Monday, October 4, 2010

Spice up Your Space with Color

Fall has certainly arrived here on the east coast. It's rainy and chilly, (I hate the cold and really want to turn on the heat) with grey, cloudy skies. I find the skies of fall and winter to be so dreary in the east, but it's a great day to begin a series on color -- and a great excuse for a Chai tea latte.

I love Chai tea! Yesterday I had the pleasure of going to a Dove Chocolate party. I sampled until I couldn't any more -- than ordered four different flavors of Chai tea all with chocolate -- yum! But, getting back to color.

Adding color with paint to a space is easy, inexpensive and an effective way to transform the look and feel of any room. However, paint isn't the only way to add color for those who don't want to paint or can't. We'll talk about several ways to do that over the next few weeks. Today, I thought we'd talk a little about the psychology of color.

Color effects our emotions. Using the rights colors can stimulate and motivate us, add feelings of calm and relaxation and create cheerfulness. You can set the right mood for your space by choosing a color that evokes the emotions you desire.

Red is often used in restaurants because it is an appetite stimulant. It raises our metabolism and increases our appetites -- so food tastes better. Red is a great color for dining rooms. Red can also make you irritable so use it sparingly and be careful of it's use in bedrooms.

Yellow has been proven to stimulate the brain, which can make you more alert and decisive. With the right amount and the right hue, yellow enhances concentration. This color is bright and optimistic, but a lot of bright yellow speeds up the metabolism and could make people lose their temper.

Blue lowers the pulse rate, body temperature, and metabolism. It causes the body to produce calming chemicals, so you'll see it most often used in bedrooms. Deep blue stimulates the pituitary gland, which then regulates our sleep patterns. People are more productive in blue rooms.

Orange is a combination of yellow and red -- which are both stimulating colors. Orange is considered an energetic color -- its strengthens the immune system and is considered an accessible color -- at a lower-price.

Purple is thought to be majestic and often associated with the royalty. It is a combination red and blue -- which each evoke opposite physical reactions. Purples have been used in the care of mental or nervous disorders because they have been shown to help balance the mind and transform obsessions and fears. Purple has also be shown to suppress hunger and balance the body's metabolism.

Green symbolizes nature and the natural world. It is the easiest color on the eye and said to be good for your heart. People that have a green work environment experience fewer stomach aches. Green is often used in decorating for its calming effect. It helps to balance and soothe our emotions. Green also relaxes our muscles and helps us to breathe deeper and slower. Beware of using too much green -- added feelings of comfort, relaxation and calmness could cause feelings of laziness.

Pink, a lighter shade of red, also helps muscles to relax. Pink induces feelings of calm, protection, warmth, and nurturing. Research has shown that pink's calming effect only occurs during the initial exposure to the color.

Grey enhances creativity, which makes it a good color choice for home offices and studios. It evokes feelings of trust, so it is often used in executive offices and waiting rooms. Grey feels neutral making it a perfect combination with an infinite number of colors. Grey with yellow or grey with blue are two of my favorite combinations.

Brown evokes the feelings of security, credibility and reassurance. It tends to be soothing and comfortable. Brown encourages conversation, so it is great for entertaining rooms. Shades and tints of brown are often uses as neutrals. Combined with unexpected colors like pale blue, fuchsia, or chartreuse -- browns can be exciting, whimsical or sophisticated.

Now, I know what I'm going to wear today for lunch with my friends. It feels like a brown and pale blue kind of day.

See you next time for more on Color.


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