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Psychological Effects

Psychological Effects of Color in Interior Design and Decorating

Do we notice when a color is right in an interior? Not often, but we do notice when it is not right. Psychologically we just don’t feel quite right, we may not know why, but there is something that is making us feel uncomfortable. We often put it down to foreign surroundings or just a bad day, but more often that not it will have something to do with the colors around us an the psychological effects they have on us as a person.

So how do we use this knowledge for the better when interior decorating and designing and choosing colors for spaces?

We understand about warm and cool colors and how they affect our health and bodies, but they can also affect our behavior.

Schools tend to use colors that will promote mental alertness and activity, bright colors and warm hues.

Their opposite, the cooler duller hues have a more sedative effect and are used in areas where people are aggressive and have behavioral problems.

Orange in a classroom creates a cheerful, sociable environment with minimal hostility and irritation. Dull, white, brown and black in a classroom is not stimulating or productive; the positive classroom colors are yellow, yellow green, orange and light blue.

Some effects of color on workplace performance; people will tend to spend less time in an area that is red than one that is blue, therefore red partitions in the locker rooms and WC’s could stop staff lingering in these spaces.

Psychological Effects of Color - Blue - soft and calming in a reception area.

Picture Above – Blue creates a calming effect to a reception area.

Changing the color of the walls in a cold workplace from blue to peach will stop workers complaining about the temperature and save the employer from having to increase the heating, therefore saving on electricity bills.

Green is a good color to use backstage for actors, as it is calming and meant to ease their nerves before their performance.

Red flatters the skin so is an ideal background color to use in rooms that are used for social functions.

Blue can create the idea of tranquility and spaciousness in a reception area.

Psychological effects of color and our responses are complex. Slight variations in the hue can show major differences, an attempt at a pink calming room can go horribly wrong if there is too much red in the mixture for example. There has not been enough scientific research done to distinguish these minor differences, and we know that over time that our body adjusts to new stimulus.

Even thought, the psychology of color may have been around for thousands of years since Pythagoras used color halls for color therapy for healing in ancient China, Egypt and India, our knowledge and understanding of it is still very young and forever evolving through experimentation.

For the next color scheme you create, make sure you add the psychological effects that color has on a person and what the space will be used for to your checklist before making your final decision.

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About the Author – Lee Brown

Lee Brown is the co founder of interiordezine.com, she has worked in the Interior Design Industry for over 23 years, specializing in commercial, hospitality, high end architectural homes and retail design. Over the past 13 years Lee and Chris Brown have been collating their wealth of design knowledge to provide free interior decorating education to the world. Make sure you register for your free ecourse today. Free Interior Decorating eCourse
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