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  • Writer's pictureBetsey Dempsey

How do your house colors make you feel?

It's no secret that color has a profound impact on your mood. Therefore, the colors on the walls of your home are dictating how you feel every day. Do you have a hard time falling asleep? Do you wake up stressed? Do you find your basement depressing? If so, the wall colors could be partly to blame. Here are a few emotional effects on a tour of the color wheel.




Red

This is a tricky color. It can cause anxiety and stress, but also sensuality, and comfort. It can also make a person feel more confident. I feel red is best used sparingly, such as in furniture or accessories. Red can be toned down, such as making it more burgundy, burnt orange, or raspberry. However, colors like Caliente from Benjamin Moore can add a nice pop to a space. I'd avoid putting it in bedrooms, and certainly not in a doctor's office!


Orange

Orange is similar to red in that it can make people feel a bit anxious, but evokes a happier, more cheerful mood. It can help with productivity, and make you feel more energized. The level of intensity in the orange you choose will make all the difference. The more intense (or "neon", as I sometimes describe it) the orange, the more anxious you will feel. Most spaces can handle a bit of orange, though I'd still avoid orange in a bedroom unless it is a soft, less intense shade.



Yellow

Bright and cheery are terms often associated with yellow. Once again, the level of intensity can make it a soft, buttery tone, or as harsh as a yellow raincoat. Intense tones should be used sparingly, such as on a piece of art or furniture, since they can create anxiety. A bit of gray is often added to yellows to avoid the "neon" effect. Soft tones can be used just about anywhere, especially if they venture into the creamy direction. I avoid using bolder yellows in a bathroom as they can affect your skin tone in the mirror.


Green

Most people associate green with nature. It is typically very calming and soothing. It's great for most rooms of your house. I would however, avoid a room where you need energy, like a home gym. You do have to be careful with the intensity here as well, as you don't want your walls to look like a traffic light!


Blue

Blue is a pretty easy color to have in your home. Most rooms can handle it. Like green, it can have a calming and soothing effect. It's a great color if you have trouble falling asleep. Do keep in mind the direction your window faces. North facing rooms can feel cold and icy painted blue. Adding some yellow to the blue can help, making it turn towards the warmer, turquiose direction.


Purple

Add red to blue and it becomes purple, of course. It's the ancient color of royalty. It's also taking a potentially anxiety inducing color (red) and toning it down with a calming color (blue). Add a little gray to the purple and you have a color that works well in most spaces. Think Lilac Hush, or Through the Looking Glass, both by Benjamin Moore. Beautiful. As with any color, purple can have many faces. It can look like an Easter egg, or a delicate flower. Purple tones are definitely having their moment. The only place I'd avoid purple is probably a home gym where you need more energy.



If you dislike a color in your home, take a fresh look at it. Is it the fact that it is yellow, for example, or could it be the intensity? Maybe it feels too neon. Or, maybe the color needs to lean more towards another direction, making it warmer or cooler. Another fix is to add a more neutral accent color by way of furniture, art, and accessories. Either way, keep in mind that your walls may be having a deep effect on your mental health.


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