“Use color as a mood-lifting design tool that evokes calm, drama, cheer, or comfort,” Jeanne Matteucci writes in her article entitled “The Psychology of Color.” Perhaps I’ve watched too much HGTV over the years, but I love seeing spaces transformed only by switching up the colors that are present.
This does not just apply to one’s living space – new colors can be present in many areas of your life!
The Power of Color
Color psychology is a unique concept, and while not a lot of research-based evidence is provided on why certain colors affect us more than others, it is clear that the colors we are surrounded by often affect our moods and perceptions of the world.
While I won’t go into detail about every color and the psychological ideas behind them you can read about them yourself, we are all different. There are many ways I incorporate color into my life, from the clothes that I wear to the interior décor of my apartment.
Personally, I gravitate towards bright colors. I have this orange and white polka-dot rug in my living room, with matching orange chairs of a deeper rust hue. Orange is considered a color that calls to mind feelings of warmth, enthusiasm, and excitement. Every evening when I walk into my apartment after a long day, I am cheered by the fun pattern of this rug and the warm tone it provides.
Accessories of décor are a great way to add a punch of color. As I live in a complex where I can’t paint my walls, I tend to put the color on furniture or in the form of throw pillows and rugs.
One of my rooms, by contrast, has blue hues: navy and a crisp, French blue with pale yellow and gray accents. Blue is considered to be a calming and tranquil color that emits feelings of serenity and security.
It’s interesting to note the colors we like and dislike. For instance, I dislike the color pink. I rarely wear it or use it for decorations. In contrast, I love colors like green and lavender and tend to wear and incorporate them into my life often. These colors bring me a sense of calm and peace.
Bringing Color Into Your Life
Whatever your preferences, here are some ideas on incorporating more color in your life:
1. Get some color into your living space. Whites and other neutrals are stark colors. They don’t provide a lot of warmth, and if you have a hard time unwinding at the end of a day, consider adding some small color punches.
Not sure where to start? I personally like Jessica Hansen’s blog The Lovely Side for inspiration on adding color to your home.
2. If you can paint your walls, consider it. Even accent walls are a fun way to add color without going over the top (especially if you’re nervous about swiping that spring green all over your dining room).
If you can’t paint your walls, never fear! That French blue in one of my bedrooms? It’s on the bookcase, dresser, and nightstand. Sometimes painting furniture is more cost efficient as well if you are on a budget. Companies like Sherwin-Williams have color suggestions to create unified themes between spaces.
3. Drab wardrobe? Spice it up with some surprise. Try StitchFix. It’s a cool way to get some new pieces of clothing. I personally have done this a few times, and love the way my stylist suggests new things. If you have a closet of mostly black, this is such a fun (and professional!) way to add some color to your clothes.
4. Dress up that office space! Those photos on your desk will look even prettier with a color picture frame. Think of repurposing your cubicle space with a bright chair, like this one from IKEA – it comes in blue or pink for a great price.
No matter how you incorporate color fellow twenty-somethings, the power of color psychology can enhance your daily life. Try spicing it up for an instant mood lifter.