It's a scientific fact that color can influence your mood by stimulating different neurons in the brain. “Color has a powerful affect on your emotions, use it to uplift, enlighten and empower you, your life and your home," says certified health and wellness coach and color theory specialist, Betsy Karp.
This makes the task of choosing colors in your life very important — especially when it comes to your living spaces. After all, that's where most of us spend the majority of our time. Karp, also known as The Color Coach, gives us the rundown on how colors affect your mood and offers suggestions on how to best use them in your home.
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Blue, the world's favorite hue, is the color of trust, responsibility and inner confidence. While people use it all over the house, Karp recommends it for one room in particular — the bedroom — as it provides physical and mental relaxation.
Another surprising quality of blue? She points out it can also help suppress the appetite, so if you want to lose weight, you might want to think about giving your kitchen a blue makeover. And according to a 2017 study conducted by real estate website Zillow, homes with bathrooms painted in light shades of blue sold for as much as $5,440 more than expected. Blue kitchens, dining rooms and bedrooms also demanded more money.
Red is the color of passion, sensuality and desire, says Karp. "It attracts attention more than any other color." Painting an entire room red may be a little overwhelming for most people, so instead, she suggests using it as an accent on a neutral background, which can help you focus on a single element.
It's great to have in a home during the winter months to bring warmth and fire to a room. Another good idea? "It especially helps to charge a small hallway with vibrant energy," she says. However, keep in mind that red is known to increase appetite, making it a not-so-great color for the kitchen.
Yellow is considered one of the happiest colors of the rainbow, and according to Karp, your brain is very reactive to it. "Yellow is a color that relates to mental stimulation, focus and the left side of the brain," she says. Another added bonus? The fun color also provokes creative ideas and decision making. An obvious color choice for your office, right?
Additionally, yellow can be a great option for a kitchen, since the warm, sunny color can help increase the appetites in those who enter the space — however, if you're trying to lose weight, stick to the appetite-suppressing hue of blue. If you want to a add a little yellow to your home, keep in mind you don't have to opt for a super bright shade. Pastels and muted hues can have the same effect.
Green is a color of balance, harmony, growth and abundance. "It opens the heart and balances your emotions," Karp says. "It's the balance between the head and the heart, giving you a sense of renewal and rebirth, as it helps with restoring depleted energy."
These reasons make the cool hue a good option for any room in the house where you need to add a little Zen. If you aren't a fan of green paint, try incorporating it into your space in the form of plants. Studies have found that plants can reduce stress, boost concentration, increase happiness and boost creativity.
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The regal color of purple represents many things, including wealth, fantasy, spirituality and imagination, which Karp says can be beneficial for self-cafe. "It expands our awareness, connecting us to our highest and most divine self," she says. "It's a color that helps you to daydream and escape from the everyday realities of life."
You don't have to pick a bold and bright tone to reap its benefits. She suggests adding a very soft hue of lavender to the bedroom for sleep and relaxation or opting for a brighter shade in a young child's room to "enliven their spirit and imagination."
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Pink is more than just a "girlie" color or a millennial's color of choice. Karp says that it's also the color of unconditional love, compassion and, similar to purple, nurturing the self. "It's playful, romantic and a huge sign of hope," she says. "It calms and restores our emotional energy, alleviating our feelings of anger, abandonment and neglect."
In addition to being a great color for a kid's room, she suggests using it as an accent in intimate spaces, "bringing in the energy of self-love and promoting the essence of sweetness, innocence and pure love." If a pink wall isn't for you, think pink in terms of decorations like pillows, rugs and throw blankets.
One of the most vibrant colors of the rainbow, orange represents warmth, joy and adventure. "It helps you to restore your balance and bounce back from disappointments and despair," Karp says. "It's also wonderful for the recovery of any kind of addiction and can increase appetite (such as yellow) and promote conversation."
She suggests using it to help create an uplifting space in your home office or anywhere else you want to use creative expression. If you aren't crazy about the idea of an entire orange room — because, honestly, it may be a little over the top — try it on a single wall or even just as an accent color in the form of a fun throw pillow or cool piece of artwork.
The cool greenish-blue shade of turquoise is the color of clarity and self-expression and can calm the emotions and recharge the spirt, says Karp. "It's great for the nervous system and to use for thoughts and communication."
The perfect place to add a little turquoise in your living space? In addition to the bedroom (because who doesn't love falling asleep to the cool aqua hue?) she suggests adding accents of turquoise in the living room or even the bathroom.
A deeper, more purply shade of blue, indigo is the color of the right side of the brain. "It resonates with the new age and the modern way of thinking," Karp says. "It is a color that embodies the visionary aspects while staying in tradition and maintaining responsibility, conveying integrity and deep sincerity, honoring your truth and authenticity."
Where is the best place for a little indigo in your home? She suggests using it "anywhere you need to be close with your true self" — whether that be your bedroom, living room or study — and accenting it with bold, bright jewel tones.
Despite the fact it's such a bright color, Karp says magenta is the color of harmony and emotional balance. "It encourages a strong, balanced outlook on your life while strengthening psychic ability, allowing you to rise above daily drama and conflict," she says.
It's also great for change and transformation. Another hue that may be too intense to paint an entire room — or even just a wall — she suggests letting it manifest in your space as accents. "Magenta throws, pillows and artwork can provide you the emotional grounding that you may need." Another fun idea? Try some magenta furniture.
While brown might not be the most exciting color on the spectrum, it does have some grounding qualities, Karp says, as it's the color of protection and family support. "It suppresses emotions and allows you to be ground. It brings protection and support to family life," she says. "It's a color of responsibility and material security."
She suggests using brown shades in spaces of family gathering — like the living room, dining room or outdoor spaces — and pairing them with bright colors or vivid neutrals. That way, you can still keep your space a little exciting. And according to Zillow, homes with brown living rooms sell for nearly $2,000 more than expected.
Is black a color or isn't it? Depends on who you ask, but Karp insists that the darkest hue on the planet helps you hide from the world. "It is the absence of all light and covering while white uncovers," she says.
In addition to its ability to streamline your waistline (which is one of the reasons black clothing is so popular!) it can also cover up insecurities and fears and be sophisticated, elegant and sexy at the same time. Many people opt for using it as an accent color or as a backdrop for framed photos or artwork. "It looks beautiful with neutrals or bold colors to surround it," she says.
It's not surprising that many houses are sold and rented with white walls. "White is the color of new beginnings and clean slates," Karp says. "It is a fresh new approach to stimulating the senses and allowing for new creations."
Because it's peaceful, calming and inspires efficiency, it's the perfect color to help you declutter your life and home, she says. However, don't go overboard and give your home an entire whiteout. "Too much of a white environment can cause things to look cold and sterile," she says.