How Colours Affect Us

Check out these descriptions of a few favorite colours and how they affect us:

Blue is one of the overwhelming favourite colours, seen as trustworthy, dependable and committed. Caution though because, when home buyers were asked in a national study a few years ago what their least favourite colour in a prospective home was, the answer was blue. The colour of sky and the ocean, blue is perceived as a constant in our lives. As the collective colour of the spirit, it invokes rest and can cause the body to produce chemicals that are calming. However not all blues are serene and sedate. Electric or brilliant blues become dynamic and dramatic, an engaging colour that expresses exhilaration. Some shades or the overuse of blue may come across as cold or uncaring. Blue is the least ‘gender specific’ color, having equal appeal to both men and women.
How the colour blue affects us physically and mentally:
* Calming and sedate
* Cooling
* Aids intuition

Green occupies more space in the spectrum visible to the human eye and is second only to blue as a favourite colour. Green is the pervasive colour in the natural world that is an ideal backdrop in interior design because we are so used to seeing it everywhere. The natural greens from forest to lime are seen as tranquil and refreshing with a natural balance of cool and warm (blue and yellow) undertones. Green is considered the colour of peace and ecology. However, there is an ‘institutional’ side to green, associated with illness or ‘Government-issued’, that conjure up negative emotions as do the ‘slimy’ or bilious greens.
How the colour green affects us physically and mentally:
* Soothing
* Relaxing mentally as well as physically
* Helps alleviate depression, nervousness and anxiety
* Offers a sense of renewal, self-control and harmony

Orange, a close relative of red, sparks more controversy than any other hue. There is usually strong positive or negative association to orange and true orange generally elicits a stronger ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ response than other colours. Fun and flamboyant orange radiates warmth and energy. Interestingly, some of the tones of orange, such as terra cotta, peach or rust, have very broad appeal.

How the colour orange affects us mentally and physically:
* Stimulates activity
* Stimulates appetite
* Encourages socialization

Red has more personal associations than any other colour. Recognized as a stimulant, red is inherently exciting and the amount of red is directly related to the level of energy perceived. Red draws attention and a keen use of red as an accent can immediately focus attention on a particular element.
How the colour red affects us mentally and physically:
* Increases enthusiasm
* Stimulates energy
* Encourages action and confidence
* A sense of protection from fears and anxiety

Purple embodies the balance of red stimulation and blue calm. This dichotomy can cause unrest or uneasiness unless the undertone is clearly defined, at which point the purple takes on the characteristics of its undertone. With a sense of mystic and royal qualities, purple is a colour often well liked by very creative or eccentric types and is the favourite colour of adolescent girls.
How the colour purple affects us mentally and physically:
* Uplifting
* Calming to mind and nerves; sense of spirituality
* Encourages creativity

Brown says stability, reliability, and approachability. It is the colour of our earth and is associated with all things natural or organic.
How the colour brown affects us physically and mentally:
* Feeling of wholesomeness and stability
* Connection with the earth
* Offers a sense of orderliness



White projects purity, cleanliness, and neutrality. Doctors don white coats, and a white picket fence surrounds a safe and happy home.
How the colour white affects us mentally and physically:
* aids mental clarity
* encourages us to clear clutter or obstacles
* evokes purification of thoughts or actions
* enables fresh beginnings


Gray is timeless, practical, and solid. A longstanding favourite suit colour, gray can mix well with any colour. Although well liked and often worn, people rarely name gray as a favourite colour, possibly because gray also is associated with loss or depression.
How the colour gray affects us physically and mentally:
* unsettling
* expectant


Because black can evoke strong emotions, too much can be overwhelming. A classic colour for clothing, possibly because it makes the wearer appear thinner and more sophisticated.
How the colour black affects us physically and mentally:
* feeling inconspicuous
* a restful emptiness
* mysterious, evoking a sense of potential and possibility.


Posted in