The Psychology Behind Color

Ever wonder why you’re always drawn to the same colors time and time again? Colors help us feel a certain something and so it’s no wonder that in the places where we spend the most time, we want to be sure we feel relaxed, at peace, or energized. Check out the following and see if it holds true for you. And next time you paint…try on a different personality!


Black represents elegance, mystery and power. Those who like black are ambitious and sophisticated. However, too much of a good thing, in this case black, can be depressing. Want more black color (I know, black isn’t a color) in your space but are afraid you won’t like it? Try using black as an accent color. It’s super elegant on window panes, inside and out. How about a chevron pattern on the wall?

Green is the color of nature — calm and relaxing. It’s often described as the color of joy, harmony, life, energy and the environment. Those who like green are said to believe in balance, stability and persistence. Doesn’t that make you feel better already? Next time you use green, try a nice, deep, bright grass green. You won’t regret it.

Purple is supposed to stimulate the imagination. It’s the color of royalty, luxury, wealth and the K-State Wildcats! Those who like purple tend to be creative, wise and romantic. A lilac shade would be great for a bathroom, while a deep purple would work well in a dining room.

White represents cleanliness and youth. It creates a cool and refreshing feeling. A warmer shade of white can help make a room feel cozy, while cooler whites tend to achieve a more formal feeling. White is also great at making a room feel open and spacious.

Blue is calm and cool. It’s said to be the most popular color because it symbolizes the sky and heaven. Because of its calming power, blue works well in a bedroom or bathroom, but also would be perfect for a outdoor porch or sunroom.

Brown represents earth, security and contentment. It gives a sense of simplicity and comfort. Browns are great for bedrooms and dens.

Red is among the most psychologically stimulating colors. It is the color of confidence and creates excitement and energy. It brings to mind passion, energy and courage. Want to use red in your house? Your best bet is to leave it off the walls (unless you really, really love red and are never moving!) and instead use it in your furnishings. Too much of a good thing and all.

Pink is part of the red color family, but much more delicate. Those who like pink are perceived to be feminine, romantic, innocent and tender hearted. Compared to red, pink is a more tranquil color (whoa there hot pink fans, we’re talking about light pink here), which can work well in a bedroom. A bath with a delicate shade of pink on the walls can also be soothing and a great contrast to white cabinets and countertops.

Yellow represents happiness, optimism, inspiration and summer. Pale yellow brings a sunny feel to a space without overwhelming it. Yellow is a popular color for kitchens, but depending on the shade, could work well in any room in the house.

Silver represents money, prosperity and wealth. Accenting rooms with the color silver can create a feeling of ornate richness. Think candlesticks, serving dishes, picture frames, faucets, and knobs and pulls on cabinets…its shiny surface brings a little sparkle to your life.

Orange is considered wholesome and fruitful. It symbolizes balance, warmth, enthusiasm, vibrancy and demands attention. Orange stimulates the appetite and can add spice to a dining area. It’s also a color most people don’t use often enough. If you want to dip your toe in the orange pool, a great option is to spray paint some knick knacks or old light fixtures and start adding them to your room. I bet you’ll come back for more.

Gray is a classic. Those who gravitate to it are intelligent and disciplined (and I’m not just saying that because it’s my favorite color). It’s elegant and works well with most colors. Warm gray paired with other warm colors create a lively and inviting space. Another great thing about gray is that it’s a neutral that provides a great background to bright pops of color.

Helpful Tips: Colors are tricky little buggers. Be sure to always check how the colors you choose look in both natural and incandescent light during the day and at night.

Keep colors in adjoining rooms compatible. They don’t have to be the same, but you don’t want them to clash either.

Always keep in mind the things you cannot change, such as a fireplace or other feature in your home, and adjust your color scheme to mesh with it.

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