bedrooms.


Yellow grabs attention and catches the eye, hence the use of yellow highlighters in offices. In poorly lit foyers and hallways, yellow illuminates the way. In their bedrooms, elderly people report that yellow lifts their mood. But bright yellow can be too strong and may actually cause anxiety in infants, young children and the elderly.

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Cooling colors

Blues, greens, violets and their intermediates are considered cool colors because of their references to pastoral landscapes and ocean vistas. When we look at these colors they elicit feelings of peace, tranquility and relaxation.


Soothing blue is an ideal bedroom color choice for adults and children. But that same blue that lulls us to sleep also suppresses our appetites, possibly because there are very few naturally blue foods. Put blue to bed, but try to keep it out of the dining room.


As the dominant color in nature, we are at home with green anywhere in the house. Light greens work well in baths and living rooms; mid-range greens are a great accent for kitchens and dining rooms. The calming effect of green makes it popular in hospitals, schools and work environments.


Despite the favorable response violet elicits in children, many adults dislike purples, with rosier shades of violet being somewhat more appealing. Children’s bedrooms and play areas may be good places to experiment with this color family.

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