Raise your hand if you like to play it safe and go with neutrals. I do. Sometimes. In some rooms, beige or grey feels right.
But, some spaces demand color. Why? Probably because you’re trying to convey a message. To communicate a feeling – or better yet, to bring on a mood. Certain colors and combinations of colors contain visual cues that trigger certain responses, like excitement, comfort, or peace. Think about it – most people want their bedrooms to be a calming or soothing retreat. That room demands a hue that elicits those feelings, like sky blue.
Whenever I’m feeling uncertain about a color combination I turn to a book that’s been in my library since my early days as a graphic designer. It was printed in 2000, but its content is classic. It’s called Pantone Guide to Communicating with Color. The book’s focus is on using color in printed design, like magazine advertisements, but its theory applies to home decorating, too.
It’s fascinating really – reading about color and the subliminal human reaction we have to it. Color wields power – in both marketing and in your home. The color red causes excitement because upon seeing it a chemical message is sent to the brain and releases the hormone epinephrine. I know, that’s a lot of mumbo-jumbo to me, too. Basically it increases your heart rate. Neutrals impart a message of dependability. They’re seen as timeless, enduring – probably why people who love the traditional style of decorating like neutrals.
So back to this book – when I’m feeling ambitious about color, and want to go for a combination that shouts – look at me…I open this book. Check out the pages here. They include color combos with specific non-verbal messages.
Here black with yellow rivets the eye and makes us think of stinging insects. It feels pretty powerful to me!
Oh my, this is adorably romantic! Soft pink – I’d do this color scheme in my own bedroom if hubby would allow it!
Purple creates a sense of the surreal. Probably why so many churches have purple stained glass, and lighting.
This certainly elicits a calming feeling for me! I have this same color paint in my sunroom, where my office is. It helps me concentrate.
What kid wouldn’t love to play in this room!!
There’s no doubt about it – color is awe-inspiring. Thank God we see in more than just black and white!