Colour In The Home 2016-11-01T10:14:58+00:00

Color In the Home

Certain colors have been associated with increased blood pressure, increased metabolism, and eyestrain.

“Given the prevalence of color, one would expect color psychology to be a well-developed area,” note researchers Andrew Elliot and Markus Maier. “Surprisingly, little theoretical or empirical work has been conducted to date on the influence of color on psychological functioning, and the work that has been done has been driven mostly by practical concerns, not scientific rigor.”

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για color in homeDespite the general lack of research in this area, the concept of color psychology has become a hot topic in marketing, art, design, and other areas. Much of the evidence in this emerging area is anecdotal at best, but researchers and experts have made a few important discoveries and observations about the psychology of color and the effect it has on moods, feelings, and behaviors.

Of course, your feelings about color are often deeply personal and rooted in your own experience or culture. For example, while the color white is used in many Western countries to represent purity and innocence, it is seen as a symbol of mourning in many Eastern countries.

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για color in homeWhy is color such a powerful force in our lives? What effects can it have on our bodies and minds? Continue reading to further explore the history of color including how it’s used, the effects it may have, and some of the most recent research on color psychology.

There are many variations of the basic colors. The paler versions, which are sometimes more appropriate for covering the walls within our homes, give us the same qualities as the bold color but in a gentler way.

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για color in homeWhen decorating an area – the complementary colors, and their variations, should be remembered and combined with our main choice of color by way of soft furnishings perhaps, pictures etc.

While perceptions of color are somewhat subjective, there are some color effects that have universal meaning. Colors in the red area of the color spectrum are known as warm colors and include red, orange and yellow. These warm colors evoke emotions ranging from feelings of warmth and comfort to feelings of anger and hostility.

Colors on the blue side of the spectrum are known as cool colors and include blue, purple and green. These colors are often described as calm, but can also call to mind feelings of sadness or indifference.

Color Psychology as Therapy

Several ancient cultures, including the Egyptians and Chinese, practiced chromo therapy, or the use of colors to heal. Chromo therapy is sometimes referred to as light therapy or colourology and is still used today as a holistic or alternative treatment.

In this treatment:

Red was used to stimulate the body and mind and to increase circulation.

Yellow was thought to stimulate the nerves and purify the body.

Orange was used to heal the lungs and to increase energy levels.

Blue was believed to soothe illnesses and treat pain.

Indigo shades were thought to alleviate skin problems.

It is also helpful to take in to account the aspect of a room. For example, should you require a calming atmosphere in a north facing room, which may well be one of the colder rooms in your house, remember to use some warm colors (i.e. variations of the warm colors of yellow, orange and red) to avoid the room feeling colder.

The colors of the rooms within your home need to bring out your personality. While most of us may not spend a lot of time thinking about room color, it affects every day of our lives. Room color can influence our mood and our thoughts. Colors affect people in many ways, depending upon one’s age, gender, ethnic background or local climate. Certain colors or groups of colors tend to get a similar reaction from most people – the overall difference being in the shade or tones used. So when it comes to decorating, it is important to choose wisely.

In order to have a beautiful home, you do not have to worry about trends. Color trends will come and go. The people who live in a home make it beautiful by choosing colors that reflect their likes and their personalities. The trick is to blend those colors you like into a pleasing combination. Choosing color combinations is one of the most intimidating steps for beginners. Color has the power to change the shape and size of furnishings as well as the shape and size of the room itself. Selecting colors is not difficult if you equip yourself with some basic information about color and its effects, so let’s find out more about room colors, and how these influence your mood.

Keep in mind that each color has a psychological value. Think about how those colors make you feel- they can influence any feeling from tranquility to rage. So when trying to create peace and harmony in your home, choose your colors wisely. Some colors in large amounts will have just the opposite effect on you and your loved ones’ moods.

Find clear answers to these questions. If you find this task difficult try to look at magazines, decorating books, blogs and websites for ideas, or let your fabric be your guide. In fact, this is a good approach to take even if you’re starting from scratch. Fabric, carpeting, furniture and tile are available in a more limited range of colors than paint, so choose them first and then decide on your paint color. Once you find something you like, limit the number of colors in a room to no more than three or four. Too many colors can make a room look busy or cluttered. Paint is fairly inexpensive and transforms a room more quickly than anything else, so you can afford to experiment a little.

