Have you ever wondered why McDonald’s (and Burger King, In-and-Out, etc.) uses red and yellow in their logo and restaurants? Or why hospitals all have the same seafoam green walls? Color psychology is used everywhere to influence how you feel about brands or environments. The colors that businesses choose have a specific purpose, and the general ideas can be used in your home, too. Color psychology is the study of color and how it affects human behavior. It is believed that certain colors can influence an automatic feeling or behavior. Like with all behavioral analyses, the idea is torn between nature and nurture. Is color influence a biological phenomenon or is it something we’re taught through our cultures and environments?
Many fast food restaurants use the combo of red and yellow because red triggers our appetite and yellow is friendly. When used together, however, the two colors make us slightly nervous. It makes us want to get in, get our food, and get out quick. Lingering isn't pleasant. This allows these restaurants to serve people quicker. Starbucks, on the other hand, uses a deep green in their branding. In contrast, the green invites us in to stay awhile. Starbucks makes us want to linger. We want to relax, sip our coffee, and usually, get some work done.
So, how does this theory translate to the colors we use in our home? You may not paint your home in the bright bold colors found at fast food restaurants, but adding in pops of color to each of your rooms can affect your mood and the moods of your guests.
Kitchens are often the heart of the home. They are a natural gathering place, and most of us spend much of our time there. It’s where we make our meals, help our kids with homework, and ask Alexa to play our favorite tunes. That’s why the perfect color for kitchens is yellow and/or blue.
The color yellow makes us feel energetic and happy. Blue is calming, yet stimulates us. When you include yellow in your kitchen, you invoke feelings of brightness and joy. Your brain convinces you it’s a great place to be. Plus, it’s easy to add pops of yellow to your kitchen, and they don’t have to be bright either.
Using neutrals like white and grey on your walls or cabinets allows you to add pieces of blue and yellow in your decor. It could be a piece of artwork on the wall, accents, or linens. If you want to be bolder, you can paint the walls or cabinets with a shade of yellow or blue, too. Choose a shade that works for you and utilize to compliment, blend and accent. This way, you won’t feel bombarded with color in every direction.
Your bathroom is part of your routine. It’s where you go to relax and unwind or start your day. In addition to big fluffy towels and a growing collection of bath bombs, add a little color psychology into the mix.
Whether your bathroom is big or small, you can make it feel like a spa just by adding teal or turquoise. This color settles our mood. It takes benefits from both blue and green by making us feel peaceful as well as fresh. It puts us at ease. It’s unique in its ability to make us feel both relaxed and refreshed at the same time.
Most often, you will see this color in a pastel shade, especially in bathrooms. It’s certainly the most common shade used in spas (as well as hospitals). However, bolder colors are becoming trendier. Don’t be afraid to use a richer or bolder teal in your bathroom. Paired with neutrals, it can make quite the statement!
OTHER AREAS OF THE HOME
Playrooms are fun and playful. Shades of orange like a tangerine are great to work with. Lavender is a wonderful compliment to a guest bedroom. The darker the shade tends to lean towards "royalty" but a lighter shade will trigger relaxation and coziness. Bedrooms are more personal and most homeowners tend to select a color that they most enjoy. Green and shades of blue are excellent for offices.
Whatever room you're redecorating, remember to incorporate a bit of color psychology. Bright colors may be out of your comfort zone. But now that you know how some will make you feel, take a step out of your box and liven up your home! You may be surprised at the results.