The Psychology Of Color

The Psychology Of Color

Do You Remember When Beige Was The Rage?

Monochromatic schemes could be found everywhere. Interior designers loved beige, gold, cream and white palettes, but you may also recall the popularity of Peach, Aqua and Mauve back in the 1980's? What about avocado green carpets or harvest gold kitchens?You may be wondering "why does this matter to me?"Color affects all of us in both positive and negative ways. Generally every one of us can pick out a color we love and a color we cannot stand to look at.Each year the design industry picks out a "trending color," for 2018, Pantone's color happens to be Ultra Violet. Not a fan of purple? Well, what about Millennial Pink? (Not to be confused with Mauve, Dusty Rose or Salmon). Whether you like it or not, it's trending and we're seeing it everywhere from fashion to interior design. We can either embrace the crazy color trends, or we can wait until next year when it changes. Whichever way you look at it, color creates activity in the human brain and triggers feeling in one way or another. The psychology of color in the human mind is intriguing.

All the Feels

Monochromatic color schemes can be sophisticated, stylish, serene and beautiful, or they can be boring. It really depends on how we perceive it and believe it or not, other people can influence our perception. Rooms painted soft blue tones can be cool, restful and calming to some, but to others it comes off cold and depressing. Blue is recorded to be the most popular color in the world, however, some people can't stand it.Imagine a home with different colors on every wall, furnished with bright patterned furniture and a whimsical decor. To most of us we think of a carnival because it is so chaotic, but to some it is fun and energetic. Color is connected to experiences and feelings, if someone had a scary encounter with a clown as a child, a house like this would not appeal. However, on the other side of the spectrum, if someone grew up surrounded by crazy colors and had a wonderful childhood then this might be their home of choice.Why do the majority of fast food restaurants use red and yellow? The reason behind this is not only because it draws your attention, but we have been conditioned to feel hungry when we see red and to be more friendly and happier surrounded by yellow. Brighter lights also tend to make us eat faster and have more fun, which in turn makes us eat more. We may never know why this is because the human brain is so complex, but professionals in the sales industries know how to use it to their strengths.

Classifying a Color

The hue is the color appearance, it is the dominant color family. It is the brightest version of each pure color. For example a shade of pink would be referred to as a red hue. There are six possible hues we see, the primary colors: red, yellow and blue and the secondary colors: green, violet, and orange. Primary colors make all other colors, but no mix of other colors can make them. Secondary colors are created by mixing two primary colors together.

Different tones are created when you add a neutral form of grey (white + black) to a pure color. The more grey you put in the color of course the more muted and dull it becomes, this can make a color more pleasing to the eye and look more sophisticated. We often associate bright colors with children (again a conditioned idea) so by adding grey it tones the color down to achieve a grown-up look. Careful not to add too much grey because you don't want the color to lose all of its brilliance.

When referring to tint we are talking about lightening a color, however it does not make it brighter. Adding white to a color turns it into a tint, which is actually a paler version of the original color. Tints are often associated with babies and Easter because they have a soft and gentile aura.

A shade will darken a color, you do this by adding black to the original, this doesn't change the hue. If you want to show different shades of a color just keep adding small amounts of black. A shade can range from a drop of black in the original color to black and everything in between.

Still Interested? Learn More

Better Homes and Gardens has a great article with additional information and details on the color wheel. Click here to view. For fascinating information on the psychology of color, visit For ideas on how to make your house feel happy and inviting, or warm and welcoming come visit our showroom.