• A friend of mine recently renovated and painted her house. Everything looked beautiful. However, her children began to fight a lot more. She couldn’t figure it out when she had taken such care to decorate their room with whimsical fabrics, paints, a fairy mural and all. Then she stumbled upon research about the effects of color on the human psyche. She had her answer! She chose a bright yellow versus a pale blue for their room. She defended her choice declaring that yellow is supposed to be happy, like the sun!

    What does that mean – what is the difference between those two colors you might ask? The psychology of color is what is the difference. Have you ever wondered why hospitals are painted in hues of blues and greens? Why fast food restaurants are designed with hues of orange, red and yellows? Supposedly color has a larger affect on people than one might suspect. In my friend’s case, bright yellow is the most fatiguing to the eye because of the large amount of light being reflected.

    Disregarding cultural perceptions of color, or personal associations, here is a quick study of how colors affect people’s moods:

    • YELLOW: feelings of frustration and anger
    • RED:  feelings of excitement or intensity.
    • ORANGE: excitement, enthusiasm, and warmth
    • BLUE: feelings of calmness or serenity
    • GREEN:  Calming (Neat side note: Researchers found that green can improve reading ability).
    • WHITE: Feelings of space, cleanliness and calmness
    • BLACK: The absence of color could create negative or apathetic feelings.

    I think I will leave our walls white for the time being. At least it makes our small house feel larger than indicated by the square footage!