Like it or not, color has a subtle influence on our mood. Brands spend thousands hoping to convey certain emotions with the color choices in their logos. In interior design, the right color can be used to help you relax, lift your spirit, or make you feel safe. Room by room, I’ve gone through the color choices that would be optimal and explored some of the reasons why. Of course, it’s always OK to break the mold, as long as you’re aware of the complex relationships between color and mood.
Your Kitchen: Blues
This choice depends on your preference: Do you want to curb or encourage appetite? Many large chain restaurants are painted red or use red in their decorations to encourage more eating because red subconsciously makes us feel feral and hungry. If you’re like most Americans, though, you’re likely trying to lose weight. Cold colors like blue, purple, and green curb hunger, which is why those attempting weight loss programs often also paint their kitchens blue and eat on blue plates. (I, myself, am usually in the camp of hoping to lose weight.) A soft yellow would be a nice choice here, too, especially if you’re a family that likes big breakfasts, as it can stimulate thinking and boost metabolism.
Your Living Room: Browns or Greens
How do you want to feel in your living room? If the answer is “safe and secure,” you might want to go with a chocolate brown or light brown, as these earthy tones can create a welcoming, warm feeling. Brown represents nature and natural materials and helps a family slow down and chill out. Mix brown and neutral tones together in unique ways to create texture and depth. A color that you wouldn’t want to chose is red, once again, because it can raise blood pressure; however, it can help to stimulate conversation. Green, on the other hand, promotes healing and can help to reduce stress. If your living room is your “I need to chill out now” space, green might be the way to go.
Your Dining Room: Reds
Here is where red feels like home. If you’re like most families, who rarely use the dining room to actually eat in and only clean it up and use it during the holidays, red can help make your guests feel hungrier and talk more. Red encourages conversation and appetites. Again, remember that most restaurants use the color red for their dining spaces for that reason. Use a warm color in whatever room you want your guests to feel welcome.
Your Bathroom: White
If you live in New York, your bathroom is likely very small. White, pastel colors, and lighter hues can create the illusion of more space where there is none. Avoid painting your bathroom a dark color, unless, of course, you like the feeling of being enclosed. Spa-inspired cold neutrals like light blues and light greens are a safe bet here, but nothing quite promotes the feeling of purity and cleanliness like white.
Your Bedroom: Blues or Purples
Relax in your bedroom: Choose relaxing colors that lower your blood pressure and heart rate. Dark blues, greens, and violets are the most relaxing colors. Purples remind visitors of wealth and royalty. It’s been popular since a certain book series (which shall go unnamed) came out to paint a bedroom black or gray, which can exude class and sophistication. Too much of each, though, creates a depressing feel.