Which room colors are best for your office, bedroom, home, and living room? And what moods do they help foster?
Chelsea, a small business owner, paints the walls of her studio green.
"I find it very soothing," she says. She also dots the space with plants. "Having that greenery invokes a sense of nature and has a calming effect."
Mood and color psychology research finds the colors of your surroundings impact your emotions and energy levels. Some hues may bring you down, while others can stimulate productivity, or help you sleep better at night. No individual color is bad, but they each have their time and place.
By making small color changes in your home or office, you might help improve your quality of life.
Good for: Offices
Green is a relaxing color. According to the Journal of Environmental Psychology, it increases productivity and concentration. Green causes the least eyestrain since its wavelength is the most easily seen by our eyes, making it great for desktop backgrounds. Having green accents around your desk, like a leafy plant or an office chair, will help you feel refreshed and ready to work.
Good for: Bedrooms, but avoid blue lights
Blue is calming and centering. It lowers blood pressure and heart rates, making it the top choice for bedrooms. People tend to feel sleepier over time in blue-colored rooms, according to a study in the journal Color: Research and Application. "Blue is a color often found in nature such as the pale blue of a daytime sky or the rich dark blue of a deep pool of water," notes Verywell, a doctor-run online site. It is for this reason perhaps that people often describe the color blue as calm and serene. However, avoid blue lights in your bedroom, which simulate the bright blue sky, as those are proven to keep you awake and make it harder to fall asleep. Switch to warmer-toned lightbulbs in a reddish or orangish hue that simulate the sunset, and are shown to help your body unwind and fall asleep better.
Good for: Home accents
As a mood booster, yellow creates feelings of happiness and positivity, and stimulates heart rate, according to research from journals Behavior Research Methods and Color: Research & Application. Because it can be an extremely bright color, yellow can cause fatigue to the eyes if there is too much in one space, so using it in smaller doses around the house is best — try accenting a drawer, filling a yellow vase, adding a pop of color in a painting, or even yellow flowers.
Good for: Living spaces
The color red inspires passion and action, and according to the journal Color Research & Application, and it also raises the heart rate. While not the best for calmer spaces, red works well in gathering areas like living or dining rooms to increase conversation — try it in a couch, throw pillow or charger plate.
Good for: Base color
Gray is a neutral color with no mood enhancements. That means it won't compete with other colors in the room. So if you have a hue you want to pop — such as blue or red — gray works well as a base color. Because it can be dull, it's best not to decorate with it alone, but use it for carpet, walls, or side tables in your home, and pair it strategically with another purpose-filled color to accomplish your goals for the room.
As Chelsea discovered, room color is more important than you might think. "Clients are immediately put at ease when they come into my green studio," she says. "Color really does matter."
Next, read this article to see if your bedroom décor is ruining your love life.
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