Room Colors and Their Effects

Understand that colors behave in three basic ways: active, passive, and neutral. You can easily match every room’s colors to your personal desires, to your taste taste and to the room’s purpose. Light colors are expansive and airy, making rooms seem larger and brighter. Dark colors are sophisticated and warm; they give large rooms a more intimate appearance. Now let’s find out more about colors and what they can do to a room:

Color psychology suggests that red is activating, stimulating, passionate, exciting, powerful, and expanding.


Red is known to raise a room’s energy level. It is a great color for the living room or dining room because it will draw people together and start conversation. Not to mention red has been known to stimulate your appetite! It would even do well in an entryway because it creates a strong first impression. Red is not recommended in bedrooms or any other room where you want to unwind and relax because it may be too stimulating.

Red isn’t for the faint of heart. Considered the color of romance and passion, stimulating red is a design tool that heightens the senses.

Red can feel contemporary, traditional, rustic or timeless, depending on the shade and context. A touch of red can warm up a cool blue-and-white room, or add drama when used as the main color in a small space like a powder room.

From crimson and fire engine red to merlot and rust, there are endless ways to use this warm shade to create a mood. Red can be used in the kitchen, dining room, and living room. Earthy reds are appropriate for the bedroom.

Red raises a room’s energy level. It is a good choice when you want to stir up excitement, particularly at night. In the living room or dining room, red draws people together and stimulates conversation. In an entryway, it creates a strong first impression. Red has been shown to raise blood pressure, speed respiration and heart rate. It is usually considered too stimulating for bedrooms, but if you’re only in the room after dark, you’ll be seeing it mostly by lamplight, when the color will appear muted, rich, and elegant. Red, the most intense, pumps the adrenaline like no other hue.

Use red on the walls to make a room feel more intimate, or feature the color on just one wall to visually rework the proportions of a long, narrow room. Different patterns and shades of red can work together to perk up a neutral dining room, or make a small dining alcove feel like a destination.

“Red is never boring,” says interior designer Denna McLaughlin of City Studios. “A couple of big red chairs are inviting … in a living room, but I also love red for drapery. When the light comes through the window, it gives the room a soft red glow that makes people wants to be together.”

When combined with other colors, red offers even more versatility. An earthy red used with wood tones can warm a room. Red with soft gray and touches of magenta can make a room feel cozy, feminine and soft.

Depending on the texture, deep reds may absorb light while brighter reds allow light to bounce off walls. Red with a touch of brown or purple will feel warmer than pure red with hints of pink. Orange-tinged reds will make you feel energized, while purple-red shades can make a space feel more intimate and quiet.

Red can be a vibrant design element for your home’s exterior. Red front doors are a popular choice, but consider using red paint or tile on the porch floor to create a striking effect.

“I also love red containers for outdoor plants,” says color expert Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute and author of the book Colors for Your Every Mood. “It’s a natural complement for the greenery.”

A textured red linoleum floor with veining can give a kitchen a playful, retro vibe.

Use red on the inside back of a cupboard or china cabinet to add energy to a room.

Scarlet-lacquered walls with espresso trim make a dining room feel dramatic and elegant.

In feng shui, red represents: the fire element (great for transformation); richness and luxury; and passion, love and romance. Therefore, red is a wonderful color to use in the abundance/prosperity, fame/reputation, and relationships/love area of the feng shui bagua.


Yellow captures the joy of sunshine and communicates happiness. It is perfect for kitchens, dining rooms, and bathrooms, where happy colors are energizing and uplifting. In halls, entries, and small spaces, yellow can feel expansive and welcoming. Even though yellow although is a cheery color, it is not a good choice to use in main color schemes when it comes to designing a room. Studies show that people are more likely to lose their temper in a yellow interior. Babies also seem to cry more in a yellow room. In large amounts, this color tends to create feelings of frustration and anger in people. In chromo therapy, yellow is believed to stimulate the nerves and purify the body.

Color psychology asserts that yellow is very happy, uplifting, warm, stimulating, and expansive.

Yellow captures the essence of the sun and gives off a feeling of happiness. This color is best used for small spaces or as an accent color. Although this color is usually considered a cheerful, yellow can have some negative effects. Of all the colors, yellow is hardest on the eyes, and it may stimulate your frustration and anger. It is not recommended for bedrooms and some studies have even shown that babies will cry more in a yellow room than in any other color.

Yellow adds optimism to your home, prompting feelings of happiness in all who enter. Yellow activates memory, stimulates the nervous system, promotes communication and sparks creativity.

