Putting some color into your life doesn’t have to be an exhausting or permanent process. Instead of spending weeks pondering the perfect color for your walls, take a more fluid approach by continually alternating color in your accent features, such as pillows, plates and rugs.
According to color expert Angela Wright, “Red, blue, yellow and green are the four psychological primary colors: red affects us physically, blue is the color of the mind, yellow activates the emotions, the ego and self-confidence, and green provides the essential balance between body, mind and emotions.”
See the emotional effect behind each color below along with a slideshow of how you can easily add each to your home.
Emotional Effect: Angela says, “red is associated with physyical strength and energy, warmth and a call to action. It can certainly make people feel better, physically.” This is because the red light wavelength is the longest and cannot be ignored.
For Your Home: According to Angela, the red wavelength requires the most adjustment to process, so red grabs people’s attention first. Notice that your couch becomes your post-work crash zone? Then try putting a red slipcover on it to make you feel energized. Or replace your current sheets with red ones to fight those pesky lethargic morning moods. However, since red has a physical effect, do not overdo it, because you might push past energetic into aggressive.
Emotional Effect: “A very strong, bright blue will stimulate the mind and evoke clear thinking, whilst a soft blue tint will calm the mind and aid concentration,” Angela describes, noting that saturation is the component that decides whether a hue within the same family will stimulate or sooth (super saturated is always bright and shocking, while less saturated hues are easier on the eyes).
For Your Home: Since blue affects us intellectually, accents like blue curtains or a woven blanket work very well in an office to help you focus or in a room where you have lots of conversation. However, Angela warns, “If you decide to add a burst of blue you need to make sure there are touches of yellow, or orange, to add a little emotion to all that thought.”
Emotional Effect: “It is emotionally stimulating, so yellow will lift the spirits and encourage optimism and creativity. However,” Angela warns, “negative uses of color can have the exact opposite effect. Interestingly, in my experience, many people are very cautious of yellow without really knowing why.”
For Your Home: Angela let us know that yellow is arguably the color with the strongest psychological impact, so you need to be sure to choose a yellow that easily harmonizes with most color schemes, which tend to be the softer canary yellows or yellows that have been tinted gold or orange. Yellow is great for the kitchen, where families usually convene after a stressful day. Adding a bright rug or more subtle yellow knobs to your kitchen cabinets will keep everyone feeling optimistic.
Emotional Effect: Angela describes green as “nature’s favorite color,” noting that it often “restores balance and equilibrium. It is also reassuring, for the simple reason that when the landscape contains green we know that it indicates the presence of water, healthy vegetation and little danger of famine.”
For Your Home: A great way to add green to your home is by using plants. If you're always rushing to get ready in the morning, create a sense of calm around you by placing green towels in the bathroom to help you feel fresh and rejuvenated rather than rushed.
Check out this slideshow to see simple ways that each color can be brought into your home.