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Color Theory & Psychology: Feeling at Home... at Home
March 27, 2024

Color Theory & Psychology: Feeling at Home... at Home

In the words of Coco Chanel... "The best color in the whole world is the one that looks good on you." 

Of course, we know she was referring to clothing, but the same can be said for your entire life and specifically your home. What is Color Psychology? 

Color Psychology "connects colors with emotions and behaviors. It reveals how color plays a role in your moods and can even be incorporated into your wellness routines."

In 1810, Johan Wolfgang van Goethe published The Theory of Colors, linking colors with emotions. In the 1940's K. Goldstein took it a step further by promoting the idea that colors affected human physiology and actions. In an international study, people were asked to select one emotion to associate with each color. Here are the most commonly associated emotions in the survey:

  • Red means love to 68% of people. 
  • Orange means joy to 44% of people. 
  • Yellow means joy to 52% of people.
  • Green means contentment to 39% of people.
  • Blue means relief to 35% of people. 
  • Turquoise means pleasure to 35% of people.
  • Purple means pleasure to 25% of people.
  • Pink means love to 50% of people. 
  • Brown means disgust to 36% of people. 
  • Black means sadness to 51% of people. 
  • Gray means sadness to 48% of people. 
  • White means relief to 43% of people. 

So what does this mean for you if you are choosing colors and features for your home? Homes often evoke a magnitude of emotions and certain elements of a particular home may trigger memories of family gatherings, childhood memories, personal aspirations, etc. These emotional responses can deeply influence the perceived value of a property. In addition, owning a home allows you express yourself creatively through decor choices and interior enhancements, ultimately creating a sense of belonging through those personal selections. This is why understanding the impact of your design and decor choices is important for how your home will make you feel! 

Consider the list of color associations above and what effect each color could have in your space. For example, yellow is a sunny, vibrant color that is often associated with joy and happiness while blue may be closely associated with calm and relief. The beauty of color is that it means something different for every individual and you cannot select a right or wrong color palette. The photos below represent the same home plan but with two very different color styles. One is lights and airy and the other is rich and moody. Both are beautiful examples of a well designed home, but likely one appeals to you as the reader more. 

Ask yourself why that particular photo grabs your attention, how does it make you feel? Then consider your own home, does it make you feel the same? Whether your building a new home from the ground up, are purchasing an existing home, or just looking for a change in your current home, color theory and the psychology of color will likely play into your design decisions. Your choice of color, furnishings, accessories, and texture all come together to represent you. Check out this Homes and Garden article to understand how other interior design professionals approach color psychology in their projects. 

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