Control the hue and you control the mood. Muted yellow works well as a soothing neutral. A sun-kissed yellow brings the warmth of summer inside your home. A pale yellow can make a compact room feel larger. The wide spectrum of yellow shades gives you flexibility in designing rooms with a feel-good ambiance.

Hallways and rooms without windows can benefit from strong, saturated shades of yellow. The shade will create the illusion of light. Buttery yellow walls add a warm glow that makes a room feel cozy, while muted yellow walls can make a room feel peaceful.

If you have a room with northern exposure and live in a climate with lots of gray days, yellow can brighten up the space without overwhelming it.

“Yellow is a tricky color,” says interior designer Jennifer Argus of Argus Interiors. “It’s an uplifting color but you really have to pick the right shade. You want to make sure it’s not too bright or too muted, so use those test cans of paint and look at the yellow on your walls in the different lights of the day.”

Pale ocher and muted gold are great choices for those who want a yellow color that feels approachable and timeless. An earthy yellow can work with terra cotta or lilac and make a room feel relaxing. A deep yellow accented with gray can make a space feel sophisticated. A golden, honey yellow works well for a kitchen with lots of natural wood, creating a hospitable room.

“I love kitchens painted in the warmer tones of yellow, instead of the lemony tones,” says interior designer Dena McLaughlin of City Studios. “The warmer tones make you want to be in the room, because they’re comfortable and welcoming.”

Kreate a Welcoming Space with Yellow

Balance yellow with orange for a lively, citrus-inspired breakfast space.

Walls painted golden yellow with a touch of moss brown bring rustic Old World charm to a room.

Venetian plaster in a buttery tone can add color, depth and texture to powder room walls.

If you want a yellow that is lively without being too bold, try using French vanilla (a combination of yellow, beige and white) for the walls of a living room.

Straw-yellow walls imitate the warmth of candlelight, making them ideal for an intimate dining room.

Photographer Daniel Collopy chose yellow as the main color for a dining room remodel.

As with the feng shui colors red and orange, yellow represents the fire element. Like orange, use yellow predominantly in the fame/reputation area of the feng shui bagua. Yellow is also appropriate for the abundance/prosperity, and relationships/love areas.

It is a wonderful color for the kitchen, dining room, and living room because it is very uplifting and sociable. If used in the bedroom, make sure it is an earthy or pale yellow.


Blue is said to bring down blood pressure and slow respiration and heart rate. That is why it is considered calming, relaxing and serene, and it is often recommended for bedrooms and bathrooms. Be careful, however: a pastel blue that looks pretty on the paint chip can come across as unpleasantly chilly when it is on the walls and furnishings, especially in a room that receives little natural light. If you opt for a light blue as the primary color in a room, balance it with warm hues for the furnishings and fabrics. To encourage relaxation in the social areas (family rooms, living rooms, large kitchens) consider warmer blues, such as periwinkle, or bright blues, such as cerulean or turquoise. Blue is known to have a calming effect when used as the main color of a room. Go for softer shades of blue. Dark blue has the opposite effect, evoking feelings of sadness. So refrain from using darker blues in your main color scheme. Stay with the lighter shades of blue to give you and your loved ones a calm effect.

Blue is the most relaxing of colors. Blue has been known to lower blood pressure as well as slow respiration and heart rate. Because of this, it is considered calming which makes it the perfect color for bedrooms and bathrooms. Blue is also said to increase production by calming the mind and allowing creativity to flow which makes it a great fit for an office. Avoid using this color in the living room, kitchen or other rooms where you tend to be more active. The calming effect in these types of rooms can make you feel sluggish and even depressed. Be careful when choosing your hue of blue as well, as some hues can give a chillier feel to a room.

In color psychology, blue is calming, healing, soothing, and relaxing. Blue also characterizes dependability, trustworthiness, and security.

Blue evokes feelings of calm and freshness, and represents strength and dependability. Think of the sky and ocean. The beauty of blue is the elemental color’s amazing versatility.

A high-energy shade of blue, like sapphire, can add a bold punch of energy to a room, while a light sky blue on the walls can make a space feel tranquil. Darker shades like navy can offer drama, while paler shades can make small spaces feel larger. The effect depends on the tone of blue.

Since blue is associated with calmness, it works well in a bathroom, bedroom or kitchen, all rooms where one goes to relax. Different shades of light blue can be used for ceilings to mimic the sky, making a room feel larger.

