Colour and Our Moods

How does colour effect us? Is that beige wall getting you down? Will that new forest green couch help you relax after a hard day at the office? The Internet offers a wealth of information regarding the association between colour and emotion.

Lina Hoffman describes the psychology of colour. Certain colours remind us of past events that are a factor in present actions. For instance, colour can increase productivity, speed recovery time in hospitals, or influence the passage of time. A red room causes us to perceive time as moving slowly where as a green or blue room has the opposite effect. Warm colours, such as red, appear closer, are easier for our eyes to perceive, and consequently, catch our attention faster than cool colours, such as blue. Lina Hoffman suggests that individuals who are generally more attracted to a variety of colours tend to be more easy-going, energetic, and adaptable than people with limited colour preferences. Furthermore, your choice of colour selections is dependent upon how you associate emotion and colour. An individual might not like chartreuse, a shade of yellow, because it reminds them of being sick. On the other hand, their fondness for blue may be synaptically linked with the vastness of the prairie blue sky.

At Hoffman’s website, you can complete an interesting colour quiz that helps us examine our colour preferences. The questionnaire links our reactions to colours with specific personality traits. For example, individuals that like beige may associate it with classic, warm, or neutral thoughts. Their personality may include practical know-how, a well-adjusted attitude, and a conservative view. If beige is not their style, they may associate it with drab, lifeless, and mundane thoughts. They are attracted to less predictable situations and are intolerable of routine.

Personality traits are somewhat difficult to change. Fortunately, walls are not. A beige wall can be painted to a more energetic colour, such as red or bright green. A picture hung on a once lifeless wall, can change the overall atmosphere of the room. Why stop at changing the colours of the interior of your home. What about changing the colour of the exterior of your house? Here are some tips on altering the exterior colour of structures on your property:

  • Look at your surroundings. What is the theme of your neighborhood? Will this colour look inviting in all seasons? Will the new colour fit pleasantly with other items on your property, such as landscaping and the garage or shed?
  • Don’t forget the roof. Start your project at the top. Generally, the roof is a large feature in your home’s appearance.
  • Create a harmonized picture that reflects the mood you want to convey. Bright colours can liven up the exterior but can appear chaotic on a complicated design and over-load our senses. Natural or more subdued tones create a relaxing and classic impression but can appear dingy or lifeless on a cloudy day.
  • Soft colours with contrasting accents convey a classic but distinctive look. Remember that a home will appear nearer with warm shades and farther away with cool tones. Keep this in mind when choosing features of your property that you want to emphasize.

Will that forest green couch relax you? Odds are it will. Will it relax your dog too? Yes, the association between mood and colour affects animals that are colour blind (Colour of water bowl can improve your dog’s mood and people who cannot see! Colour affects us on the physiological level. For example, violet depresses appetite, blue lowers blood pressure, and bright yellow increases muscle tension. Surround yourself in the colours that please your mind and have a positive effect on your body. Colour is a powerful tool of communication and should reflect the atmosphere you wish to create and feel most comfortable in.