The idea that color affects your mood is often debated among professionals as either being equally as important as other forms of therapy or only something that your mind blatantly pushes to the background. Does red make you more energized or white calmer?
Image by Luke Austin
Color choice is something we always take into consideration when deciding how to decorate our homes. With the recent arrival of the COVID-19 virus, what your home looks like has become a hot topic, and more brands look to capitalize on those conversations. The human eye can capture 10 million different colors, and research has already proven colors like green or Baker-Miller pink have decreased aggression in more than one clinical trial.
So what is color therapy, and how can you incorporate it into home design? Color therapy (or chromotherapy) is classified as a form of treatment using light to replace or recharge a person's physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Avicenna was a Persian philosopher who was the first to note color as an essential tool in diagnosing and treating patients with a myriad of different afflictions. This initial observation was way back in 980 AD, and since then, there have been multiple studies focused on the relation between color and well-being.
Incorporating it into your home decor can be as easy as choosing a wall color or selecting what kind of rug goes into your room. Each color has a different effect on our mood, and it's vital to pick the right ones that can keep up with your lifestyle. It's also an excellent way to jumpstart a new sensibility you're looking to grow into.
According to an article from Psychology Today on making your home a healing space, "Choose colors to suit your mood and personality. Reds, oranges, and yellows energize and stimulate. Other colors, such as blue, green, and violet, can evoke feelings of peace and restfulness."
Our guest editor, interior designer Bobby Berk, broke down what some colors aesthetically do in a 2019 article,
RED: In design, red promotes courage and determination. The color red is a stimulant and can invigorate a room (or the person in it). It has been said that the color red can be a stimulant and bring things to fruition. It can also help to motivate and embolden someone.
ORANGE: In design, orange expands your thinking and is the color of laughter and celebration. Being in a room with doses or orange can help you to be more creative, to open up your mind, and to be more artistic. It has been said that orange can also help to reduce your self-consciousness (maybe from all that laughter and celebration) which allows you to truly be yourself.
YELLOW: In design, yellow can bring forth focus and mental strength. It can help to clarify your thoughts with its bright hue and can also stimulate new conversations and thought.
GREEN: In design, green also represents nature and a fresh start. It can help with healing and to balance things within your life while keeping things calm and serene (just as it does outside). Rooms that are painted green have also been said to promote growth and prosperity.
BLUE: In design, blue encourages efficiency and is the color of calmness and purity. Bringing this inky hue into your home can also inject a little steadiness and balance to the room and to the time that you spend in it. Cool blues also are said to encourage peace and help you to see the larger picture.
PURPLE: In design, purple is used to encourage a fresh perspective on your emotions and spirituality. The color can bring a sense of spiritual calm and also help to connect you to a higher power, allowing yourself to let go of the things to hold you down and connect more spiritually with those things that will lift you up."
As mentioned earlier, promoting healthier moods through color doesn't take a whole room makeover. You can either paint, buy a new couch, or hang exciting artwork that incorporates different colors into your design. Some of the most well-designed rooms have a tone coming from an accent pillow that will change your mood overnight. Try looking at colors that radiate the attitude you see yourself being most at calm with. Your home should be your charging station, and if done correctly, will make sure you're ready for any challenge life might bring. Monochromatic styles are some of the best ways to push colors into your life while maintaining current trends.
The role that color in your home and personal life plays should be aligned with regards to your mental health. Color therapy may not cure severe disease, and not everyone will be a prolific interior designer or color expert, but using colors that uplift you can be a productive way to focus on your happiness.