Color Psychology refers to the effect of color on human behavior and feeling. A century after Newton, Johann Wolfgang Goethe began studying psychological effect of colors. He noticed that blue gives a feeling of coolness and yellow has a warming effect. Goethe created a color wheel showing the psychological effect of each color. He divided all the colors into two groups – the plus side (from red through orange to yellow) and the minus side (from green through violet to blue). Colors of the plus side produce excitement and cheerfulness. Colors of the minus side are associated with weakness and unsettled feelings. Colors used to decorate home can have a profound effect on the emotional well-being. What color you paint your walls isn't just a matter of aesthetics. It's a tool that can be leveraged to affect emotions and behavior.

Color more than any other aspect, has the greatest impact on interior design. The color of our environment is just as important visually as it is to enhancing our psychological, physical emotional well-being. Every color has its own physiological and psychological effect on our body and mind. These are some examples of how to use color for an interior space while keeping in mind their effects on our mind and body.

RED: Stimulates body & mind and is also known to be a color of vitality and ambition.  Stimulates the sense of smell & taste and improves appetite. It can be painted in kitchens and dining rooms. Red can be used to get rid of negative thoughts and at the same time it can also make one irritable.

ORANGE: Orange is a stimulant and has got positive effects on your emotions. Stimulates the thyroid glands which helps in metabolism while reduces the functionality of parathyroid glands. It has a positive vibration on our thought and makes you feel happy. Orange color acts as good antidepressant. If designing a room for people to socialize and play, then paint it orange.

YELLOW: Helps to uplift the mood and thus is known to be a happy color. Stimulates the nerves and brain. This helps to make you more alert and decisive. Yellow helps to build up confidence and encourages optimism. Yellow is an excellent color to paint counseling offices, conference rooms or anywhere communication is needed. A dull yellow induces the feelings of fear. Too much of it, or the wrong tone in relation to the other tones in a color scheme, can cause self-esteem to plummet, giving rise to fear and anxiety. Babies cry more in yellow room.

GREEN:  Creates feelings of comfort, relaxation and calmness. Relaxes our muscles and helps us breathe deeper and slower. Elevates blood histamine levels, which helps in dilation of blood vessels and contraction of smooth muscles. It helps us balance and soothe our emotions. Some attribute this to its connection with nature and our natural feelings of affiliation with the natural world when experiencing the color green. Yet, darker and greyer greens can have the opposite effect. Olive green colors remind us of decay and death and can actually have a detrimental effect on physical and emotional health.

BLUE: Blue color is usually associated with the sky and thus we feel relaxed and calmed. Strong blues will stimulate clear thought and lighter, soft blues will calm the mind and aid concentration. Consequently it is serene and mentally calming. Deep blue stimulates the pituitary gland, which then regulates our sleep patterns. These colors can be useful in eliminating insomnia. It is a bad color for someone who has low energy or depressed.

VIOLET: this color is related to sensitivity to beauty, high ideals and stimulates creativity, spirituality and compassion. It has associations with royalty and usually communicates the finest possible quality. This color also suppresses hunger and balances the body’s metabolism.  Excessive use of purple can bring about too much introspection and the wrong tone of it communicates something cheap and nasty, faster than any other color.

PINK: Being a tint of red, pink also affects us physically, but it soothes, rather than stimulates. Pink slows down the heart rate and reduces aggressive behavior, which is why is painted in correctional institution. To reduce stress, paint your room in light pink. Within a few minutes you will feel calm again.

(Interestingly, red is the only color that has an entirely separate name for its tints. Tints of blue, green, yellow, etc. are simply called light blue, light green etc.) 

Pink induces feelings of calm, protection, warmth and nurture. This color is very much connected with feelings of love and thus helps to lessen the irritation.

BROWN: It has much of the same seriousness as black, but is warmer and softer. This color brings feelings of stability, reduces mental tension and improves feeling of security. Brown has associations with the earth and the natural world.  Reduce irritability and feeling of fatigue. Sometimes brown can also be associated with withholding emotion and retreating from the world.

WHITE: White is the color of ultimate purity. This color brings feelings of peace and comfort while it dispels shock and despair. Pure non-tinted white interiors cause eye strain, headaches and difficulty paying attention. Visually, white gives a heightened perception of space. But too much white can give feelings of separation and can be cold and isolation.

BLACK: Means power and control. Black is intimidating, unfriendly and unapproachable because of the power it exudes. It creates protective barriers, as it absorbs all the energy coming towards you, and it enshrouds the personality. Black creates a perception of weight and seriousness. The color black is often seen as a color of sophistication. Too much black can cause depression and mood swings and creates a negative environment.

This post was submitted by Junaid Afzal.

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