The combination of blue and green is a classic, and many believe this combination can calm a room. Blue can be combined with yellow wall or floor tiles to make a space cheerful.

Blue Transitional Dressing Room

“Those brighter French blues and sunflower yellows are a fun combination for a kitchen,” says Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams. “It gives you the best of both worlds; yellow gives you energy and blue balances it out.”

For Your Exteriors

Blue is traditionally used to highlight architectural details on the exterior of Colonial homes.

Many shades of slate blue can look sharp on a Craftsman, while light shades of blue are a good choice for a casual beach house.

“Saturated sapphire blue can be a lovely choice for shutters on a Mediterranean-style home,” says Jackie. “But blue might not be the best fit for a rustic house in the desert.”

Ideas for Creating a Certain Mood with Blue

Aqua combined with various greens (like sea foam) adds a beech feel to a traditional room.

A medium-blue ceiling with white walls and blue molding can feel refreshing and fun.

Midnight blue mixed with amethyst accents can create an ultra lux feel for a bedroom.

Vibrant, high-tone blues are great for accent furniture pieces or artwork to add vigor.

Aspiring acupuncturist Stacy Kon used calming blue to remodel her inefficient master bathroom.

In feng shui, blue represents the water element, clarity, inspiration, relaxation, renewal, and nobility. Therefore, blue is an excellent color to use in skills/knowledgecareer/journey, and the abundance/prosperity area of the feng shui bagua.


Green is considered the most restful color for the eye. Combining the refreshing quality of blue and the cheerfulness of yellow, green is suited for almost any room on the house. In the kitchen, green cools things down; in a family room or living room, it encourages unwinding but has enough warmth to promote comfort and togetherness. Green also has a calming effect when used as a main color for decorating. It is believed to relieve stress by helping people relax. Also believed to help with fertility, making it a great choice for the bedroom.

Green, the color of nature, is considered the most restful color on the #eyes and brings about a refreshing and relaxing feel. Green is a very complex color and has many hues but when used correctly can give a feeling of serenity. Clean greens are fresh and vibrant while olive and muted tones can be depressing. Pastel greens can feel relaxing and bright yellow-greens are energetic but can be overwhelming if used on an entire room. Depending on the hue of green you use, this color can be a fit for any room.

The psychological effect of green is very calming, balancing, healing, relaxing, and tranquil. It represents growth, vitality, abundance, and nature.

Gr een represents growth and renewal. You associate the color with grassy fields, luscious leaves and other gifts of nature, so it lends a calming feel to a room. Green comes in many shades, so you can create various moods and use its versatility to pair it with a range of other colors.

“Green has been my favorite color for my entire life,” says interior designer Shannon Kaye. “You can decorate an entire room with greens and have contrast, drama, richness and balance. It’s so versatile. Celery green looks light and airy in a kitchen, crisp and clean in a bathroom, and relaxing and warm in a living room.”

The soothing quality of green makes it ideal for almost any room. Turn your bathroom into a relaxing spa-like retreat by using blue-greens mixed with gray and white. If you want more drama, transform a simple powder room into an elegant jewel box by using a rich, emerald-green palette.

Make a kitchen feel open and airy by including sea-green cabinets. Deeper greens like spruce or evergreen can add a hushed mood to a den or library. Pops of lime green add energy to a room with a mostly white palette.

Lime Green Wall with White Shelving and Accessories

Photo courtesy of Tobi Fairley

When paired with light gray, paler shades of green can create a contemporary look that feels fresh and clean. Mix green with wood tones to imbue a room with an organic, natural feel.

“We respond to green and blue because green and blue are the colors of the planet,” says color expert Elaine Ryan. “You’re bringing the natural world inside when you use green, and it will work with everything as long as it’s the same tonal value.”

Gray-green, moss, olive and other earthy green colors are well-suited for the exteriors of homes in natural settings. Earthy greens complement the architecture of bungalow and shingle-style houses, while brighter shades like lime green can add vitality to the outside of a modern or art deco home.

More Ways to Create a Mood with Green

If your home is surrounded by rolling green hills, make your yard look bigger by planting a green ground cover that blends with the hills in the distance.

Use citrus greens (think lime and melon) to bring brightness to a gloomy space.

Use green in an entry hall to provide a natural link from the outdoors to the inside of your home.

