Sunday, September 4, 2016

A Review of Color Choice in Home Decor - The Psychology of Color

My Own Family Room
You Guessed It, Warmth is the Theme
Have You Ever Thought About How the Paint Color You Choose in Your Home Affects Your Mood?

Understanding the psychology of color and knowing what to choose can be a difficult, even stressful process. Whether it's seasonal colors or simply our own taste, it's not easy to finally decide which colors to go with.

If you're doubting that, think about a time you decided to redecorate a space and how long it took you to choose the colors to use ... as well as the planning it took to incorporate those color choices with new or existing furnishings.

The biggest problem with color choice is that we often decide to choose a color before we understand the mood we want people to feel when they walk in.

Warm Tones & Cool Tones & Which Ones Fit the Mood We Want Our Room to Have

WARMTH: If you're looking to decorate a room using warm tones, then you'll want to focus on color tones in these families:
  • Red Tones - Evoke warmth and passion and are the hottest of all the warm tones
  • Yellow Tones - It's warmth is used to liven up a space, giving a room intellectual happiness (Yes, believe it or not, yellow is associated with intellect)
  • Orange Tones - It's a conversation piece that spurs creativity making it an ideal choice for encouragement. Kitchens are often painted in orange. Picture sitting around the kitchen table, interacting, laughing and sharing with friends and family.
Mix and match various tones in each, or simply focus on one of them. Just remember the basic three or four color rule - that is, choose your base color then add 3 or 4 accent colors to complete a cohesive look.

The Above Photo is my own family room, and you can easily see that 'warmth' was the theme of the day for this design. The space includes butterscotch, soft tan, dark tan and a splash of grounding black and white. The area rug has various subtle shades that also tie in, and although you can't see it in this photo, there are plants in the opposite corner adding a pop of green.

COOL: If you're seeking to decorate a space based on calmness, relaxation, serenity and meditation, begin by choosing color tones in these families:
  • Blue Tones - Blue, the color of water, is a wise choice when you're looking to create a spa-like atmosphere in your space.
  • Violet & Indigo Tones - Choose these tones to create a meditative, spiritual environment. Any room where the purity of calmness is your aim, you'll want to be in this color family.
  • Green Tones - The color of nature is a calming cool color and a common choice for bedrooms and baths.
What's the Best Color Tones for Destressing? The Answer COOL colors. However, stay in the pastel shades of these cool colors. In other words don't use navy blue, deep purple or dark green.

What about Blacks, Browns and Whites? 
  • White is used for purity and intellect, and when used proportionally with other colors in a room, white is great for offices, places of study or an environment where you need to do some thinking.
  • Blacks and Browns are normally used as grounding colors and you'll usually find them in various places in a home. As an example, the black TV and white window frames in my family room featured above acts as a grounding color for the space - as do the the lamp bases.
Remember the most important thing: These are general guidelines. Have fun choosing your colors and make choices based on color schemes you and your family prefer.

After all, it's your space, and first and foremost, you need to be happy and comfortable.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. I like to use 2 or 3 colors max in a room. and tend to go with cool colors everywhere. But I do have brown leather in the living room, with blue and green accents...

    1. that sounds very nice Heather - brown with blue and green is very pretty, a family member did one of their rooms like this and it was gorgeous

  2. After reading this article, I took a fun look around the various rooms in my home. I know which rooms speak to me and which ones are my husband's favorite rooms. Very happy to report that I am intelligent and calm. My husband, on the other hand, is obviously well grounded! lol Okay, I know the psychological analysis was not the point, but still fun. Btw, your room is lovely and I am sure we would both feel right at home on a visit. I am also smiling because I see your desk and workspace tucked beautifully over in the corner by the window. Fabulous!

  3. The colors in our living room are very similar to your family room and I love them! I did choose calming green for our bedroom and love that, too. This is a helpful review of the fact that colors do matter and set the tone in our homes so we should choose wisely.

    1. Susan, green is a lovely idea for bedroom, at some point I want to redo ours but I still haven't decided on a color.

  4. Cynthia, lol at assessing your own room colors. Cooler color tones are calming yet I seem to have very few rooms in those shades! That may explain a few things in my case yikes! And yes, I'm sure we could both sit and relax together in each other's home.

  5. I agree that colors set a mood. My living room is in earth tones - tans and browns with some accents of green and yellow. Yellow is my favorite color. Interesting to learn that yellow represents intellectual happiness. I know yellow always makes me feel 'happy'. :)

    1. Pat I absolutely love Yellow, and am considering it in one of my other rooms when we give it a face lift

  6. Very interesting stuff! I knew about warm and cool colors. But not some of the other information. No wonder my apartment with one green wall and one terra cotta wall. I loved that apartment. And not because it was a nice apartment. Now I know why.

    1. Dawn, you set the mood without even knowing it - and it appealed to your taste :)

  7. My living space is in a need for a make over.....badly. The last time it was painted was just before my daughter got married 15 years ago. Yes, it's high time, that this room was repainted. Thank you Barbara for such a timely Review!

    1. Grammie, our master bedroom is like that - it needs a re-do badly - it's long overdue

  8. Excellent timing of this article as we are redecorating in several rooms and choosing colours! We have a yellow Kitchen which is a lovely,sunny happy place, our main living areas are in more earthy tones and the bedroom we are redecorating will be in light green tones. I really do feel that the colour of a room sets the mood and "feel" of it and so is very important. great article !

  9. Very interesting how colors in the home reflect mood and personality. I enjoy a largely natural wood atmosphere in the home but most modern homes seem to focus on white. Hubby and I are slowly compromising on our tastes as the years flow by.


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