Color experts weigh in.

Meghan Overdeep
April 9, 2018

 

When it comes to decorating a house, color is so much more than a matter of taste. In fact, plenty of scientific evidence suggests that use of color can have a major impact on a person’s mood. (There’s a reason people don’t paint their bedrooms red!)

The folks at Mental Floss recently spoke to a group of experts about using color to create the most soothing environment in each room, which naturally piqued our interest. From blue to white, keep reading to learn more about which colors work best in which room and why.

Green:

Green, the color of plants and nature, represents growth and life. Shades of green work best in areas that require more quiet and extended concentration, like a bedroom, office or library. 

Allie Wilmoth, a residential interior designer in Wake Forest, North Carolina, who specializes in color selection, told Mental Floss that green is a great option for city dwellers that long for the outdoors. "If a city apartment dweller is looking for a natural feel within their space, I highly recommend a cool color scheme,” she says. “Utilizing green and blue and coordinating a gray neutral color will help the small space feel larger, and an analogous color scheme of blues and greens creates a harmonious natural feel."

Blue:

Psychologically, blue is associated with tranquility and contentment. Deep blue is considered to be the optimum color for slowing down the body and mind to allow relaxation and recuperation.

Blue can make you feel calm, centered, and content wherever you use it, which makes it a great color for the bedroom as well as the home office. "Cooler blues and greens evoke feelings of quiet and solitude, making it one of my go-to choices in bedrooms," notes Wilmoth.

White:

White denotes purity and cleanliness and reflects more light than any other color. Translation: it’s perfect for opening up small, dark spaces.

Anything but boring if you do it right, white has been long adored for creating the illusion of space and height. Using one color, wrapped around the whole room, will help the viewer's eye travel throughout the space," Jane Lockhart, a Toronto-area interior designer and host of the TV series Colour Confidential, tells Mental Floss. She suggests trying a pale gray or cream if a bright white tone feels too sterile.

Orange:

Orange is known for its warmth, energy and ability to stimulate appetites. (Its popularity with fast food restaurants is no coincidence, y’all!)

"The color orange is the most social of all colors. It stimulates conversation, communication, and interaction. It reflects youth and energy and is a great choice for anywhere you want lots of action, activity, and high energy," Lockhart explains "Orange is a great choice for a gym, family room, kitchen, or as an accent wall in a child’s bedroom."

Yellow:

Often associated with optimism and the sun, no color evokes happiness quite like yellow does. Just be careful not to go overboard—nobody should feel like they have to wear sunglasses inside your house.

"Yellow, or any other warm-based color like coral, is fabulous—it's considered a happy and uplifting color," Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, tells Mental Floss. "It is especially good in rooms that are dark or don't get a lot of light. Kitchens, entryways, and living rooms are good in these tones. They are convivial, friendly and make you feel like you are surrounded by sunshine—they're a great mood lifter."