A hunter green or emerald green (in high gloss for a gem effect) creates a welcoming front door for a traditional home.

In feng shui, green represents the wood element. The ideal location to use green is in the skills/ knowledgefamily/elders, and health area of the feng shui bagua.

Greens are particularly beneficial in a bathroom because it promotes peacefulness, tranquility, purification, life, and new beginnings. Green also brings a sense of vitality and freshness.


Purple in its darkest values (eggplant, for example) is rich, dramatic, and sophisticated. It is associated with luxury as well as creativity, and as an accent or secondary color, it gives a scheme depth. Lighter versions of purple, such as lavender and lilac, bring the same restful quality to bedrooms as blue does, but without the risk of feeling chilly.

Purple represents nobility, abundance, and dignity. It is very soothing and calming and is often related to intuition and spirituality.

Purple, the color of royalty and creativity, is a combination of calm blue and exciting red. The color can add exotic flair to different rooms in your home.

Purple can be dramatic or quiet, depending on the tone or shade. The regal color can add richness to a space or drama to an architecturally simple room. Purple colors range from light lavenders to solid plums, and a few strategically placed purple accents may be all you need to create a whole new vibe for your surroundings.

Use deep purple to create a stunning front entry. Light lavender-gray walls can add softness to a formal living room, while purple pastels mixed with modern art can make a teen’s bedroom feel hip and young.

Want to make a statement? Try neon-purple walls with gray stripes for a brave, edgy dining space. Make a room lively by pairing mid-tone purple with mustard yellows. A very light lavender with crisp white trim on cottage-style beadboard walls gives a touch of unexpected color to a room.

If you want something more lush and sophisticated, use eggplant purple for the walls paired with high-gloss white trim. Purples combined with soft blues or greens create a very tranquil color scheme.

Exterior Options

Purple can be used for the exterior of your home. A mid-tone purple with a dose of black can highlight the period details of Victorian architecture. Or try purple shutters, doors and window boxes to add cuteness and highlight details on a Cape Cod.

Muted mulberry with white trim offers a colorful alternative to more mundane selections. But be aware that deeper purple colors absorb light and will fade and require repainting more frequently than other color selections, says architectural color consultant Bonnie Krims.

More Ways to Create a Mood with Purple

A claret color that combines raspberry with black can add richness to a room.

A dark, rich purple can provide a lovely backdrop to show off fine crystal and antique silver.

Use purple accessories to brighten up and add depth to a neutral color scheme.

To make a space feel happy, pair lavender with aqua or chartreuse.

Warm purples (like African violet) can make a dining room feel cozy.

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Purple is one of the best feng shui colors for the abundance/prosperity area of the feng shui bagua.

Purple is the combination of red and blue, which provides a perfect balance of heightened awareness mixed with a calming affect. Purple in its darkest shades is dramatic and associated with luxury. Lighter versions of purple, such as lilac and lavender, bring the restful feel that blue does but without the risk of feeling chilly. Dark purple would be a great color for a home office, whereas, light purple would be appropriate in a child’s room.


Orange evokes excitement, enthusiasm and is an energetic color. While not a good idea for a living room or for bedrooms, this color is great for an exercise room. It will bring out all the emotions that you need released during your fitness routine. In ancient cultures orange was believed to heal the lungs and increase energy levels.

In psychology, orange is very stimulating, active, cheerful and sociable. It is less arousing than red and more pleasantly stimulating.

Like red, orange represents the fire element. Because it is more social and less intense than the red, orange is a better color to use in interior spaces. Use orange predominantly in the fame/reputation area of the feng shui bagua. You may also use orange in the abundance/prosperity, and relationships/love areas.

Orange tends to stimulate excitement and enthusiasm. Like red, when walking into an orange room you immediately feels an overall increase in energy. Being in an orange room increases your excitement and enthusiasm for whatever you are doing at the time. This makes it a perfect fit in a #exercise room. On the other hand, orange would be a terrible choice for a bedroom or living room. If your home needs a jolt of energy, orange might be what you need. Orange conjures images of citrus fruit or a summer sunset, and represents happiness and innovation.

Orange has a reputation for being overwhelming, but variations like apricot and terra cotta can inspire relaxation. A deep orange can feel bold during the day but cozy and warm at night.

“Orange has steadily progressed up the ladder of consumer preferences so there’s a greater appreciation of the color,” says color expert Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute and author of the book Colors for Your Every Mood.

