Color Power

“In fact, paint color is so powerful that it can influence not just our state of mind but even our physiology,” says Debbie Zimmer, color expert at the Paint Quality Institute in Philadelphia.

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Blue. Blue has been shown to slow pulse rate and lower body temperature, making it great for bedrooms. “The ancient Egyptians, Native Americans, and many other peoples used color to heal,” Zimmer says.

Green. Popular and versatile, green has a soothing effect. It also represents renewal, youth, and vigor. Says Zimmer: “Because it is calming, green paint is a good color choice for bedrooms.”

Red. It bespeaks energy and excitement, actually making the heart beat faster. Because red is associated with desire and passion, it’s a perfect color for dining rooms and adult bedrooms, says Zimmer.

Yellow. A great interior color, it imparts happiness and optimism. Studies have shown that the brain actually releases more serotonin when the eye takes in yellow—creating positive psychological vibes.

Orange. More attention-getting than yellow, orange has an energy and warmth. Muddy shades are useful in many rooms, but vivid tones may appear raw and flamboyant.

Purple. Zimmer suggests that people reserve this color for their daughter’s room. “Odds are, she’ll love it, and you can take comfort in purple’s proven ability to stimulate brain activity,” she says.

What about non-colors?

Black is a great accent color indoors or out, imparting elegance, formality, and sophistication. But don’t get carried away; too much black can be depressing. White conveys peace, simplicity, and spaciousness. It can provide a crisp finish to almost any paint job by adding sharp contrast to the wall color. It can also give the illusion that the space is bigger than its physical dimensions.


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