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Let color set the mood inside your home

The most popular reason for painting the interior of your home is to update the colors. When choosing colors for specific rooms, it is best to focus on one room at a time, so you can complete the project without feeling overwhelmed.

Before you start your decorating project, try to determine the general mood or feeling you want to evoke in the room. Do you want to design a quiet retreat or a space that will help stimulate conversation? Once you have established a clear purpose, you can easily choose colors that will help you accomplish your decorating goals. Listed below are some of the general social associations tied to common colors, as well as some of the physiological responses the body has to them.

Blue. Blue is associated with peace, safety, tranquility and calm. It symbolizes loyalty, productivity, justice, strength, perseverance and service. Pale blue suggests insecurity and introspection, as well as imagination.

Blue causes the body to produce chemicals that are calming. It can increase productivity and strength. It is the color most likely to produce the lowest pulse rate, blood pressure, respiration, heart rate and eye blink frequency. If overused, this color can be depressing and a bit cold. Good rooms for décor in blue: master bedroom; children’s rooms; guest room; bathroom; library or study; spa; family room.

Purple. Associated with royalty and wealth, purple is theatrical, magical, sophisticated, intellectual, romantic, and spiritual. It can also be considered artificial and decadent. Lighter shades reflect innocence, imagination, femininity, and a love for the aesthetic.

Purple reduces hunger and stimulates the upper brain. It depresses heart muscles and motor nerves. It helps to maintain ionic balance and increases the power of meditation. Good rooms for décor in purple: bedrooms; living room; bathroom.

Green. Associated with being calm, safe, and relaxed, as well as friendly and comfortable. It is used in hospitals to relax patients. It represents order, frankness, honesty and practicality. Dark green is conservative and solid. It is associated with wealth, security, success, tenacity and good judgment. Lighter greens represent new growth and inexperience.

Physically easy on the eye compared with all other colors, green can improve vision. It relieves tension, lowers the blood pressure, dilates the capillaries, produces a feeling of warmth, stimulates the pituitary, and helps even out the emotions. Good rooms for décor in green: guest room; bedrooms; bathrooms; living and family rooms; media room; garden room; library.

Black. Associated with power and authority, as well as violence. Black is sleek and sophisticated, and the color of drama. It enlivens other colors. It is also the color of submission and mourning (in Western Cultures). In small quantities it stimulates. In large quantities it is oppressive. It can quickly bring on a feeling of depression. Good décor uses for black: to accent other colors such as in frames for art or pictures; on lamp bases; in accessory pieces. For best results use black in moderation.

White. White symbolizes purity, innocence, light, crispness, and coolness. It represents sterility, cleanliness, sharpness, and openness. White represents mourning in some Asian cultures. It causes a lower pulse rate; blood pressure, respiration, heart rate and eye blink frequency than almost all colors except blue. Good rooms for décor in white: guest rooms; entryways; master bedroom; bathrooms; music room; and the spa.

Red. Red is associated with arousal, anger, aggression, passion, love, mental energy, control, excitability, as well as danger. It represents valor and courage. Rich red is sophisticated and denotes compassion. Adrenaline is released in the presence of red. It stimulates appetite, heightens the sense of smell, raises the pulse, and increases blood pressure, respiration and heart rate. It is highly visible and causes an increase in eye blink frequency. Good rooms for décor in red: kitchen; dining room; game room; small spaces.

Pink. Associated with fun, music, celebration, and excitement. Lighter shades are associated with sweetness and can be calming. Very pale pink is sometimes associated with lethargy—mental and sometimes physical loss of energy. Good rooms for décor in pink: playroom (in bright pink); guest room; bedroom (in lighter shades).

Orange. Orange is associated with excitement, affection, radiance, and heat. It is warm, friendly, inviting and denotes commonality, and a sense of home. Deep oranges are associated with dependability, strength, rich beauty, wealth and fame, and lighter hues represent comfort and the relieving of stress. Orange increases appetite, induces relaxation, slows down the rates of blood flow, increases the potential for sleep, increases the pulse rate, but does not affect the blood pressure. Good rooms for décor in orange: dining room; family room; formal living room; guest bedroom; guest bathroom; entryway.

Yellow. In its true form, yellow denotes happiness, warmth, cheerfulness, optimism, energy and life. It represents renewal, intensity, talkativeness, prestige, love, and intellectual stimulation. Paler shades denote wisdom, intelligence, enlightenment, goodness, and clarity. Light shades also represent freshness, inexperience, youth, and cleanliness. It is hard on the eyes, speeds metabolism and can make us emotionally uneasy and argumentative.

Paler shades enhance concentration and clear thinking (yellow note pads). Yellow rooms cause babies to cry more often, and cause allergies to flare up more frequently in people of all ages. Good rooms for décor in yellow: kitchen; dining room; study; playroom; children’s’ rooms; sewing room. Use appropriate shades and in moderation.

About the Author

Ivet Ivanova is the owner and lead designer at BOGARI European Contemporary Furniture in Greenville, SC. Born in Sofia, Bulgaria, Ivet and her husband, Lyudmil, moved to Greenville when his company transferred him in 1997.With more than 25 years of interior design experience and a passion for contemporary style, Ivet enjoys working with European contemporary and modern designs that offer a distinguished look for the Upstate area.

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