“Orange is the child of red and yellow. It gives you the excitement of red, but at the same time, the welcoming, friendly, warm aspect of yellow.”

In a bedroom, try a soothing, peach-toned orange that casts a rosy glow on the skin. You can use a pale, dusty orange for a welcoming entry that invites guests into your home.

Orange stimulates your appetite and adds warmth, so it’s also a good choice for a dining room or kitchen. Create a backsplash of orange tile, or use orange fixtures to make a kitchen island shine. It doesn’t take a lot of orange rev up a room.

“The brighter the orange, the less you need,” says color expert Kate Smith. “When you have orange, it’s going to draw your eye, so make sure you’re using it in locations you want to be noticed.”

For a relaxing space, consider mixing apricot with deep browns and grays. If you love the feel of fall, bring the colors of leaves inside with orange, red, brown and gold accents. For those who crave energy and excitement, a combination of bright orange, pink and yellow citrus makes any room a party.

Orange on the Outside

The energy of the hue is perfect when used poolside, for a patio or in an outdoor living room. Instead of red, try a deep orange for your front door.

Use pumpkin-toned hues to highlight architecture on a New England-style Colonial home.

Earthy, sunbaked oranges are a natural fit for desert and Southwestern-style homes.

Ways to Play With Orange in Your Home

  • Use tangerine and hot pink to energize a normally dark room.
  • Orange mixed with denim blue makes a boy’s bedroom feel athletic and energetic.
  • Use your favorite orange to add a sense of play to stair risers.
  • Use orange for the shelves and back of bookcases or cubbies to add depth.


It is one of the best feng shui colors for the kitchendining room, and living room because of its appetizing and social qualities. If used in the bedroom, make sure it is an earthy orange.


Neutrals (black, gray, white, and brown) are basic to the decorator’s tool kit. All-neutral schemes fall in and out of fashion, but their virtue lies in their flexibility: Add color to liven things up; subtract it to calm things down. Black is best used in small doses as an accent. Indeed, some experts maintain that every room needs a touch of black to ground the color scheme and give it depth. To make the job easier, you can rely on the interior designer’s most important color tool: the color wheel.


Black connotes sophistication, power, elegance, and modernity. It is also introspected and mysterious.

Black represents the water element. Use black in the helpful people/travelcareer/journey, and skills/knowledge area of the feng shui bagua.

It is best to use black as an accessory color.



According to color psychology, white represents clarity, innocence, cleanliness, spirituality, purity, hope, expansiveness and openness.

In feng shui, white represents the metal element. Therefore, white is a wonderful color to use in the creativity/children and helpful people/travel areas of the bagua.

White is a symbol of purity and cleanliness, so it is a fantastic color to use in the bathroom.


02_Living_room_main 0005

If you long for serenity, using the color gray in your home decor is a great place to start. Gray has an inherent calmness and sophistication. You can choose a solid gray that symbolizes strength, or go for a softer gray that offers a more delicate feel. While some find gray murky and depressing, others respond to gray’s ability to make other colors sing. A favorite neutral of designers, many use it as a background color, or mix different tones and shades of gray together to create a feel of simple glamour.

Gray can also soften a loud sofa or provide the perfect backdrop that allows wood accents to shine. While some consider gray too serious for a playful space like a child’s bedroom or relaxed family room, many shades and tones of gray are ideal for masculine spaces like a den. Create a romantic bedroom with lighter tones. Driftwood-gray walls can add a beach-house feel to a casual living room. If you need a quiet background for more vibrant colors in a sitting room, deep charcoal walls can get the job done. Gray and white is a classic color combination that provides a clean and crisp look for kitchens and bathrooms.

Go Outside With Gray

Use gray to highlight architecture on the exterior of your house. Certain tones are common throughout the Colonial era, and colors like light weathered gray, charcoal gray and slate gray are popular choices for roof tiles and shingles. The grays on the stone siding of a gothic-style house combined with a burgundy-red front door can create a prominent and dramatic entry.”I like gray because it’s dependable,” says interior designer Elaine Ryan. “It’s an anchor color. A house painted gray with black glossy shudders and white trim is stunningly beautiful.”

Ways to Achieve a Mood with Gray

Dove gray is a soft and soothing neutral that pairs well with plums and violets.

Use red walls with a charcoal-gray ceiling for a glamorous dining room.

If you want a space that feels soft and inviting, consider a cloud gray and ecru or fawn color scheme.

