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September 2022 - The Theory Behind Color Theory -Why Color is so Important in the Home


We’ve all become quite familiar with the new age, clean modern look of the neutral palettes. Our homes are adorned with whites, grays, and shades of brown. And while the muted current aesthetics offer a level of calm and peace visually, they leave our psyches wanting for more. Color psychology is the study of how certain colors impact human behavior. Different colors have different meanings, connotations, and psychological effects that vary across different cultures. Along with cultural differences, color psychology is largely impacted by personal preference.

When considering how to style your home, you’ll want to understand the theory behind color theory and psychology. Recent analysis completed in 2020 shows that our world is actually becoming less colorful. The impact on our everyday lives is much more than we realize on the surface. To understand why color is so important, let’s look at how it plays a more major role than we perceive.

Let’s cover some basics and their emotional/behavioral affiliations. There’s three types of colors, primary, secondary and tertiary.

  • Primary: Red, Yellow, Blue

    • Red – one of the most evocative colors on the visible spectrum. It signifies danger and warning, excitement and energy, aggression, passion and desire

    • Yellow – the brightest color of the spectrum. Yellow makes you feel happy and spontaneous and is perhaps the most energetic of the warm colors. It is associated with laughter, hope and sunshine.

    • Blue – carries strength in the spectrum. Calm and relaxing, blue evokes serenity and encourages the body and mind to slow down.

  • Secondary: Orange, Green, Violet

    • Orange – results from combining yellow and red. Bright and persuasive, it promotes rejuvenation, communication and positivism

    • Green – a combination of blue and yellow. A connection to nature, green provides vitality, health and growth, it is a refreshing color that creates balance

    • Violet – red and blue combined create this color. Carrying a strong association to power, wealth and creativity, violet holds the best characteristics of red and blue with excitement and passion, calm and stability.

  • Tertiary: Red-Orange, Yellow-Orange, Yellow-Green, Blue-Green, Blue-Violet, Red-Violet

    • Understanding the primary and secondary colors, we can take a pretty good guess at what the tertiary colors provide emotionally and behaviorally

Now that we have a foundation in color theory, we can better recognize the significance of the psychology behind the use of color in our home. This is not to say that white and neutral palettes are bad or shouldn’t be used. But it is important to bring color into our internal spaces to provide the subconscious needs we have to live happy, productive and fulfilled lives. Colors can quickly help us identify and understand important information, as well as retain it long term. When we understand their impact on us we can choose or change our environment to influence our state of mind. And they help us communicate, both ideas and emotions, and can be used across industries to achieve results and define experiences. Ultimately, colors help us navigate the world around us and add richness to our lives. Under the influence of different colors, we feel and think differently.

When choosing how to apply colors to your home, determine the colors based on the use of each room. For example, your kitchen tends to be an active and energetic area which could thrive with yellows and oranges while your living room or bedroom is a place to relax, the use of blues and greens are better suited here. You wouldn’t want to use reds in a baby or child’s room, but rather add a red accent wall to your home office. And keep in mind, the use of color doesn’t mean you have to paint the room that color(s). Color can be brought in using furniture, rugs, decor and art. You don’t need to overwhelm your space in color but allow yourself to get creative with it.

Long term exposure to bland environments can put a mental strain on the human psyche, even if it’s not obvious or apparent to us. Modern psychology has recognized the importance of colorful and enriching environments. But it’s up to us to enhance our everyday lives inside and outside of the home by bringing in the color! Do your own little experiment, add a specific color to a room in your home very intentionally and pay attention to how it affects you while you’re using that space. Does it improve your experience or take away from it? What emotions are evoked by that color? How does it affect how you use the space? Give it a go and see what happens. Even just a little extra color can go a long way!

If choosing colors isn’t your thing, Bella Home Interiors can help. As a certified color consultant, let Bella take the stress out of choosing from all those colors! We use proven psychology and theory to create the ideal color palette for your room or rooms. Schedule an appointment!


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