Home & Family
Roses are Red, Violets are Blue -- and Your Emotions are, Too!
6/3/2013 12:33:52 PM

We are constantly surrounded by color – green leaves, blue skies, white walls, yellow sundresses, brown desks, white T-shirts – that we hardly take time to appreciate the effects that they have on our mental and emotional well-being. Yet research indicates that color psychology is no passing fancy. It’s been shown that there are direct correlations between color and emotions, and this "color language” is uniquely universal.

According to the Color Association of the United States, there is evidence to suggest that color is an emotional language that people seem to speak in consistent and similar ways. Black is commonly associated with grief; white, with serenity; and yellow, with optimism.

"Color creates a mood instantaneously,” said Lindsay Dubrock of Details Design, an interior decorating and real estate staging business in Lake Charles. "Imagine a room filled with buttery soft leather furniture, rich-colored rugs and a beautiful seagrass paper on the wall. These colors and surroundings have just created a mood ready for cigars and brandy. Move on to a room with warm gray walls covered with the reflected colors of a crystal chandelier and white linen furniture and you’ve created the mood for a hip get-together with friends. Color has absolutely everything to do with creating a mood.”

Although people share similarities in how they view certain colors – yellow or orange for cheerfulness, for example – our interpretations of the colors around us also have much to do with our personal experience and social and cultural background.

Consider the color red, for example. For some it may trigger feelings of rage, anger or uneasiness. For others, red means love, passion and romance. And still others may see its spiritual or religious significance; the colors of a priestly robe, or the meanings of protection that the colors serve throughout the Bible.

According to researchers with the University of Florida, how we view colors can also be effected by our childhoods—if we fell asleep surrounded by the purple walls of a happy home, our feelings toward the color purple will likely be positive.

When it comes to popularity and warm and fuzzy feelings, yellow came out on top, the Florida researchers found. Yellow was considered energetic and elicited feelings of happiness, joy and summertime.

Just because yellow commonly means cheer and happiness doesn’t mean you should drench your entire house in it and hope for unabashed joy, however. "Even with color’s versatility it is important to note that super bright colors in a restful space, such as a bedroom, is not the greatest idea,” Dubrock said. For areas where you want to unwind and relax, consider cool colors that are often associated with serenity. "Colors like whites, soft greens, blues or even soft grays.” If you’re looking to create jazzy excitement, go vibrant. "With all of this said, though, the most amazing thing about color is that when it’s combined correctly and the right hue is used, just about any color can create any one of these atmospheres. Color is truly amazing (and) extremely important.”

Choosing how to surround yourself with color goes beyond choosing a simple favorite, she noted. "Sometimes people like a whole host of colors but the outcome that they are trying to create in their home isn’t compatible with the colors they like,” Dubrock said.

Colors don’t just come into play when we’re selecting paint for our walls or deciding what dress to wear. For businesses, the use of color plays a pivotal role. Studies in color psychology and marketing have found that visual cues are one of the greatest influences for shoppers, with color being the most important of those cues. Blue or green are commonly found in branding for banks, because these colors imply trust. Red’s sense of urgency is typically utilize for the clearance racks, and pink’s association with femininity is commonly used to market to young girls.

While yellow seems to have the best reputation for being upbeat, it is not the most popular color when it comes to positivity, according to research findings.

That honor goes to the color green.

Researchers at the University of Georgia found that green evoked the highest percentage of positive emotions among their test sample. It was related to wonderful feelings like relaxation, happiness, peace and hope.

So although you may feel green with envy that your neighbor hasn’t been feeling blue after seeing red, keep in mind that another shade may be just around the corner – and if your corner isn’t so inviting, consider painting it.

Posted by: Erin Kelly | Submit comment | Tell a friend

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