Create a stylish bedroom with personality by combining slate-gray walls with touches of chartreuse.

Grey is neutral, calm, quiet, and lacks energy. The psychological effects of grey can also be boring, conservative and draining to the physical body.

Grey is one of the feng shui colors representing the metal element. Use in the skills/knowledgecreativity/children and helpful people/travel areas of the bagua. Grey is best used as an accessory color.



Brown is stable, grounding, reliable, motherly, comfortable, and inexpensive. you want a color that encourages your family and friends to slow down and relax, brown can be the solution to your problem. A weighty and robust color, brown represents nature and natural materials. Use brown to highlight stronger colors like lime green or orange, or to tone down a room. Brown gives you an earthy richness that makes a room feel warm and inviting. “Brown is less harsh than black, so I’ll use a creamy vanilla white for the walls with a deep-brown bronze color for the crown molding,” says interior designer Shannon Kaye. “The look is modern and elegant and the combination shows off artwork and sunny spaces beautifully.” “Brown is the color of wood, which is a stable color that we inevitability have in our homes,” says Elaine Ryan. “What we need to do is counterbalance all that brown with another shade on the wall.”

Brown comes in many different tones and shades, and offers the kind of variety you need for both the interior and exterior of your home. Medium-toned brown molding looks inviting when combined with muted sage-green walls.Mix things up by painting your walls a rich chocolate brown to create a sophisticated backdrop for neutral accessories. Brown can be paired with burgundy for a swank dining or living room, or used with pale aqua to create a lighter and airy feel.” Contrasting light and dark and mixing textures is how you want to use brown,” explains Kaye.

Ways to Create a Down-to-Earth Space with Brown

Soft browns like beige, flax or linen can add warmth to the walls of a kitchen.

Mixing cool blue with dark brown evokes the feel of the earth and sky.

Combine a masculine brown with a feminine color, like a light purple, to add softness in a space.

Brown and pink is a natural color combination (think cherry blossoms) that’s well-suited for a young girl’s bedroom.

Outfitting a Home Office in Brown

Inspired by vintage wallpaper, a TV executive created a masculine home office using smart storage solutions and shades of brown.

In feng shui, brown has been linked to both the element of earth and wood. Because of its common psychological effects, I happen to believe that brown represents the earth element. Like earth, brown is very comforting, supportive, stable, and grounding. It is a wonderful color to use in the skills/knowledge area of the feng shui bagua. Use brown in your bedroom or living room.



Pink can make your home feel playful, feminine or warm. The trick is choosing the perfect hue. Different shades of pink set different moods. A bright, vivid tone like fuchsia suggests energy and glamour. A soft and restrained pink, like blush, or a beige with pink undertones creates a soothing feeling. Many shades of pinks have a freshness designers love. “Some people who lean toward white paint for their walls should try pink,” says architectural consultant Bonnie Krims. “I’m not talking bubblegum pink, I mean something with some gray in it. It’s a flattering color that makes people feel good. “You can use a more intense pink (like peony) for a space where you don’t spend too much time, like an entryway. Or try a deep pink with raspberry undertones for a dining room that makes guests feel and look good in its warm, reflected light. Pink can be paired with other colors, including chocolate brown, black, mint green, metallic gold and silver and white to create a variety of moods. When paired with a masculine hue like navy blue, pink can add a feminine balance. Dusty pinks mixed with subtle neutrals add glamour to a bedroom. Pink can feel sophisticated when paired with brown or beige; try this color combination in a dining room with raffia walls. “Keep in mind, pink has the tendency to go sweet and sappy quickly,” says color expert Kate Smith. “So if you don’t want that romantic, girly look, keep lines simple and clean and use sophisticated fabrics. “You can use pink on your home’s exterior, as well. A light pink exterior can make a house feel playful while a salmon or deep rose color can make a home feel dramatic. Generally, pink works best on smaller homes, where you can appreciate the pop of color without being overwhelmed by it. “If you describe your home as cute, storybook or Victorian, pink would be a good choice (for the exterior),” says Kate. Pink is sedating and calming. It also symbolizes love and romance. Like the color red in feng shui, pink represents love and romance. Therefore it is an ideal color for the relationships/love area of the feng shui bagua. Use the color pink in your feng shui bedroom.


Crimson can make some people feel irritable. Invoking feels of rage and hostility, this is a color that should be avoided as the main color of a room. Sitting for long periods of time in a room painted in this color will likely affect the peace and harmony you are striving to create in your home.

