The Effect Of Color On Mood

The Effect Of Color On Mood

When designing or decorating any type of area whether it is an office, kitchen or conference room one of the most daunting tasks can be trying to decide on a color scheme. The options available today are almost limitless and the decision you make can end up drastically changing the effect that the room has on its occupants. While the amount of research is disproportionate to the amount of color we see in our every day lives there have been some modern studies on the effect of color on mood, productivity and the human psyche as well as very interesting findings regarding physiological reactions from exposure to different colors. While factors such as personal preference, culture, mood, even climate and temperature make some situations more subjective than others, there are some tips you can use to help achieve the atmosphere you are looking to create.

What Is Color?

To effectively pick a color that is right for your space it helps to first have a general idea of what color is and how it is made. To put it simply the colors we see are just reflected or emitted waves of light of various wavelengths resulting in different shades perceivable by the human eye. Sunlight contains every color but if it were to shine on a red car every wavelength except for red would be absorbed with red being reflected back to the eye, a black car would absorb every wavelength resulting in the absence of color and a white car would reflect all allowing you to perceive every wavelength combined. Sir Isaac Newton first discovered this phenomenon in the 17th century when he used prisms to separate white light into the visible spectrum and reassemble the colors back into white light.

Different Colors Effects

When picking a color you have to examine several factors that will help determine which is right for you. Some questions you may ask could be what type of business are you conducting? Is it a high energy environment or an area that is supposed to be calming or relaxing? Are you trying to create an open or intimate feel? Do you plan on painting every wall? Once you’ve determined what type of atmosphere you would like to create then you can start thinking about which colors will help you achieve it. For areas that will see a lot of physical activity, red can be a smart choice as some studies have shown that it makes people react with greater speed and force than other colors, however students that were exposed to a red environment prior to an exam generally scored lower than their counterparts who were not. Red also has the potential to raise blood pressure, heart rate and increase respiration speed which may be a concern and make it an inappropriate color for some applications. Blue is shown to evoke feelings of calm and intelligence, it also stimulates creativity and concentration making it a good choice for offices and classrooms. You have to be careful however, as the wrong shade can create a cold, unfriendly feeling. Green is a very versatile choice that can be toned to fit almost any application, it is restful to the eye, cool and cheery, green rooms can make a person feel refreshed and peaceful. Yellow can be a difficult color to use as different shades can produce very different effects, some will create an uplifting environment that is cheerful and bright but the wrong tone or misuse of the color can result in an area that is depressing, stressful and can make people irritable or in extreme cases physically ill. Other colors can also produce very strong effects as well, for example orange influences a person both emotionally and physically, it can stimulate appetite and focuses our minds on physical comfort but overuse can result in a room that implies a lack of intelligence or immaturity. Purple is associated with luxury and royalty and makes people feel calm and sophisticated while promoting creativity. Some colors are considered neutral like gray, black and brown; these make great choices as accents but generally aren’t used as a base color as they can overwhelm the rest of a rooms décor. When choosing your color try to use a combination that compliments eachother, analogous colors are typically next to one another on the color wheel and are pleasing to the eye when used in conjunction with a third complimentary accent color. Triadic combinations are usually vibrant even when using dull or pale tones, triadic combinations are evenly spaced across the color wheel and should be used with one color being the dominant hue while the others are used to accentuate. It is typically advised that you use no more than four colors for one room but theres no law against using every color of the rainbow! Just remember to fit the overall design scheme of your room to its purpose and with a little bit of knowledge and research every design project can produce results that will please the eye and draw in business.