Home decor is often viewed as simply a matter of aesthetics -- what looks
attractive. But proponents of color psychology believe that the colors you use
to decorate your home can have a profound effect on the emotional well-being of
you and your family.
"Color is a universal, nonverbal language, and we all intuitively know how
to speak it," says Leslie Harrington, a color consultant in Old Greenwich,
Conn. and a noted expert on the use of color in residential and industrial
decor. "What color you paint your walls isn't just a matter of aesthetics. It's
a tool that can be leveraged to affect emotions and behavior."
By Cynthia HansonIt's the four-letter word no woman likes to utter. How to ask for what you
It wasn’t until Kathleen Hornstein realized that she couldn’t move her legs
that she finally broke down and asked for help. A 34-year-old Pilates
instructor and mom of two, Hornstein was pregnant with twins, and despite being
overextended and overtired, she had barely slowed down and prided herself on
being able to handle anything that came her way. Then, during her second
trimester, as she sat...
If you like the idea of using color to create an emotionally healthy home,
color consultants say you should first consider the primary function of each
room. Next, pick a predominant color. Although it can't be proven
scientifically, color consultants say some hues work better than others at
encouraging certain activities. Need ideas? Here's a room-by-room rundown of
the colors believed to work best in each of the most important rooms of your
home, and the moods they create.
Living room and foyer paint colors. Warm tones like reds, yellows,
and oranges, and earth tones like brown and beige often work well in both the
living room and foyer, because they're though to stimulate conversation. "These
are colors that encourage people to sit around and talk," says Kate Smith, a
color consultant in Lorton, Va. "You feel the warmth, the connection with other
Kitchen paint colors. Color consultants say that if you have fond
memories of spending time in the kitchen when you were a kid, it might make
sense to recreate the color scheme in your grown-up kitchen. "If you grew up in
a blue-and-white kitchen and have great memories, blue and white may be the
best colors for you and your family," says Smith.
If there's no particular paint scheme you remember fondly, reds and yellows
can be great colors in the kitchen as well as in the living room and foyer. But
watch out if you're watching your weight: in addition to stimulating
conversation, color consultants say that red may prompt you to eat more, if
only subtly. "If you're on a diet, you might want to keep red out of the
kitchen," Harrington says, adding that the restaurant industry has long
recognized the appetite-stimulating power of red decor.