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By Tatyana Levin, Staff Writer

What's your favorite color? Bet that's a question you haven't been asked since elementary school or a surprisingly detailed personal questionnaire.

But it you are moving into your new home or if you are thinking about sprucing up the place, you are probably thinking about your favorite color and how it will look on your walls.

The color of your walls may seem like an innocuous choice, but it's a color you'll have to see every day, and color can affect you in many different ways. From influencing your mood to making your stomach grumble, color and different color combinations are more powerful than you may know.

Depending on how you want your room to feel, color psychology can help you make your decision regarding what color to paint.

Many colors are naturally associated with emotions. You look a little blue today. Your friend's new car makes you green with envy. Your soul is black. In today's vernacular, colors have meaning beyond just the visual. And in that same vein, colors and color combinations can affect us as well as describe us.

Colors can affect our bodies too. Certain colors are known to have a physiological effect and can alter heart rate and blood pressure.

Color Psychology

Color psychology is all around us, manipulating our feelings. From designers creating logos to website backgrounds, there is a big market in making us feel a certain way.


Red is the color of passion, anger, emergencies, sun burns, and communism. As the brightest and most noticeable color on the spectrum, red has deep connotations. Red is a powerful color that can take over a room and may create a setting that you may not necessarily prefer.

But if you love red, you don't have to rule it out completely, even if you want a warm or calm atmosphere in your home. An entirely red room can be overpowering, but a red accent wall can be just right if you must have a red room. Or you can choose red for a room that requires a lot of energy, like a game room or a home gym. Red might be able to get some of those competitive juices flowing.

Different shades of red also suggest different things. For example pink suggests innocence while burgundy connotes sophistication.


Blue is serene and tranquil. Unlike red, blue is said to actually lower blood, putting you in a calmer mood and allowing you to relax.

In fact, according to a study done by Travelodge that looked at the sleeping patters of 2,000 people, people with blue bedrooms slept the most of any color.

Because of these calming effects, blue can be a great color to paint a bedroom. But according to HGTV, for whatever reason it is not one of the top 5 most popular colors to paint a room.


Like red, orange is a warm color that the eye is drawn to. It can elicit strong emotions, but unlike red, the color orange can be happy.

Though some would say that orange may be too bright a color to paint a room, it can be a bold and striking choice. For a tamer version of a bold and striking choice, peach ton can be warm without being overbearing.


Yellow, the color or sunshine, is also the color of happiness. According to BBC, yellow can stimulate intelligence, but it can also deepen distress, so use yellow wisely.


According to the Travelodge study mentioned above, purple leads to the least amount of sleep because it stimulates the brain. On the bright side, purple increases creativity which can make it a great color for a room like a home office where creativity can be encouraged.


The color of nature and environmentalism, green is said to be natural and peaceful. WebMD states that the color promotes concentration; therefore, it could be a good color for a home office.

However, green hasn't always had the best reputation. In addition to nature green can also be the color of envy, inexperience, illness, and greed. The key with green can be in the shade you choose.

Other Effects

Color not only affects things like mood, but also our appetite, vision, and it even affects our spending habits.

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Certain color combinations like red and yellow are said to make you hungry. Look at the McDonalds logo; their color choice was probably deliberate. suggests that certain colors attract certain types of customers to stores. For example, because black connotes sophistication, higher end stores who seek higher end customers decorate in black. They also note that orange suggests affordability which is why stores that are reasonably process use orange in their design schemes.

Pantone, the color think tank, explains that depth perception can be affected by the types of colors used. “Using warm colors for foreground and cool colors for background enhances the perception of depth.”

So, what color should you paint your rooms?

A room should be warm and inviting. It should make you want to be in that room, and you should feel happy there. Although colors can affect people, what's more important is what you like.

The presumed effect of a color can be voided if you feel the opposite about the color. For example if you paint your bedroom blue but you hate the color blue, your bedroom probably won't be a very relaxing place.

That being said, when making a choice to paint a room, keep these effects in mind to achieve the feeling you want, especially if you are not decided on one color.

Remember that shade and vividness also play a part in color psychology.

Make your home a place you want to be.

But the good thing about paint is that if you don't like a color on your walls or you find that it affects you in a negative way, you can always paint your walls a different color.