Whether you’re painting a room or buying a shirt, dress or vehicle, the color you choose is part of who you are and how you will feel.
Color is all around us. Its effects are powerful and cannot be overlooked. Color can induce alertness, lift our spirits or increase our appetites. It may feel quiet or melancholy; color can spark memories. Most always, the colors we choose to wear or decorate with in our homes make us feel good.
The power of color is very important in the business world and experts are well paid to advise colors that will have the most profitable effect. Colors used in patient and waiting rooms are vitally important to doctors and dentists. Businesses consider colors that create environments specific to needs, some bold and exciting, some calm and relaxing. Color can stimulate creativity; it can generate energy. Colors in school areas are intended to be welcoming and cheerful. Parents know that young children do well when room colors communicate contentment and security.
Ever wonder why some prefer to be “in the mood” to go shopping or make decorating decisions? Color inspiration likely has a lot to do with it. A decorator and friend seemed always to wear shades of black and white. Her response was that she felt safe in those colors. She may have been thinking from a business perspective. Nevertheless, her color palette communicated her bold personality and smart presentation. Dressing “safely” would certainly make shopping a lot easier!
Color is light carried on wavelengths that the eye perceives and transmits to the brain. Pigment is the material that determines the color of light that is transmitted to the eye based on how much of the light is absorbed or reflected off the pigment.
Color is perceived differently. You and I look at blue and may see two different colors; I may see blueberries while you see sky. In fact, to quiet down a blue, I find the right gray. When the room is completely full of the color, voila! We see blue, softer like the sky. Studying undertones is helpful in understanding how we perceive color and what effect it will have. Colors are warm or cool. Coordinating colors and color combinations work well when the hue, value and intensity are balanced correctly.
Color analysts find many people are very cautious when it comes to choosing color. Making a color decision and changing a room color is very challenging for some, even in the age of HGTV. Color takes courage.
As I helped guide clients to choose colors that met their decorating criteria and emotional expectations, I learned that some drink it in like water and enjoy considering various possibilities. Others stress in confusion and make decisions to be done with it. When they step into the reality of their finished color, they experience new courage. Choosing color begins to build a feeling of confidence as we achieve the desired outcome.
The colors we live with are always changing, some more often than others. Making a color decision, when understood, will become easier and in most cases a lot of fun. There are many places to study color; Benjamin Moore is a great start. Appreciating color is an emotional pleasure even when we disagree with some or find it difficult to choose at times.
Color is a powerful part of our lives; work with it. Enjoy the process of analyzing color. Let your colors communicate your objectives as you absorb their beauty.