Psychology of Colors - Decorating a living room for the Subconscious
The living room is the setting which will blend the people in your life into the occasions of your home. It is the hardest room to decorate because it has to be versatile, comfortable, and entertaining. Guests, relatives, friends; this room will be the showcase of your home for all of them. This makes the decoration of the living room especially important. The colors and designs you choose will have subtle effects on the psychology of the occupants in the setting, resulting in slight changes to the interactions held there. In a social center such as this, you do not want that influence to be a negative one. A way to help control this is to understand the psychological effects of color on the people in a room.
Color is what surrounds us, it makes up our environment. Everywhere we look there is color, and this affects our minds. Certain colors have positive effects. Yellow is a happy color, while grey is considered dismal. These effects change as the shading changes, and of course other factors can alter them as well. Too much yellow is actually an eye irritant. Color and its effects have been studied by psychologists for many years and they have found many generalities that affect most Americans in a similar manner. However, it is important to note that these ideas are not universal, and you should always follow your own taste when designing a room.
Before you begin you should decide what you want to evoke. Are you looking to make this a quiet peaceful room or a place for wild parties? Would you like the room to feel elated or are you looking for a place of serenity. Once you know what you want, you can simply paint by the numbers, being careful to always pick the shade that evokes the desired effect most in you.
The most popular color in America is blue. This color produces a sense of calm, and is often associated with the ocean. The color blue can make a room look larger, and it stimulates elated emotional responses. Lighter blue is more popular and will make a room seem more open then darker navies.
The next most popular color in America is Green. This is the color of nature, and is almost always associated with growth. Using green is slightly more invigorating then blue, but still produces a sense of mental calm. Green is the easiest color on the eye, and is actually good for eyesight. Avoid sickly greens and use nature as your guide to mix and match colors into a green themed room.
Earth tones give a room a close grounded feeling, and can promote a sense of intimacy. They are rustic natural colors that seam simple and warm. Soft tans and browns are the colors of family, and will give your living room that feeling of home. Besides, they don’t show dirt. Greens can be matched in with browns, to create a feeling of nature and the outdoors in.
Colors to avoid in large doses are reds and yellows. Too much yellow can cause eye irritation and uncomfortable feelings. Red, while highly invigorating, is also a very aggressive color. Use of too much red could easily lead to fighting. To avoid conflict, use reds and yellows only as accessories, and only when they match the room’s main color.
It is almost impossible to get angry in a pink room. In light tones and small doses this color gentles people’s personalities. However if you paint the whole room a wild pink you may find yourself irritated by the brightness. Instead use pink in an understated manner. Throw in pink accessories, or a few pink decorations. If you want to theme a room pink, then choose a light color that will match earth tones. However you should be cautious; the more pink that gets used the more people tend to get lazy and unmotivated.
Make a decision about what kind of setting you want to invoke, and then decide on the colors that will help get you there. Make sure the colors you use will match one another. Maintain balance between different extremes, and refer to yourself often. Only you know if the harmony of the room is helping to bring balance into your home. You are your own best resource.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joey Lewitin is an author, artist, and designer of home décor accessories made from imported stone. Original designs from him and other artisans can be seen at
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