How to Use the Psychology of Color to Create a Happy, Cozy, Beautiful Home

Set the Appropriate mood for your space by choosing a color that evokes your desired emotions.
Colors have been scientifically studied and results have shown that we are psychologically affected by color. This is often felt unconsciously. We’re in a room and something might feel “off.” Or, we can enter a room and feel it come “alive.” We always want to choose colors that make us feel good, but it can be helpful to know what the hidden meaning of a color means. Also keep in mind that all colors have various shades and tints—darker and lighter tones respectively.

RED: Increases blood pressure, metabolism, and heart rate.

  • Stimulates the adrenal glands and the stimulation of the adrenal glands helps us become strong and increases stamina.
  • Red is often used in restaurant decorating schemes because it is an appetite stimulant. Since it raises metabolism, it increases appetite  so food tastes better.
  • It is a good color for a dining room – Or, you may eat more in a room painted red? (oh no!)
  • If you wear a red dress, you are sure to please the opposite sex.
  • If you have a red car, be mindful of the speed limit. It’s the color most noticed by law enforcement.
  • Red can also make one irritable (too much raising of blood pressure and heart rate.) Be careful in bedrooms. Use sparingly.

YELLOW: Has been proven to stimulate the brain. This stimulation can make you more alert and decisive. Perhaps that is why legal tablets are this color.

  • Yellow makes muscles more energetic. It helps clear thinking, decision-making, and good judgement. In the right amounts, it enhances concentration.
  • Bright and optimistic, BUT a lot of bright yellow speeds up metabolism and can make people lose their temper. Bright yellow also can make babies cry more.
  • Probably best not used in a nursery unless it is a soft yellow.
  • Did you know that babies may cry more in a bright yellow room? (Oh no!)

BLUE: Lowers the pulse rate, body temperature, and metabolism. Causes the body to produce calming chemicals, so it is often used in bedrooms.

  • Deep blue stimulates the pituitary gland, which then regulates our sleep patterns. This deeper blue also has proved to help the skeletal structure in keeping the bone marrow healthy.
  • People are more productive in blue rooms. Studies show weightlifters are able to handle heavier weights in a blue room.
  • The color blue is also liked cross-culturally.

ORANGE: A combination of red and yellow—both stimulating colors.

  • Orange is considered an energetic color.
  • Orange strengthens the immune system, and stimulates the sexual organs.
  • Orange is considered an accessible color—bargain, low price. It is a color often used in fast-food restaurants.
  • Or even, that orange can stimulate the sexual organs? (Oh yah!)


PURPLE: A mysterious color—a combination of red and blue (which each evoke opposite physical reactions.)

  • Purple has been used in the care of nervous disorders because they have shown to help balance the mind and transform obsessions and fears.
  • This color also suppresses hunger and balances the body’s metabolism.
  • Violet has been shown to alleviate conditions such as sunburn


GREEN: Symbolizes nature and the natural world. It is the easiest color on the eye. Can improve vision, relieve stress, and help heal. Often used in hospitals.

  • Creates physical equilibrium and relaxation. Green relaxes our muscles and helps us breathe deeper and more slowly.
  • Green is said to be good for your heart. Those who have a green work environment experience fewer stomach aches.
  • Green is often used in decorating for its calming effects. It helps us balance and soothe our emotions.
  • But beware—with added feelings of comfort, relaxation, and calmness, too much can cause feelings of laziness.

PINK: A lighter shade of red, this color helps muscles relax. Pink induces feelings of calm, protection, warmth and nurture.

  • One shade known as “drunk tank pink,” has been used in jails to calm inmates.
  • Sports teams sometimes paint the opposing team’s locker room pink to keep the players passive and less energetic.
  • Research has shown that pink’s calming effect only occurs during the INITIAL exposure to the color. When used in prisons, inmates often become more agitated once they have become accustomed to the color.

GREY: Enhances creativity, which can make it a good color for home offices and studios. Inspires a feeling of trust. Often used in executive and law offices.

  • Grey feels neutral. It is an unobtrusive background for an infinite number of color combinations. Used on walls, grey can be very stylish and sophisticated.
  • It can be traditional or modern. Formal or casual.



BROWN: Evokes security, credibility, and reassurance. Brown tends to be soothing and comfortable. This color encourages conversation, so it is a great color for public entertaining rooms.

  • Shades and tints of brown are often used as neutrals. Combined with unexpected colors like pale blue, fuschia, or chartreuse, browns can be exciting, whimsical, or sophisticated.

Hopefully, this information gives you a better idea of the power of color—both physically and emotionally. Imagine if we could only see black and white. We live in a world brimming over with color, beautiful colors. We are blessed, indeed.

More About

Read more about Nancy Meadows and her work as a designer...


Find out how Nancy can help you in solving your design dilemmas...


Begin the process of decorating your home or work space with Nancy Meadows...