The long, dark days of winter probably have you feeling more eager than ever to refresh your space. Nothing says refreshing like slapping on some new paint, swapping out your bedsheets, and adding some new nicknacks to your once-dusty shelves. Before you do, we suggest you check out what the colors in your spaces are doing for you.
Color psychology hasn’t been totally accepted by mainstream science yet. But we can’t deny the way colors make us feel. We know (thanks to chromotherapy) that colors, especially when distributed through lights, have real-time effects on our overall health. So, it’s only right we take a deeper look at colors’ impact on our mood.
Warm tones in a room say “look at me.” Red reminds us of love and passion, yellow of positive energy, and orange is bright and seeks your attention. Warm tones–reds, red-oranges, yellows, and yellow-greens–are radiant and stimulating. They induce a sense of intimacy, making spaces feel more defined, cozy, and smaller all the while keeping a sense of vibrancy alive. Warm tones are there to make you feel alive and make you smile.
If warm tones sound like your vibe but you’re already in a small space, opt for a more subtle color commitment. Keep the walls neutral and choose rose-colored bedsheets. And nothing says vibrant like a ringing red alarm clock.
If you’re trying to stay calm, cool, and collected then purples, blues, and blue-greens are for you. Unlike warm tones, cool tones induce a sense of calm, relaxation, and depth. Blue feels powerful but safe. Purple feels mysterious. Green feels honest. Also unlike warm tones, cool tones tend to open up spaces–especially well-lit spaces–making them feel more spacious and airy.
If you’re into cool tones but not sure how to work them into your space, try hanging up some artwork. This option is low-commitment and easy for complimenting the existing color scheme in your space. Adding a throw blanket in blue can do the cozy work of warm tones while ensuring your psyche is at peace.
White, black and gray shades are technically not colors but can have similar psychological effects depending on their undertone. Neutrals have more subtle implications than bolds, of course, but its important to recognize their effects on color psychology.
The effects of tones in neutral shades are perhaps most obvious when decorating with white. Warm whites, for example, like a yellow-ish or pink-ish white, can add a sense of purity and freshness to your space while cool, or “true,” whites often feel more sterile and formal and tend to have blue-ish notes. Both can work for achieving a minimal and clean look or for layering on other looks. Neutrals provide a great canvas for adding color in small ways, or more dramatic accents, as we mentioned above!
Mix It Up
If your room has the potential to impact your mood, perhaps the most effective color scheme is a balanced one. This means achieving a steady mixture of both warm and cool tones. How can you do this? Add primary colors to your space if you want to assert some bold energy or pastels if you’re looking for toned-down vibes (pun intended). This way, your space feels good no matter what mood you’re in.