Color Effects on Walls and Ceiling

The ceiling represents one-sixth of the space in a room, but too often it gets nothing more than a coat of white paint. In fact, for decades, white has been considered not only the safest but also the best choice for ceilings. As a general rule, ceilings that are lighter than the walls feel higher, while those that are darker feel lower. Lower” need not mean claustrophobic: visually lowered ceilings can evoke cozy intimacy. As a general rule, dark walls make a room seem smaller, and light walls make a room seem larger.


These general guidelines are a good starting point in your search for a paint color. But remember that color choice is a very personal matter. You are the one who has to live with your new paint color, so choose a hue that suits you, your family and your lifestyle.

Using Colors in the home

When using color in the home environment, we all have our own personal choice.

Particular color choice though can help towards providing a specific ‘feeling ‘for a space.

Below we have put together some suggested uses of color in the home, workplace and other various environments, and the effects these colors can produce.

Violetimage15 Effects of Violet as a color

  • Calming for body and mind.
  • Good for meditation and prayer.
  • Enhances purpose and dignity.
  • Heightens our awareness and helps us to give of our very best.
  • Purifying.
Suggested Areas of Use for the colour Violet

  • Places of worship
  • Entry areas to clinics and hospitals
  • Festival areas
  • Pale violet in bedrooms.
Indigoimage16 Effects

  • Sedative
  • Helps to open up our intuition
  • The color of divine knowledge and the higher mind.
Suggested Areas of Use

  • Not suitable for areas for entertainment but for more ‘quiet’ places
  • Bedrooms
  • Treatment rooms
  • Some people find indigo is helpful for studying so this color could be used as part of the decor of a library or study.
Blueimage17 Effects

  • Calming, relaxing and healing
  • Not as sedating as indigo. Also the color of communication.
Suggested Areas of Use

  • Any rooms except those used for physical activity or play.
Greenimage18 Effects

  • Balancing, harmonizing and encourages tolerance and understanding.
Suggested Areas of Use

  • Depending upon the shade, can be used for most areas
  • Use with other colors/color as well to avoid the balance and harmony becoming more like total inactivity and indecision.
Yellowimage19 Effects

  • Stimulates mental activity
  • Promotes feeling of confidence
  • Helpful for study as it helps us to stay alert.
Suggested Areas of Use

  • Activity rooms
  • Entrance halls
  • Not for bedrooms as yellow can interfere with sleep since it tends to keep our minds “switched on”
  • Not ideal for areas of possible stress.
Orangeimage20 Effects

  • Warming and energizing
  • Can stimulate creativity
  • Orange is the color of fun and sociability.
Suggested Areas of Use

  • Any activity area and creative areas
  • Not ideal for bedrooms or areas of possible stress.
Redimage21 Effects

  • Energizing, exciting the emotions
  • Stimulates appetite.
Suggested Areas of Use

  • Any activity area but red needs careful choice of tone and depth and the space in which it is to be used as it can make a space look smaller and can be claustrophobic or oppressive. However, used well, red and its variations can make a space feel warm and cozy. Often used in restaurants.
Magentaimage22 Effects

  • Magenta is the eighth color in the color spectrum and is a combination of red and violet, thus it combines our earthly self and spiritual self, thus balancing spirit and matter.
  • It is uplifting and helps us to gain a feeling of completeness and fulfillment.
Suggested Areas of Use

  • Lecture spaces
  • Chapels halls etc.
  • Not ideal for play rooms or activity rooms
Turquoiseimage23 Effects

  • Cool and calming and good for the nervous system and immune system.
Suggested Areas of Use

  • Any room except it is not ideal for activity areas.
Pinkimage24 Effects

  • This color soothes and nurtures
  • It helps to dissolve anger and encourages unconditional love.
Suggested Areas of Use

  • Ideal for a baby’s or child’s bedroom.
Blackimage25 Effects

  • Black used with another color enhances the energy of that second color
  • Black gives us the space for reflection and inner searching.
Suggested Areas of Use

  • Not ideal as a single color, but when used with care, can enhance and complement other colors in almost any situation.
Whiteimage26 Effects

  • White contains all the colors. It emphasizes purity and illuminates our thoughts, giving us clarity.
Suggested Areas of Use

  • Any room, but it can be a little intimidating to some. Needs to be broken up with another color or with plants/ornaments/pictures etc.