How Color Can Affect Mood

Whether you’re thinking of repainting a room, changing the curtains or buying new furniture, color is a critical aspect of your decision. Believe it or not, the color choice you make has an impact on your mood. Here are some ways the colors around you have an impact on your emotions.

Warm vs. cool colors

One way to classify colors is into warm, cool and neutral colors.

Warm colors containing red and yellow are associated with energy and passion while cool colors containing blue tend to be calming. Neutral colors are just that: neutral.

Warm colors: red, yellow, orange, pink, some purples, some greens

Red has multiple associations and all are high-energy: love, anger, passion. Yellow is a happy color (think sunshine and yellow roses) while orange is a combination that boosts energy. Pink is a tint of red and represents the softer

side of love.

Purples and greens are mixes of warm and cool colors. A purple containing more red will be warmer than a balanced or blue purple. Similarly, a yellow green gets its warmth from the larger amount of yellow versus the cool blue in it. Warm colors come forward so use them to draw attention.

Cool colors: blue, some purples, some greens

Blue is associated with calm (think blue skies and sea) and stability. Colors containing blue are cool so greens and purples are also cool depending on how much blue is in them. Purple generally represents royalty and wealth. Green is common in nature and represents harmony. It is also the most restful color for the eye.

Neutral colors: brown, black, white, gray

Neutral colors are easier to match than warm and cool colors. Most neutral colors like beige, cream and brown are found in nature and bring stability to a space. Neutrals can form the backbone for warm and cool colors to have their maximum effect.

Since neutral colors are so… well, neutral, the shade is the main property that affects mood. Lighter neutrals convey a happier mood while darks bring a more somber feeling to a space. Darks are also more powerful so aim for the right mix of darks and lights to bring balance.

Dealing with color isn't black and white. Too far in any one direction can overwhelm while a mishmash of shades can confuse. When deciding on color for your home or office, keep in mind the impact it will have on you, your mood and that of others around you, even as you pick your favorite colors.

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