Meanings and Feelings of Color
When you look at the picture below, how do you feel?
BLUE. Do you feel serene? What things in nature are blue? A placid lake or a clear blue sky usually call you to sit and enjoy, right? Well, rooms with a primary color of blue tend to invite our minds to relax and sit awhile. The color in this photo was compared to a robin’s egg. You can always compare colors to the natural world to determine if that color is something you can handle every time you walk into a room. Also, notice that the sofa is a tinted blue. A color that has been muted by adding white or gray can look and feel more expensive.
GREEN. What is green in nature? Grass and foliage. What does green mean to you? I think of growth and renewal. I also think of energy which is fitting since green can stimulate conversation and fun.
PURPLE. Think royalty with purple. It is a sign of wealth and power. In the room above it is paired with another royal color, gold. It is dramatic and connotes a combination of sorrow and passion. A muted purple is beautiful in little girls rooms and vanities and suggests refinement. The darker shade of purple can tire the eyes, so use this color with care.
RED. This bold color encourages passionate feelings of love or hate. In nature, a hot fire, blood and roses wear the color well and represent much of the powerful feelings associated with the color. This color demands attention and adds life to a room. This color, too, needs to be used with discretion.
YELLOW. I always think of a warm ray of sunshine when I think of yellow. I personally love the color yellow. It is a bright and cheerful color that infuses energy into a room. Paired with gray, like in this picture, it is balanced and beautiful. There is a innocent happiness, light and intellectualism in the color. But a dull yellow can be associated with sickness, aging, and cowardice, so you may want to avoid decorating an entire room this way.
ORANGE. This is a fearless color that asserts youthfulness and spontaneity. In nature we see it in the burnt orange of the fall leaves and in the fruit it was named for. This color stimulates breathing, immunity brain activity. It is also used to signify caution. In the photo above you can see that orange was paired with its complementary color, blue.
GRAY. Think of a rock. It is nondescript, yet it carries weight and looks beautiful with other colors. Gray is a popular color that looks smart, sleek and goes with nearly all colors. It is a color of peace, longevity and wisdom. Nearly all the walls in my house are gray. It is a popular neutral color right now.
Heavenly, clean, innocent. We see this color in nature through clouds, snow, and lamb fleece. It is a light and airy color that reflects light well and gives a sense of sterility. This color is also a neutral color that highlights other colors well. Right now most kitchens are white, but it isn’t boring when pops of color bring life and hardware gets to take the spotlight too.
BROWN. This is an earthy color that reminds us of dirt, trees, and Mother Earth. It is color that elicits feelings of coziness and safety. It is a color that invites us to sit, rest and be content. I chose tan and brown for my living room for this very reason. It is the room I want to snuggle into a blanket and read a good book in.
- Pick a room you want to add color too–this can either be with paint, wallpaper, window treatments, flooring, furniture, or decor.
- What is the function of the room? Is it where you gather, where you eat or where you get clean? The function will help you determine suitable colors.
- Now pick a color that will help create the feelings you want to feel in that room. It doesn’t have to be an exact color yet, so just go with the hue (name of the color.) For example: you know you want to use yellow.
- Now decide what value of the color you want. Do you want a lightened version of yellow? Do you want a darker version of yellow?
- Now decide on the saturation. This is done by just looking at the different colors and considering other colors that you want to combine it with.
- Now it is time to pick your secondary color, the color you will use 30% of the time. This is where it can be really helpful to see what colors are analogous, complementary or split complementary to the color you chose. This is also when you could use the color palette tools that I linked. This color will likely be seen in the curtains, furniture or home decor, but it can be on the walls through paint and wallpaper.
- Now all you have left is to pick your accent color. This is the color you will use 10% of the time. It will stand out, but it will not certainly not overbear the other colors in the room. This color can add interest and life to the room.
- Now you have a color scheme to be proud of.
Learn more design elements: Lines, Space and Function, Form, and Color Part 1.