The Psychology of Color

You've decided to paint the interior of your home. You've researched the entire subject and now know about technique, which paints are best, and what equipment you should choose. But for some reason, the part that was supposed to be fun—choosing paint colors—has turned out to be the most difficult aspect of your research. What if you end up having to live with a really dreadful choice?

It's true: the colors of our surroundings have a huge impact on our lives. They affect our attitude, mood, and the way we see the world in general. Think about your local greengrocer. Chances are a great deal of bright green has been worked into the décor. Decorators know that for purveyors of food, the color green has come to symbolize fresh food and good health. The greens used in the interior of your greengrocer's shop helps put shoppers into a positive frame of mind for filling their carts with plenty. If a greengrocer were to substitute darker browns and blacks, it's probable he'd see a drop in sales.

Enhancing Furnishings

Another concern in choosing interior paint colors is enhancing the colors of home furnishings. An area rug containing hints of mauve can be played up by painting the walls a similar color. If your room contains cherry wood furniture, try a backdrop of green on your walls to heighten the rich color of the wood.

Perhaps the major question you need to ask is, "What mood am I aiming for in this room?" Maybe you want a warm, cozy feeling. On the other hand, you might prefer a cheerful, lively ambience. There are colors to reflect every style and mood.

*Interior paint colors all fall into one of three categories: soft, hard, and earth tones.

Cool Colors

*The soft colors are also known as cool colors and include green, blue, and violet. These colors are undemanding and therefore calming.

*The hard colors are also known as warm colors and include the colors of the sun: red, yellow, and orange. These colors draw attention and therefore have a warming effect.

*Earth tones include the neutrals such as taupe, gray, beige, and brown. These colors have a subdued quality and can lend elegance and sophistication to a room. If you use these colors on your walls, you'll need to add texture to keep the room from looking bland or boring.