When painting your home, take cues from color psychology

The words “paint” and “personality” aren’t often used together, but they certainly could be.

Skillful interior decorating is largely an artistic endeavor, but there’s some science involved, too — and none more important than the psychology of color.
When painting your home, take cues from color psychology
Photo courtesy of The Paint Quality Institute

“Color psychology can help you choose paint colors that create the right mood in a room, affecting not just your own feelings, but those of everyone who enters it,” according to Debbie Zimmer, color expert at the Paint Quality Institute. “In fact, paint color is so powerful that it can influence our state of mind, and even our physiology,” she says.

By understanding the impact of color, she says, you can better incorporate the hues that help create the desired living space mood and setting that best suits your family and personal lifestyle.

While the way a color makes you feel should play a role when selecting an interior paint scheme, it’s only one factor to consider. “Personal color preference should be given at least as much weight,” she adds.

Once you know the basics, feel free to break the rules and create new looks that reflect your unique tastes and personality. The bottom line: “No one will spend more time in your home than you will, so choose colors that you love, and you won’t go wrong.”

Here’s what the color professionals at Sherwin-Williams and Debbie Zimmer had to say about a whole rainbow of shades and tones.
Color psychology: red | pink | orange | yellow | green | blue | purple | black | white | grey | brown

Color: Red
There’s no equivocation with red. It bespeaks energy and excitement, actually raising the blood pressure and making the heart beat faster.

Red also increases the appetite, which explains why it is used so often in restaurants, and why it can be a good choice for a formal dining room.

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Because it is associated with desire and passion, it’s a perfect paint color for dining rooms and adult bedrooms, says Zimmer, but not right for children’s rooms.

  • Ceilings: weighty and annoying.
  • Walls: advancing and energetic.
  • Floors: confident.

Red is predominantly used as an accent color, but we are currently seeing more of a trend using this color on walls. Large amounts of saturated red create a more complex space, while saturated brown-reds can make a room warm and inviting.

Red paint on master bedroom wall

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